Iqbal Sitompul

"I’m developing a new framework for shifting smallholder farmers to carbon-neutral agriculture in Indonesia."


Why did you study a Master of Agribusiness at UQ?

In my home country of Indonesia UQ is perceived as a very prestigious university, especially for agriculture. I searched many top universities which offer a Master of Agribusiness program but I chose to study at UQ because it is one of the world's best universities for agricultural subjects, specifically number 1 in Australia. It offered the widest range of agribusiness courses and the opportunity to study at a rural campus with excellent facilities for agricultural studies.

UQ’s Master of Agribusiness program equipped me with theoretical and practical knowledge as well as industry experience and connections. Not only did the lecturers focus on the theory in the classroom but also connected us with the agricultural companies through field trips and guest lectures.

My degree helped cultivate my interest in research by providing a pathway to pursue a graduate research project and undertake research-related courses. Through UQ, I worked with the Queensland Government’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries in investigating exotic vegetable export opportunities to Asian countries and with the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research to explore commercial engagement in publicly funded agriculture research and development.


What was the best part of your time at UQ?

My most memorable experience at UQ was definitely during my third semester. The school hired me as a casual research and teaching assistant. Despite having the challenge of balancing my graduate research project, coursework studies and casual jobs, I pushed myself to be a very productive student and I was able to maintain my academic performance. The best part was that I was nominated for an academic excellence award in UQ’s Faculty of Science Awards in 2022.

I also enjoyed being part of student societies. I was the vice president of the Indonesia-Gatton (INDOGA) Student Association, and member of the UQ Indonesia Student Association (UQISA).


What kind of work do you do as part of your job?

I’m currently undertaking my PhD on carbon-neutral agriculture and I’m working towards becoming an agribusiness consultant, researcher and lecturer in the future.

As part of my PhD project I’m developing a new framework for shifting smallholder farmers to carbon-neutral agriculture in Indonesia.

As a PhD student, I am responsible for conducting research within a specific topic to contribute new findings and develop new frameworks for academia, industry or government.  This includes devising an evidence-based methodology for my project, reviewing literature to identify and fill the gaps in the current studies, conducting field work and lots of report writing.


What is the best part of your job?

I enjoy the new challenges while doing my project. From the beginning, I knew that it would not be easy. However, a PhD is a marathon. So, I’m enjoying following my curiosity to learn new insights and find answers. I also enjoy meeting and connecting with experts in my field through seminars and conferences, and the process of learning from each other. 


What advice would you give to anyone thinking about studying at UQ?

Studying at UQ will help you find your passion and unlock your potential. Even if you don't know yet what exactly you want to be in the future, studying at UQ will help you design it and take concrete steps to make it happen. It will open many doors and a lot of career options.

My advice would be to be open to every opportunity and take chances. Things can change and sometimes are unpredictable. So, enjoy the process.

Back to top

Iqbal Sitompul

Iqbal Sitompul

Job title
PhD Candidate

Master of Agribusiness

Profile published 2023

 Ready to start your career?

Explore the range of UQ programs in agriculture and animal sciences.

Study at UQ