Prita Haspari Ghozie: Studying overseas enriched my knowledge and broadened my life
Interview by Molly O'Brien, Marketing & Communications Specialist, Advance
Jakarta-native Prita Hapsari Ghozie has many titles. She is a CEO & Financial Planner, author of two books, wife and mother of two children, and is also an alumnus of the University of Sydney where she completed her Master's of Commerce. Prita is currently the CEO and Chief Planner for ZAP Finance where she provides consulting services and financial plans, as well as general investment advice for individuals and families. Advance spoke to Prita about her experience studying in Australia, the most significant barrier to female leadership in 2017, and the impetus behind writing her books.
What made you choose the University of Sydney to complete your Master's Degree?
I chose the Master's of Commerce at the University of Sydney because it best matched my needs. They also gave me three exemptions from my previous studies which meant I could reduce my total study time (and also reduce the expenses that would later follow!). I also believed that completing my Master's Degree at an overseas university would not only enrich my knowledge but also broaden my life experiences.
What are the benefits of staying connected to University of Sydney alumni?
My network expanded and now includes not only alumni from Indonesia, but also from many other countries.
What do you miss most about living in Australia?
The culture. Sydney is a very lively city to live in, and I also lived in Melbourne for six months before going back to Indonesia. Moving to Australia didn't require a big adjustment from me, I found it very easy as there were so many Asian foods and groceries. I never really experienced any homesickness during my time there.
What do you think Australia can learn from Indonesia and vice versa?
Australians have very good personal financial literacy, which is very relevant to my work. I can say that I now have a competitive edge because I can imagine what it would take for Indonesia to improve our financial literacy based on what I experienced during my time in Australia.
Indonesian people are very receptive to new cultures. This perhaps because we come from an incredibly diversified background, there are more than 200 ethnicities in Indonesia. Also, Indonesian people are very creative and hardworking. I believe a team that consists of both Indonesians and Australians has the most competitive edge.
What was the impetus to write your books Menjadi Cantik, Gaya, dan Tetap Kaya and Make It Happen?
I wrote my first book Menjadi Cantik, Gaya, dan Tetap Kaya (Be beautiful, stylish, and rich), to answer the questions many women had asked me surrounding finances. I believe that If you educate one woman, you can educate generations of them. Women are key to families achieving financial independence.
I wrote my second book, Make It Happen, because many people in Indonesia have started to believe that it is time to take control of their personal finances. I kept getting asked similar questions, such as "what does it take to build a comfortable pension?" "how can I achieve the dreams I have for my family?" so I decided to write a book to answer all of those questions.
What is the best career decision you’ve made to date?
Becoming an entrepreneur at the age of 28 by establishing ZAP Finance. I took an early retirement from a very comfortable position in a big IT company before I made the jump to becoming an entrepreneur and I haven't looked back.
What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership in 2017?
In Indonesia, our culture still believes that the main job for women is to manage your family and raise your children. I also agree that this is extremely important, but it can be very challenging to have small children when your business needs your full attention.
What’s your biggest motivator?
My husband and children. They fully support me.
What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Learn a lot from everywhere: your school, your teacher, your family.
Have a mentor: he or she can give you advice that you don’t know the value of yet.
Teach! I always believe that in learning you will teach, and in teaching, you will learn.