Georgia Parsons is a participant in the 2019 Journalism Professional Practicum from the University of Technology Sydney. Georgia is studying a Bachelor of Communications majoring in Journalism and Public Communications. She received a $3,000 New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant to support her participation in this program.
Q: Why did you decide to undertake the ACICIS program?
The opportunity to study in Indonesia was exciting – I had never visited the country before and I could have this credited towards my undergraduate degree. I wanted to graduate with a study abroad experience to boost my future career prospects and for my own personal fulfilment. I was interested in learning more about Australia’s closest neighbour and the chance to work and study in a new environment.
Q: Did you receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant? If so, how did this contribute to your experience in Indonesia?
Yes, I did. It took a lot of pressure off my study abroad experience, being a full-time student at the time. It helped me to pay for flights, accommodation and general expenses while I was away, along with other leisurely trips throughout Indonesia that made the experience more enjoyable.
Q: How will the Professional Practicum benefit or influence your future career?
New and challenging work experiences are beneficial for anyone’s future career. The JPP gave me the opportunity to experience a cross-cultural and dynamic workplace which was challenging, yet rewarding. I had to become more self-aware, culturally mindful, and persevere when I faced difficulties. It has made me more empathetic to cultural differences and language barriers in the workplace upon my return to Australia, which I think is an important value to have if you are pursuing a future career in the communications industry.
Q: What organisation did you intern with? (Explain your roles and responsibilities)
I interned with the Jakarta Post as a student reporter on the Life desk. My role involved conducting my own interviews, writing and pitching stories and editing/fact checking for the publication.
Q: How have you found the work culture of your host organisation? How is it different to work experience in Australia?
There were many differences at my workplace in Jakarta, in comparison to my work experience in Sydney. The language barrier taught me to be more mindful of the way I structure questions and required me pay more attention to listening – which is something I had previously taken for granted in my previous experiences. There was a culture around food in my Indonesian workplace – morning snacks, afternoon snacks and meeting snacks were always on offer! Everyone was very welcoming and it made my experience enjoyable.
Q: Would you like to return to work in Indonesia again in future?
I wouldn’t turn down the opportunity! I would definitely want to learn more Bahasa though – more knowledge of the language would be really helpful in the workplace!
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time in Indonesia?
Getting away for the weekend was an enjoyable way to spend free time and escape the craziness of Jakarta. I enjoyed exploring Jakarta; it was such a diverse city with something exciting around every corner. I enjoyed going shopping, eating at warungs, and checking out all the cool bars and restaurants around Jakarta. I never felt bored in Jakarta!
Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase?
Q: Favourite place to eat? Favourite Indonesian food?
The local warungs (food stalls) underneath my kos and across from The Jakarta Post. It’s hard to choose one favourite – I loved Mie Jawa (fried noodles) and gado-gado. Without a doubt, my favourite sweet was martabak with chocolate and cheese.
Q: What places in Indonesia have you visited during your practicum so far?
Bandung, Tiger Island (Pulau Macan) and Bali!