This article originally appeared on VICE Indonesia.
If you pride yourself in being an overachiever, 39-year-old Welin Kusuma from Makassar, Indonesia will put you to shame. He has earned 32 academic and non-academic titles over 21 years and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. His full title is a mouthful: Welin Kusuma, S.T., S.E., S.Sos., S.H, S.Kom., S.S., S.Ap., S.Stat., S.Akt., S.I.Kom., S.I.P., M.T., M.S.M., M.Kn., RFP-I, CPBD, CPPM, CFP, Aff.WM, BKP, QWP, CPHR, ICPM, AEPP, CBA, CMA, CPMA, CIBA, CBV, CERA, CSA, ACPA.
He started his higher education journey in 1999 at the age of 18 and hasn’t stopped since. His first degree was in Industrial Engineering at Surabaya University, located in Indonesia’s second-largest city.
“University is a hobby for me, I truly enjoy learning. I’m certain that by going to university, I will gain knowledge that is useful to me in a practical sense,” Kusuma told CNN Indonesia.
Not all of Kusuma’s certifications were earned through a university; he also received professional certifications in various fields. In total, he has 11 Bachelor’s degrees, three Master’s degrees, and 18 professional certifications.
When asked about how he manages his time, Kusuma said he once took one degree course in the morning, one at night, one on the weekends, and one exclusively online.
Back in 2012, when Kusuma had only 18 titles at the age of 31, he broke the record for most multidisciplinary academic titles in Indonesia. He also broke the record for most credit hours taken in a single semester at 111 credits. Students typically finish that many credit hours in 4 or 5 semesters. Because of his achievements, Kusuma now even has his own Wikipedia page.
In a 2017 interview, Kusuma told talk show host Deddy Corbuzier that none of his knowledge goes to waste; he utilises them all in daily life. His LinkedIn account lists him as an analyst for one of Indonesia’s largest companies, a tax consultant, and a business consultant for a bank. He also founded his own tax consulting company in April 2019 to fulfil his dream of becoming an integrated consultant.
“[Integrated consultants] can solve interrelated business problems. It usually starts with tax and then other factors become involved. When it comes to tax consulting, I’m certified by the national Tax Department to conduct international tax consulting,” Kusuma said.
Although Kusuma said he will continue to add more degrees to his arsenal, he still has a long way to go before he beats V.N. Parthiban, an Indian professor who spent over 30 years obtaining a whopping 145 academic degrees. Just like Kusuma, he did it out of love for learning.