Sharing Session Australia Awards: Tips Seleksi Wawancara

Around mid June when I just arrived in Jakarta, I received an email from one of the people who attend Australia Awards Sharing Session that I held early January 2018 when I was on holiday in Jakarta. She told me that she got selected for the next step for Australia Awards selection, which is the most important step: JST (Joint Selection Team) Interview. Why this is the most important? Because when you get selected for JST Interview, it means your chance to be an awardee is 50%. Its between you or somebody else! Thats how close your journey to be selected as a recipient of Australia Awards Scholarship.

And since I’m in Jakarta at the moment, so I told her that I’m willing to have another sharing session specifically for interview preparation. Along with my bestie who also in Jakarta during Winter Break, me and him held a discussion to share our experience this afternoon. We also did interview simulation as well. I always love informal discussion with small number of people, so we can focus to each person equally.

so happy to discuss with them today

And I just realise, I never share anything about interview selection in this blog (lol sorry for my lack of commitment to write in this blog). For me, Australia Awards Indonesia is one of the scholarship who is really well-informed to public. For example this video is very clearly mentioned about important things that you need to prepare for the JST selection.

Moreover, many of my awardee friends also create a vlog like the video below to share their experience and tips for interview.

Since, I’m not camera-face (haha) I prefer to write about my experience in this blog. I guess those videos above are very clear to explain about the situation of interview selection. But I will highlight some points that for me is also important to nail the interview session:

  1. Master your essay
    It is obvious why you get selected because there are strong points from your essay that attract them to choose you. This interview selection is a way to validate your capability that you have present in the essay. It is also a way to explain more about your goals. So, consistent from what you have wrote before is important.
  2. Concise answer
    The interview session will only run for 20-30 minutes (but I was around 40 minutes lol). So, avoid explain the details but straight to your answer. And how to do it?
  3. STAR method
    My friend taught me about Situation Task Action Result method to explain anything. It is only one from many methods to explain a situation in a concise way. More about this method in this link.
  4. Practice makes perfect
    Back then, I have a support group consist of people from different field to prepare scholarship. We shared our essay among others and has interview simulation to practice our answer. It is important to explain your answer, able to convince other especially people that from different field from you. You will learn your strength, weakness and improve. So, you still have time to prepare yourself.
  5. Be confidence (but also cautious)
    Imagine, you want to convince a donor to give your fund in BIG amount of money. So, be confidence. I know its difficult. I know it very well since I always doubting myself. People think that doubting yourself as a sign of weakness. No, it is a sign that you will be well prepare to yourself. So be confidence so you can convince them why you worth to be a recipient of the scholarship.

Lastly, I do believe everything happen because of God will. So, do your best and don’t forget to pray.

So, goodluck everyone! I wish you all the best.

Cheers

First Semester: Done!

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So many people asked me, “Gimana rasanya sekolah di Crawford?

Its not the question that tricky, but how to answer the question is. As I believe, people already has assumption and expectation of my answer. Which I don’t know if my experience here fulfil their expectation. And usually I answered it with cliche answer:

“I survived”

But also grateful, surrounded with passionate people, easy access academic resources, and non-stop discussions.

True, it’s hard living here. It never easy in the first place. You have to live far away from home (not far in my case actually). As someone who never live alone (always receive big support from family), the struggle is real. What it means to be independent and living on your own feet. I learnt how to take care of myself, cook for myself, clean up the room and everything. How you manage time between study and everything. Not to mention sometimes you missed your home, your friends, your families and every familiar things back home. Its getting harder especially after you faced difficulties (exams, a lot of deadlines, bad scores, etc).

But… you found your new home here. Your new familiar things. Friends, libraries, buses, foods, etc. It reminds me with a friend of mine who always told me that “what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger“. And Canberra is a beautiful place to live in. Rather than complaining, I tried to enjoy the solitude. Yes, it’s quite and less people. By less is, only 388,000 people live here! While in Jakarta, it’s 9,6 million people live there! Crazy. No traffic, almost less pollution (according to WHO, its one of cleanest capital city in the world). Back in my dorm room, I can see the Black Mountain. Only 3k from my dorm, there is a place called Black Mountain Peninsula, which is my favourite run track, that you can enjoy the lake, black swan and beautiful sunset. In front of the National Library, you can practically enjoy the Lake Burley Griffin in the afternoon. It really is a perfect place to live (for those who love tranquil life).Not to mention, the coffee is here is one of the best!

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I called it as “Canberra Syndrome“. When you feel its better to live here compare to Sydney or Melbourne haha.

Speaking about Crawford, I have to be honest, I actually I was afraid of my decision to continue my study here. By hear it name, everybody knows its one of the best school for you who want to study Public Policy. But its perfectly fit with what I’m looking for. And also, my friend always told me that “pisau yang tajam adalah pisau yang diasah di bara panas“, he encourages me to go for the hardest situation. To challenge myself. To see how far I’ll go and how good I’ll become in the future. So, yes, Crawford it is.

It never be easy, but I will try my best to conquer it.

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So how was in Crawford?

