Entering a New Stage of Life

Royal School of Mines - Imperial College of Science, Technology, and MedicineIt’s been more than 2 months since my last blog post and surely many have happened. In April, I graduated from the BSc Chemical Engineering program of Institut Teknologi Bandung and was accepted by Imperial College London to enroll a MSc Petroleum Engineering this October. United Kingdom suddenly look much more tempting and challenging than The Netherlands for me. I did have a little risk-and-benefit analysis and eventually London came up as the winner. Yes, “eventually”, as it did take several months for me to think about this. Delft was good, Eindhoven was even better, but London seems to have some prominent winning factors.

A new name for my blog, a new design.

To mark this point of time of my life, I decided to do a little something to my blog, a simple retouch and a new name, MichaelHutagalung.com. I found the old design rather boring and literally boxy while the old name was rather odd, trying too hard to resemble the name of one famous Indonesian band, and simply immature. I could not even remember why I used that to name my blog in the first place. Anyway, this new design is a quick-and-simple modification of Platformate. What I did was editing some of the CSS properties, uploading some nice PNG background files, and adding a header logo. That’s it. Thanks to PNG transparency my blog now looks like this.

I’m into France and French culture.

I started to learn French in August simply to make my abundant free time useful. Yes, it was literally abundant that I could even wake up late at 9am. There was nothing particular that motivated me to enroll that course at CCF Bandung. I simply thought that it would be nice to have an added-value for being able to speak French when applying for a position at some companies originating from France (TOTAL and Schlumberger, aren’t they too obvious considering my academic background?).

But then, I realized that this particular country have so many interesting cultural points that I am so excited to dig them more. I ended up taking two intensive classes and three DELF (A1-A2-B1) examinations. Many asked me what were the reason I took the examinations and I said “Nothing, I guess I’m in love with this language”. Everyone was like “What?” and I replied “Well at least the fees are one-tenth of TOEFL’s so why don’t give them a try?”. Anyway, this late-August, I will be attending another intensive French course for 4 weeks, including several cultural and civilisation workshops, in Paris. Hahahaha.

I need to set my feet on my homeland so I would not ever forget it.

Yes, Tano Batak, my homeland in North Sumatra. Today, I am going to Medan and spend a week there to visit some of my relatives (all Batak people are relatives, right?). I will visit Medan, Rantau Prapat, Tarutung, Porsea, Siantar, Prapat, and hopefully Lake Toba and Samosir Island. I look forward to having a nice “pulang-kampung” holiday there. I hope I can upload some nice photos here. In the meantime, I have this nice re-arranged Batak song, originally perfomed by Christine Panjaitan and later by Viky Sianipar.

Ndada piga songon hauma tudos tu juma di tano toba, sahali pe mangula da inang, nga tor marbulan butong mangan da amang. Disi bidang na dohot ulina, di rupana dohot daina. Tano toba tano na martua tarbarita tarbarita tu bariba.

PS. I was interviewed by SWA Magazine regarding ColorLabs Project and by Jakarta Globe regarding this blog. Hahaha.

  • London, you’re a lucky guy!
    Interesting blog! keep on writing from there!

  • long time no visit, been busy by this new life as a postgraduate student :)

    Woooww congrats…belated congrats for your ST and going to postgrad school to London. Great achievements! :)

    Btw I’m curious with the French pronouncing “Schlumberger”, some pronounce as “slamber-si” well I believe it should be “slam-ber-sjhye” or sort of….which one is correct??

  • Wew..you’ve given more inspiration me to strive &achieve my dreams…
    thanks, Jubel
    Anw, would you mind to give me some feedback regarding my new blog?

  • Congratulations on your admission to IC Michael!

    I hope all the best with your future endeavors. Btw, are you going all the way to Tarutung? Last time I went there it was in. What a trip!

    Take care.

    • thanks, barry. I hope I can do well at IC.

      Yes, i’m in Tarutung at the moment. It’s cold. Hahaha.

  • Tahyar, Benjamin

    Hi Jubel,

    Congratulations! Imperial College is one of the best engineering schools in the world. I’m wondering though why you didn’t apply to MIT. I lived in London for 5 years and in Paris for 7. I am just moving back to NYC this September. I was born in Jakarta but left when I was a kid. I’ve been back a number of times recently and have loved each trip.


    • Good to hear that. I hope I will do well at Imperial College. Anyway, MIT? Whoops, it’s simply beyond sanity to me. Hahaha. I’ve been dreaming to go to Europe, though.

      Anyway, you’ve been in London for 5 years, Paris for 7 years, and were born in Jakarta. It’s like you covered everything written above. Nice to meet you, Ben.

  • love your website, it’s better than ever. Also, just wondering jubel, did you pay the tuition fee by yourself or did you apply for scholarship?

    • Thanks. I love it as well (puke, already? Hahaha.)

      Anyway, I applied for the scholarships and was offered one. Dutch universities seem pretty serious in providing scholarships. I also applied for one for London and am still waiting for their decision.

  • If there ever was an upbeat post, it is this one.

    I should start by offering my congratulations first; though of course it would have been nice - at least to my biased mind - if the outcome would have been Delft or Eindhoven. But I guess you made the right choice. On top of that: London is marvelous ( and expensive).

    In the passing I may also mention I love the new design of the blog, but what I really admire is your new French involvement. I’m curious what it is that fascinates you. The language - yes it’s strictly logical and elegant. The “cuisine”, because it can be refined. The cathedrals - the ones in Reims or Chartres has those great light and awesome leaded lights for sure. The art of painting and literature - well this is the part I’m especially interested in to read your opinions.

    By the way: glad your back.

    • Well, going to The Netherlands has always been my dream. You can check out that nearly 2 years ago, I even made one special blog post dedicated for TU Delft library. But sometimes we do have to make bold moves, right?

      I see the petroleum industry rather stable compared to other field of industries even in the time of economic crisis. And when it comes to petroleum industry, UK is way ahead than The Netherlands, I believe.

      Anyway, Norway and France are also great choices for petroleum studies but for this particular issue, I’m for UK. Hahaha. And a master degree in UK can normally be finished in one academic year and hopefully I can get a job after. Compared to those of Norway, France, and The Netherlands, I see that UK has the least of financial opportunity loss. And I do have some personal reasons: I love British accent. Hahahaha.

      About French, yes, I am fascinated by the complexity of the language and also the way French people talk. They talk so fast, as if something were after them. I also love their songs, definitely their accordions, and their magnificent architecture. I just can’t wait. Hahaha.

  • as expected from a michael jubel hutagalung. congrats bel.

    and from design side, this transparency thing is really captivating bel.
    top notch. ah i really need to do some update for my blog.

    • as expected?! hahahaha.. thanks, anyway, yan.

      yes, it is indeed captivating. and I assume most of them who visit my blog have already had at least IE7 installed on their system so they will be able to experience this PNG transparency thing. hahaha.

      anyway, come on. please don’t do anything to your blog! so you only let me be the top notch for a day? hahahaha.

  • GOOD LUCK!!!

    do the best to our country


    • thanks! ;)