School of Law Masters student wins prestigious essay prize 

Alexander Simanjuntak won the first prize in the Essay Competition of the 21st Indonesian Scholars International Convention (ISIC) of PPI United Kingdom.

We spoke to Alexander, who studies International Business Law, about why he chose Leeds, the support he has received here and how he feels about winning first place in the Essay Competition of the 21st Indonesian Scholars International Convention (ISIC). 

Why did you want to study in Leeds?  

My first consideration was that the School of Law is one of the top ten law schools in the UK. This choice was supported by the courses offered at this school, such as International Tax Law and Policy, Financial Crime, and Principles of International Financial Law that correspond to my previous work as a Tax Auditor in the Directorate General of Taxes of the Republic of Indonesia. Therefore, I considered that those subjects would help me to improve my capabilities, especially in taxation and business law, under the supervision of expert academics.  

What is your favourite thing about studying in Leeds?  

At the beginning, I envisaged that my studies in Leeds would not be easy because my undergraduate degree was in Accounting. As time went by, that was not an issue because the environment, including staff and resources, supported me throughout my studies. Interestingly, the school supported me both academically and also in relation to my wellbeing.  

Are there any members of staff who have been particularly helpful to you during your time here?  

I would like to mention three names who really helped me during my time in Leeds, namely Professor Rita de La Feria, Dr Leopoldo Parada, and Dr Karina Patrício Ferreira Lima. The first two names are my lecturers in International Tax Law and Policy. In particular, Professor Rita is my dissertation supervisor and Dr. Leopoldo knows a lot about my office because he works closely with it. Meanwhile, Dr. Karina is my academic personal tutor with whom I can discuss many things.  

It was a pleasure having Alexander in our Tax Law and Policy classes, and supervising his dissertation. I am delighted to see him winning this prestigious prize on such a timely topic, and I have no doubt that he has a very successful career in taxation ahead of him. 

Professor Rita de la Feria 

Why did you decided to enter the Essay Competition?  

My master's degree is fully supported by the Indonesian government through scholarship. This means that I will return to my country and work at the Directorate General of Taxes of the Republic of Indonesia after completing my studies. It is then reasonable that my decision to take part in the Essay Competition is to contribute my ideas, after studying in Leeds, to the Indonesian government. It is aligned with the theme of the 21st ISIC (Indonesian Scholar International Convention), “Re-thinking Indonesia’s strategy to recover and grow.”  

Man stands in lecture theatre in front of audience


How do you feel about winning?  

Undoubtedly, I am more than grateful and thrilled at the same time. Personally, it is not about winning the contest really. However, by winning this competition, I have the opportunity to express my thoughts and try to make audiences not allergic to taxes, even though I am not a Tax Policy Evangelist like Professor Rita. 

Click here to read more about the International Business Law LLM.