How Asep pivoted his career in taxation

asep, doctor of business administration graduate
I hope to continue global cooperation programs between the Indonesian and Australian governments in respects such as taxation, economy and education

Asep Nugraha (Indonesia)
Doctor of Business Administration

After a 20-year career in the taxation sector in Indonesia, Asep Tatip Nugraha wanted to develop his skills and advance his career further. He chose to build upon his finance experience by enrolling in a Doctor of Business Administration - a former business PhD program offered by Victoria University (VU) - specialising in financial markets and taxation. His research investigated financial reporting lags in Indonesia, the impact of taxation and stock market trends in relation to these financial reporting lags.

This is what Asep had to say about his career, his studies and his ambitions for the future.

Starting anew in Australia

According to Asep, his decision to study in Australia was partially rooted in logistics. He explains that it is the nearest English-speaking country to Indonesia. Collaboration between the two countries was also a motivating factor for Asep.

“There is much cooperation between the Indonesian Government and the Australian Government in terms of education, taxation, economy, military and politics,” he says.

For example, he explains, “the Australian Government provided international development aid to tackle tax avoidance issues. [I believe] this kind of cooperation between the Australian and the Indonesian governments in many aspects should continue in the future.”

Why choose VU?

Asep explains that he selected VU because it is “one of the leading universities in Australia” and the Doctor of Business Administration course at VU is a pioneering professional doctorate in Australia. The program allows students to study coursework in the first year, which he says is “useful for students like me who lack a research background, but have much professional experience in the field.”

Asep says this has been particularly helpful because he has been able to “combine the research issues in my work with the research theories taught in the coursework. The program helps to bridge problems in the real work environment with a proposed solution identified by conducting the research.”

Asep was sponsored to study at VU by the Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP). He explains that the LPDP was created by the Indonesian Government and grants awards to Indonesian students to study at universities around the world. The funding has helped cover Asep’s tuition fees, as well as living and textbook costs.

Researcher development & support

Asep shares that VU provided him with many support resources and services during his candidature.

“I loved the weekly Researcher Development Program (VURDP), which effectively increased my research skills,” says Asep.

The program was also great for making connections, he adds. Through the workshops, he was able to meet students from other research fields.

Asep also found the library very useful, as it featured resources like the Orbis (BvD) database, which allowed him to access the data he needed for his research.

Additionally, whenever Asep needed assistance, the staff from the Office for Researcher Training, Quality and Integrity (ORTQI), the Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities (ISILC), VUHQ and international student support services were always available to help.

The highlight of a lifetime

Asep shares that studying in Australia has been one of the best experiences of his life.

Not only did I learn research skills at VU, one of the leading universities in the world, but I also learned about Australian culture, its amazing infrastructure and [experienced] very high quality of life in a developed country with a very high per capita income

Asep believes that international students, particularly those from developing countries, will have wonderful study experiences in Australia.

Sustaining global connections

After receiving his doctorate from VU, Asep hopes to continue building his career at the Directorate General of Taxes (DGT) in Indonesia.

"I hope to continue global cooperation programs between the Indonesian and Australian governments in respects such as taxation, economy and education," he shares.

He adds that his time at VU has "given him the best opportunity to learn about research in the international environment."

He is confident that both the research skills and English language skills he’s learned at VU will help to advance his career at the DGT.