Jan Lepeltak, consultant
BSc in Political Science
‘Studying political science assisted me in developing a skill to process large amounts of information in a prompt manner.’
Jan Lepeltak (1981) is a Risk Management Consultant at Concord Consulting in Indonesia.
Studied at the UvA: 1999-2004, BSc Political Science, MSc Political Science – International Relations (IR)
Previous jobs: foreign correspondent at Elsevier and De Telegraaf, consultant at the International Organization for Migration, election observer and researcher at The Carter Center
What do you do for a living?
‘I work as a risk management consultant and political analyst for Concord Consulting in Jakarta, Indonesia. It is my job to analyse security issues in Indonesia and south-east Asia for multinationals and foreign embassies. Furthermore, I manage risk assessment projects, in which clients ask me to map specific economic, political and cultural threats and risks in Indonesia. I also get hired by big companies in Indonesia to do research in cases of theft or fraud. My days vary from researching documents and writing reports to assessing physical circumstances and risks in the middle of the jungle.’
What did you study at UvA?
‘After choosing the International Relations track, I decided to focus on two distinct geographic areas: south-east Asia/Indonesia and Central Europe. Some of my favourite courses concerned political conflict in south-east Asia and international law. These courses taught me which international instruments and mechanisms exist to collaborate on and implement conflict resolution. In addition, I learnt to abstract vital information from huge quantities of literature during my time at the UvA. Because International Relations attracts people from many different countries, I got used to working and learning in an international environment. This is hugely helpful in my current job, since I work in an international and intercultural context.’
And what did you do after that?
‘I wrote my Master’s thesis on political freedom of press in Indonesia and conducted my research during an internship at Tempo magazine. Then I got the opportunity to work as a researcher and election observer for The Carter Center (an NGO) during the 2004 presidential election; these were the first elections in which Indonesians were able to elect their president directly. I was also a consultant in a capacity building project with the Indonesian National Police for the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which is an IGO. After this time, I was a foreign correspondent for the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf and magazine Elsevier in Indonesia. I have been a risk management consultant since 2011.’
How did Political Science help you?
‘Studying political science assisted me in developing a skill to process large amounts of information in a prompt manner. My analytical skills improved through focusing on a wide range of issues: from political systems and international social processes such as democratisation to more regionally specific issues. IR attracts many people from different countries and backgrounds. My experience of working in teams with all sorts of people from all corners of the world gave me valuable experience for my further career, in which I have needed to connect and work with people in an international environment using effective and energetic communication.’