ip target image
You are currently browsing our site with content tailored to students in your country

Our cookies

We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience with personalized content, relevant ads and enhanced functionalities. By allowing all you agree to the use of cookies as per the cookie policy and remember you can manage your preferences anytime.
The basics
THE UK: Career Prospects

Q&A with Indonesia's famous author and SHU alumni, Andrea Hirata

share image

Indonesian author Andrea Hirata graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in the UK in 2002. His first novel The Rainbow Troops won the prize for general fiction at the New York Book Festival 2013 and is currently the bestselling Indonesian novel of all time, translated in 34 languages. We caught up with Andrea to find out more about his successful career and experience as an international student in the UK. 

Where did it all begin?

I have always been interested in writing fiction and my writing has been enriched in so many ways by other disciplines, such as international economics and corporate culture. I graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with an MSc in International Business in 2002 and I then worked for Indonesia's biggest telecommunication company as a financial analyst. In 2005, I started writing novels with the pen name Andrea Hirata. My first novel The Rainbow Troops published by FSG New York is Indonesia’s bestselling novel of all time. It has been translated into 34 languages and published by prominent publishers around the globe.


The Rainbow Troops led me to become the winner of New York Book Festival 2013 for general fiction category and the winner of Buchawards 2013 in Germany for Die Regenbogen Truppe (The Rainbow Troops German edition). 



What are you currently working on? 
I am now working on my new novel and, in addition, I am also building Indonesia’s first literary museum called Museum Kata (Words Museum) to encourage interest in reading and literature. It has started literary tourism for the first time in Indonesia. I enjoy interacting with editors and translators of my novel and my keys to success are to never stop learning and always be passionate in my writing. I have a big dream to be the first Indonesian author to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.


Andrea at a book signing in Jakarta


How did your time at Sheffield Hallam impact your career?
My studies have contributed significantly to my current profession as an author. My time at Sheffield broadened my knowledge and skills especially in research methodology that is very much applicable in my creative process. I was given corporate culture experience which I apply in my writing for researching any cultures. 


One of the most interesting and valuable experiences during my studies was the opportunity to not only visit but also study and work in small businesses in the Midlands. It gave me inspiration to relate what I learnt in class to the real world. 


Andrea with Ng Chong Loong, student development officer, Sheffield Hallam University


Do you have any advice for graduates wanting to follow in your footsteps?
My advice is to be open to all kinds of possibilities, and to always remember that we are so lucky to have quality education in Sheffield Hallam University – and it’s time to create your own masterpieces!

To read more about Andrea and his work, click here. You can also follow him on Twitter (@andreahirata) and Instagram (@hirataandrea).

Study in the UK


'Study in the UK' eBook

Enjoy what you’ve read? We’ve condensed the above popular topics about studying in the UK into one handy digital book.

Get your eBook