If you take two years programs, in the first year you will have 8 compulsory courses to strengthen your basic knowledge. The classes combine with seminar class & tutoring class. In a seminar class, the lecturer will lead the class. And in tutoring class, you will have a deeper discussion with the tutor (a PhD student). Which I found its more interesting to have sharing knowledge and experience with other students in tutoring class. The assignments mostly are essays and papers. But I also have two podcast assignments this semester (kind of a vlog of yourself gives a presentation in specific topic within 3 – 5 minutes). And during you do your assignments, we can discuss it with the lecturer, tutor and academic advisor. Its not just about you can finish your essay on-time. Its all about how well you present your ideas and how well you know the knowledge that you’ve gained during classes. As Indonesian, it’s difficult to write an essay that straight to the point (we are too descriptive sometimes and its unnecessary). We also have different way of thinking and approach to answer the question. I have to agree that maybe this time is the time where I read more books and journals compare to my previous education back home. Lack of sleep is a common thing here. Maybe you only sleep for 3 hour maximum during deadline weeks. Eventhough you already prepare your essay for a month!

But it’s fun. All those struggles, sweat, tears, laugh, smile and sweet moments, its exactly what I’ve wanted. Surely, I’m gonna miss this city and all moments here so much.

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But most of all, pursue higher education is just not about study but experience. I will talk more about it on my next post.

Have a good winter people in down under.

Receh Story

Bosen ah cerita yang serius-serius.

Bisa dibilang beberapa hari kemarin mentally exhausted. Why? Selain karena deadline tugas dan tidur tiap hari jam 3 pagi. Hati sedih dan miris melihat berita di Jakarta. Mulai dari putusan hakim mengenai Ahok, berita-berita pasca pilkada yang somehow stupid and ridiculous, belum lagi ‘ngeri’-nya tulisan yang ditulis Allan Nairn. Mungkin ini efek tidak tinggal di Indonesia, semua berita terdengar ‘menakutkan’. Ah well.

Bagaimana kabar semester satu kuliah? Sekarang memasuki minggu ke-10 dan tidak terasa tersisa 2 minggu lagi sebelum semester pertama selesai. Di saat teaching break kemarin sempat merasa homesick. Bener kata Barbara, cross-cultural teacher pdt kemarin, homesick cepat atau lambat akan menghampiri. The most important thing is how to cope with that feeling. But I believe, sooner or later, after you hit your lowest point the only option is bangkit dan semangat lagi. Cara paling mudah mengatasi homesick adalah masak makanan indonesia. Se-simple tumis teri pete, oseng tempe, balado daging. I have to proud for myself because finally I cook Indonesian food.

How about cultural shock? Karena tinggal di kota sepi, jujur awal-awal kaget dan tidak terbiasa dengan sepi-nya Canberra. Sebagai anak Jakarta yang biasanya sampe rumah jam 11 malem, lumayan shock mendapati fakta jam 7 malem aja Canberra udah sepi banget. Belum lagi homeless people disini yang lumayan agresif (tips: pura-pura gak denger dan jalan buru-buru). Bahkan sempet merasa gak aman jalan sendirian di Canberra.

Hingga suatu hari yang random enggak sengaja ngobrol sama bapak-bapak di halte bus. Suddenly, he asked me:

“Excuse me, are you a moslem?”

“Yes”

“I just want to say, I respect with you and your moslem community. Having a faith to God is a good thing. I’m so sorry for many terrible things happened to you and your community” 

Setelah terdiam beberapa detik, akhirnya mengucapkan terimakasih penuh haru. So this is how it feels to be a minority. Seketika merasa sedih dan miris melihat banyak-nya diskriminasi yang dihadapi teman-teman non-muslim di Indonesia. Dan kejadian ini pun berulang di lokasi yang berbeda dengan orang yang berbeda. Saat naik bus menuju kampus, seorang ibu-ibu yang duduk persis di belakang gue dan Icha tiba-tiba nyapa:

“Excuse me, are you a moslem?”

“Yes”

“I am a Christian. I just wanna say I am really sorry for what happened because of Trump. You are very welcome here. You are very beautiful. And I’ve never felt this ashamed before.”

 

Moral of the story is important to remind myself how it feels to be minority and get respect from other. Seketika Canberra jadi terasa lebih menyenangkan daripada sebelumnya 🙂

The real receh story that I want to share in here is the sad feeling I had few days ago. Sad because my ex is finally have a new girlfriend, while me sedang stress sama tugas dan essay. I know, its shallow rite? But then, after I walked back home from the library and enjoy Canberra usual scenery (clear blue sky, sunset, trees everywhere and watched group of cockatoos flying above me), I just realise how beautiful this city. And I’m the one who chose to continue study instead of continue my relationship with him (yep, I’m the one who asked to break up). Why would I feel sad over something that already broken and not happy because of the choice I made? And suddenly I feel happy again. I know it’s shallow and lame, but this is one of the effect because of messy-mix-issue-in-my-mind-between-social-policy-and-development-theory. Anyhow, I have to write this cheesy things to remind myself of how good is my choice. It’s totally a trade offs hahaha. Goals over boys, girls huahahaha.

Okay, enough blabbering, and I need to finish those essays soon as possible 🙂

Wish you have a good life 😀