What is your background?
This is complicated… I am an Indonesian born Kiwi, and I have lived and worked in Jakarta, Auckland, Wellington, Melbourne and now London. I did my Bachelor degrees, in Art (Philosophy) and in Engineering (Mechanical) in Auckland University, New Zealand, and completed my Master’s degree in Public Policy and Management in Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.
What’s it like working at ECA?
Like a box of chocolates – you never know what you are going to get (this is the first thing that comes to my mind when reading this question!). The point being, it is never boring here at ECA. The projects are interesting and challenging, and keeps you learning all the time.
How will ECA help my career development/help me improve my skill set?
ECA has built my confidence as a consultant through encouraging me to take on new responsibilities, and challenges me to have an opinion and develop my own solutions. Having the freedom to think outside the box and debating the issues and solutions with more experienced ECA staff, I become more confident in tackling the problems we have to solve in the projects and in general more confident as a consultant.
What type of projects do you typically work on?
I work mostly on water sector projects, including finding ways to finance much needed water supply and sanitation infrastructure, tariff studies and policy development, plus water resource management and development. I also work on gas sector projects, including gas demand-supply modelling, market and security of supply analysis and policy development. I’ve also started to work on the electricity sector recently, which is a great opportunity to learn new things yet again!
Am I expected to present to clients? Who are the typical clients you work for?
For my projects, the clients are mostly development banks such as the World Bank, African Development Bank, EBRD and Asian Development Bank. However, these clients are mostly the financiers, and we work closely with the ‘real’ clients, i.e. the government departments and/or regulators in the project country. And yes, I have presented to clients, plus participated and presented in workshops, although not expected of me. The Project Directors will give you the opportunities and you may take them on. And there is always a lot of support from the more senior or more experienced members of the team, so you never feel abandoned, even when you are on your own in a new country and presenting to a new client.
Which countries have you covered in your time at ECA?
Countries visited: Zambia, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Indonesia and Fiji. Countries covered but not visited: Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Israel, Australia and Iraq.
What is the best thing about working at ECA?
The environment – and I don’t mean the nice park just round the corner or the nice cafes down the road – I mean the fact that ECA does a lot of serious and large projects but the working environment is never stressful! Sure we sometimes have long hours and super busy times but the way people handle stressful periods are amazing. You can still hear laughter in the office even when everyone is flat out! Work-life balance is highly encouraged and I am loving it!