Rahayu obtained her law degree in transnational and diplomatic law from the Padjadjaran University, Indonesia (1995) and master of laws degree (LLM) in Banking and Finance Law from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), London, England (1999).

Rahayu has practised law at prominent corporate law firms, such as Ali Budiardjo Nugroho Reksodiputro and Hadiputranto, Hadinoto & Partners (the Baker McKenzie member firm in Indonesia), advising domestic and international clients on a wide range of projects, and specializing in banking and finance matters. She has worked with major banking organisations, such as the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC), Citibank, N A Indonesia (Citigroup), PT Bank Permata Tbk, PT Barclays Bank Indonesia (a subsidiary of Barclays Bank PLC), and PT Bank Ekonomi Raharja Tbk (a member of the HSBC Group). At Rahayu and Partners, Rahayu was involved in a broad range of transactions, including foreign investments, projects and corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, general corporate commercial and dispute resolution. Rahayu is a seasoned advocate, a member of the Indonesian Advocate Association (PERADI) and a capital market lawyer, registered at and a member of the Indonesian Association of Capital Market Legal Consultants (HKHPM). Rahayu holds Indonesian Risk Management Certification (BSMR). She is also an authorised sworn translator. An accomplished writer, she has contributed to several publications, including the International Financial Law Review (IFLR) Banking Yearbook on Indonesia (2002).

Rahayu received the British Chevening Award from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom (1998). She is also certified in enterprise risk governance (CERG) as established and certified by the Enterprise Risk Management Academy (ERMA) with the professional designation of CERG. CERG is recognition of their expertise and knowledge in ISO 31000. Currently, she is chairperson of the Indonesian Alumni of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), London, England.