Scholar Spotlight - Delicia Ulyta

Laidlaw Scholar, Delicia Ulyta, pioneering accessible financial innovation for Southeast Asia's growth and championing financial literacy.
Scholar Spotlight - Delicia Ulyta

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Delicia Ulyta, a Laidlaw Scholar at Oxford University's Saïd Business School, on Championing Inclusion and Literacy in Southeast Asia's Financial Landscape.

Hi! I am Delicia Ulyta, born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia. I graduated with a Bachelor in Engineering Management degree from Institut Teknologi Bandung. During my undergraduate, I developed an interest in the financial sector and decided to pursue it professionally. Over the past 7 years, I have built an extensive career in the consumer banking sector across Indonesia and Singapore. I have occupied various roles throughout my tenure. This includes portfolio manager, marketing communication specialist, and business analyst. One of my most meaningful career achievements was developing and launching new banking propositions aimed at millennial segments and individual entrepreneur segments in Indonesia. We paired the effort with delivering various financial literacy programs to help people gain a better understanding of financial management. Just before joining the MBA program, I was involved in building innovative digital products, as a Business Analyst, to serve Singapore’s retail customers.

Looking forward, I aspire to improve financial inclusion in the Southeast Asia region by delivering innovative & accessible financial products to create meaningful impacts on the broader community. I came across the Laidlaw Scholarship when browsing through Said Business School’s MBA website. Upon dissecting more information, the cause endorsed by the Laidlaw Scholarship particularly resonated with me and I felt a sense of belonging. In one of the interviews, Lord Laidlaw shared a mission of breaking the glass ceiling for women to reach leadership roles in global companies. This inspired me to pursue my dreams, professionally and personally and solidified my decision to apply to Said Business School’s MBA program as well as the Laidlaw Scholarship.

Oxford Matriculation Day at Merton College.

What is the biggest life challenge you have overcome and what did you learn from it?

2022 was a tough year for me. I was working in Singapore and could barely return to Indonesia due to travel restrictions. On 14 February 2022, I received a call that my grandfather passed away due to health complications. I spent my entire childhood with him, so losing him was extremely hard. Before the coffin was closed, I saw him one last time through video call. In the following months, I received a chat saying that my best friend passed away. She suffered from a mental health issue and decided to take the pain away. I did not know how to react to the news. My mind went numb. My biggest regret was not texting her a couple of days before the incident. These losses made me reflect a lot about life and how fleeting it is. To me life is worth living because of the people in it. Now, I always remind myself to be kind to others, to not hold any judgement, to check on the people I love and to show my appreciation to them. That’s the least I can do to make my presence more meaningful to others.

What is the most useful/impactful piece of advice you have been given in your life?

In Indonesia, there is a proverb sayings “seperti padi, semakin berisi semakin merunduk”. This expression metaphorically suggests that similar to how a rice plant bows as it becomes heavier with grains, a knowledgeable person remains humble and modest as they acquire more wisdom and success. This proverb reminds me about the importance of humility as I accumulate more experiences and gains in life.

Conversely, what is the WORST piece of advice you have been given?

Quite frankly, I don’t remember...because when I received advice which did not align with my principles, I always tried to reframe it from the advisor’s perspective. They must have come up with that advice (ideas) due to particular life experiences that I might not understand. So, instead of holding on to the ‘bad’ advice, I tend to focus more on digging for the reasons behind it.

What are your top 3 leadership tips?

  1. To lead by example

  2. To have a clear vision

  3. To be humble

What does it mean for you to be a Laidlaw Scholar?

I am profoundly honoured to have been selected from a pool of outstanding applicants. The generous support from Laidlaw has not only facilitated my pursuit of higher education but has also granted me access to an exceptional community of aspiring women leaders. As a Laidlaw scholar, my commitment is to extend this generosity by inspiring and aiding more women in attaining their professional goals. I am optimistic that these communities of empowered women will, in turn, create positive ripple effects within their societies.

Visiting United Nations Headquarter New York as Youth Delegate.

Which leaders inspire you the most and why?

Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, is the founding father of modern Singapore. He was a visioner and developed the state with a profound commitment to meritocracy, multiculturalism,  and anti-corrupt government. He transformed Singapore into an economic powerhouse through disciplined policies, a focus on education, and diplomatic skills. His resilience in overcoming challenges, emphasis on long-term perspectives, and creation of a clean, orderly society make him an enduring inspiration for leaders worldwide.

Princess Diana, born Diana Frances Spencer. She inspired people through her humanitarian efforts. She focused on numerous charitable activities such as HIV/AIDS awareness and mental health advocacy during a time when these issues were often stigmatized, showcasing her unwavering dedication to making a positive difference. Additionally, she was a devoted mother. She demonstrated resilience and courage in the face of personal challenges, which resonated with many.

Corporate CSR Meals-On-Wheels delivering meals to elderly.

Describe a scene from the future you are striving to create.

In the future I aspire to create, I envision a thriving financial landscape in Southeast Asia countries, where the practical and accessible financial products I have championed have become integral to daily life and contributed towards the betterment of living. In the near term, I would see myself as a product manager leading the development of scalable and innovative financial products that enhance people’s day-to-day activities.

Quick-fire Questions

📺 Currently binging:  Just started tuning in for Succession in HBO.


📚 My top book recommendation: All time favourite: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Currently reading: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig.

🎶 My anthem: Runaway by Aurora and Midnight Rain by Taylor Swift

🎵 Podcast obsession: I am more of a Youtube girl rather than a podcast girl :D

🌈 Something that made me feel joy recently: Eating authentic & hearty Asian food


Delicia Ulyta is a Laidlaw Scholar at Oxford University's Saïd Business School. You can find Delicia on LinkedIn. The Laidlaw Women's Business Education Scholarship aims to help build a pipeline of future women leaders through access to best-in-class education, resources and global networks by providing full and half scholarships to women who would not otherwise be in a position to reap the benefits of attending an outstanding school. 

🔦 Discover more Scholar Spotlights: 

⚡️ Patrícia Gonçalves, a Laidlaw Scholar at Oxford University's Saïd Business School, on navigating the crossroads of public and private sectors and championing a sustainable, equitable future.

⚡️ Lucy Nyamaah, a Laidlaw Scholar at Oxford University's Saïd Business School, on pushing past gender norms and envisioning a female-led future in the Energy sector.

⚡️ Juliana Ruseva, a Laidlaw Scholar at London Business School, on volunteering, helping women break the glass ceiling and tackling issues step by step.

⚡️ Adebusola Adegbuyi, a Laidlaw Scholar at Saïd Business School, on facing challenges with optimism and empowering young women to begin careers in technology.

⚡️ Aya Hammad, a University of York Laidlaw Scholar, on understanding the origins of cancer, promoting equality in healthcare, and learning to be adaptable.

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