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Nina Widharetna Kristanto

What are you doing now?

In the past year, I've been working to establish my own business in my home town, Surabaya-Indonesia. It's called kita+kita Food Studio. kita+kita Food Studio was created by my family who share the same passion in creating simple & humble, yet creative & meaningful baked goods. We love anything that is fresh, innovative, and intriguing to our senses, which sadly is becoming rare nowadays. The concept of this business is to deliver a whole experience to customers. I would like to intrigue people's senses through our products, by utilising every part of it. We use the finest ingredients (without preservatives or any artificial food colorings). We take a really good care of the product and we give extra attention to the details by giving a thoughtful packaging and nice design. We present our product not just as 'a product', but as a gift. Heritage, design, healthy living, conversation, and traveling are our main ingredients in building this business, topped with passion, creativity, collaboration, love, and tender, I believe this business will bring good creations in culinary business.  Since this is a family business, every member in my family takes part in building this business from the scratch. My father is a home builder, so he's responsible in building this food studio. My mother is an architect and culinary expert. Thus, she has task to design the studio. My brother graduated with IT Multimedia, so he's responsible in creating effective IT program for daily operational, e.g inventory log, distributor list. And myself, with my degree in Design Management and Communications, I am responsible in managing the process and creating communication strategy through various media.  kita+kita Food Studio is scheduled to launch in August 2014

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals / give your career an edge?

Studying at Northumbria is definitely one of the best time I've ever had in my life. It's really an eye-opener and challenging, yet exciting experience. It's not just about studying and being the best, it's more like experiencing a  journey in finding who we are and what we want to be.  I never had in my mind to have a career as an entrepreneur, because I always worked in established companies and the idea of being self-employed was just too far out of my comfort zone. But, that has changed. While studying at Northumbria, I felt empowered and so inspired by working collaboratively and multidisciplinary. We were encouraged to bring out the best in ourselves and at the same time to bring in any differences from others. It was such an interesting and enriching experience for me and it made me realise how great it is to nurture smart teams instead of just sitting at desk, waiting for orders and working based on those orders (which often happened in well-established companies). Thus, I decided whatever happens I have to establish my own company, so I could empower and inspire others.

What was the best thing about your course?

The integration of every aspect of the course (programs, lecturers, projects) which came together as one and it worked really well with multicultural and multidisciplinary students.

Who inspired you the most, and why?

Definitely my classmates and lectures. As quoted from Paulo Coleho's book, The Alchemist "When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too" It was simply because everyone who was in the class strived to become better and it created a great and supportive environment. It was such an inspiring experience.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now/throughout your career?

Design Thinking & Design Management  I had never heard about Design Thinking beforehand. I was so intrigued and curious about it and along the way I learned it by doing. Until now, I always make mind map when deciding something important, I keep writing my design diary to jot down any ideas and progression in doing any projects. I'm still learning to think like a designer, especially when I setup my own business. like what problem needs to be solved and how it will help/inspire people when they buy my products. I apply this Design Management approach in managing my business, especially when managing the process and delivering products to consumers. I still keep my lecture's handouts and textbook by my side

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

The opportunity to study by doing interesting projects and to work with others students from different backgrounds and nationalities.

What advice would you give somebody who is thinking of studying at Northumbria?

Be open minded, don't be afraid of change, and just be yourself. Enjoy every bit of your time studying, even when its hard. I think you'll mostly have great times studying here.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in 3 words?

Inspiring, challenging, exciting

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