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Journalism Professional Practicum

Lilian McCure was a participant in the 2023 Journalism Professional Practicum. Lilian is studying a Bachelor of Arts at Monash University. 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 internship program?

I was looking for professional experience internationally, where I was able to be immersed in a new culture while gaining valuable experience in the journalism sector. With ACICIS is was very convenient where the internship is sourced for you, and language classes and seminars are included that add to your learning. This is why I chose to undertake an ACICIS program!

Q: Did you receive a New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant? Do you think the NCP is an important initiative? If yes, why? The NCP is a signature initiative of the Australian Government which aims to lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific in Australia by supporting Australian undergraduates on experiences such as the Professional Practica.

I did receive the NCP Grant and it was extremely beneficial in assisting with the expenses of the program.

Q: Where did you live in Indonesia (Kos, homestay, hotel, rental etc.)? Any tips for prospective students on finding accommodation?

For the first two weeks, I stayed in a Kos with a number of other students from the program. This accommodation was recommended to us by ACICIS. It was a lot of fun living with other students and it allowed me to make some great friends. From there a few of us decided to find accommodation in the same hotel together for the last month. I found it really important to be living with other students from the program where I was able to make some really great friends and socialise while completing the academic program and internship.

 Q: How have you found the academic components of this program – i.e. the language classes/seminars?

The language classes were great fun, and it was also exciting to be able to put what we were learning into practice when interacting with the Indonesian people. The seminars were similarly valuable and it was incredibly insightful hearing from a range of journalism professionals speaking on a number of topics including women in the Indonesian media, investigative journalism, and the comparisons between the Indonesian and Australian media landscapes.

Q: What organisation are you interning with? (Explain your role and responsibilities)

I interned at the Jakarta Globe. This is an online paper that reports on a range of subject matters across Jakarta and Indonesia. My role included pitching and writing my own stories, being assigned stories to research and prepare, as well as conduct exclusive interviews on a number of topics.

Q: How have you found the work culture of your host organisation? How is it different to work experience in Australia?

I found the Jakarta Globe to be a fairly relaxed organisation, where everyone was open to the ideas I presented and were responsive to any questions raised. I found this to be quite different from what I expected, as during my limited experiences in Australian newsrooms they were sometimes more frantic and when entering an unfamiliar workplace, it can be quite intimidating.

Q: What are the main skills you have learnt during your internship?

I learnt to be more proactive in finding stories and talent for my articles. This led to becoming more resourceful and confident when approaching people and researching individuals to interview. Especially in a foreign place, it was extremely important to conduct thorough research and be efficient with my time.

Q: What did you find to be the most rewarding part of this experience?

Certainly exploring a new culture and meeting new people, while taking part in an international internship. I know that looking back on this trip I will reflect with fondness on the kindness of those I worked alongside, and the experiences I had as a result of these connections.

Q. Were you able to learn about the Indonesian culture from this program? If yes, how was this achieved?

I was able to learn about Indonesian culture through building relationships with the local people, ACICIS staff and my host organisation colleagues, as well as being exposed to the range of topical issues and cultural events throughout the program. I also became very fond of the Indonesian food and way of life, including riding a scooter through Jakarta’s nightmare traffic!

Q. How will the internship benefit or influence your future career?

Having learnt some of the basics of the Indonesian language, formed connections in a foreign country, and experienced an international internship have all broadened my outlook on my future career, and have further inspired me to want to work in an international capacity.

Q. Would you recommend this program to your friends?

Absolutely! The whole experience has been invaluable and if you’re looking for an international experience, doing it through ACICIS has been a great way to learn alongside other students and gain industry experience that is sourced for you.

Q. Favourite Indonesian word/phrase: