President University Alumna on Journalism and Winning Scholarship from Indonesia’s Ministry of Communication and Information Technology

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President University Major Association (PUMA) Communications invited Alifia Anandita, an alumna of Communications President University batch 2011, to share about journalism and scholarships for studying abroad through a webinar. Alifia received a scholarship from the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (Kominfo) of the Republic of Indonesia to study at Tsinghua University, China.

She is currently is a journalist in Metro TV, and is studying Master of Public Administration in International Development, School of Public Policy at Tsinghua University.

As a journalist at the Megapol Desk (Metropolitan, Social, Politics, Law, and Human Rights), Alifia said that the role of journalists as government watchdog requires her to be meticulous and careful in conveying information to the public.

“The smarter the journalist, the smarter the community,” she said. On this occasion, she explained the requirements, the selection, and the training process to become a journalist. She also explained the consequences while working as a journalist in which she must be willing to be placed in a conflict area and be assigned to a city in an unspecified time, of course without national holidays.

In addition to sharing the world of journalism, Alifia also shared her experience in getting scholarships abroad. According to her, the most important thing in the scholarship application process is how we convince the scholarship providers that we are the best candidates to receive scholarships. This can be proven through portfolios such as work experience and a concrete explanation of our future orientation that can be beneficial not only for applicants but also for the scholarship provider.

For this reason, good writing skills and English language proficiency are needed to support the above process. She added that someone needs to have 2-3 years of work experience before starting his/her further study journey. In addition to identifying the strengths and passions within him/herself, this work experience will also be a social saving (portfolio).

Alfia mentioned that it is important to conduct research on the scholarship provider. Letters of recommendation that are usually requested to complete the scholarship application process must come from people related to the scholarship provider. In her case, who applied for a scholarship by Kominfo, Alfia received letters of recommendation from people who had backgrounds and contributed to communication in Indonesia, including members of the government, her supervisor on Metro TV, as well as lecturers and Head of Communication Studies at President University.

Alifia advised all students, especially those who want to become journalists, and apply for a master’s degree scholarship program to be familiar with books. Sharing her strategy of reading a book, she explained, “Allocate 40% of your reading time for a book that will increase knowledge in the field you want to work in, 30% for reading about the techniques we want to master, 20% for creative readings, and 10% for reading on a topic that we are not interested in. This will be very useful for our self-development.”

Lastly, discussing the issue of journalists’ work in the midst of a pandemic, she mentioned that the ability to adapt quickly must be possessed by all students or young journalists. Of course, with new work practices due to the pandemic, adapting ability that will definitely make us survive.