Postgraduate Media and Communications Personal Statement
I think the exhilaration of delivering an impromptu speech is what makes me fall in love with debate. The pressure to convince the whole room filled with adjudicators and the peace I felt when walking to the podium were something I look forward to. Convincing the adjudicators and winning the debate round is euphoria as well as a reassuring feeling that I have fulfilled my duty on that fierce round, which is to win in the war of words. It is a passion that I discovered almost seven years ago and kept close to my heart to this day.
For the next six years, I immersed myself in the world of debate. Reinforcing the importance of communication and empowering students have been set as the agenda for the rest of my study. During the second year of high school, I devoted my time to teaching and assisting mute elementary students in an inclusive school. I saw how students with disabilities were rejected from getting into regular school even when they had their sixth grade diploma. They were minimized by society and were visibly less privileged than the normal kids. This experience taught me how vital communication is for us as a functioning subject in society. So vital that not having the ability to do so took away their basic privilege of having an education.
My work continues with teaching debate in my university when I became the president of International Relations Debating Club (IRDC) in my second year of study. During that time, I took the opportunity to co-teach with my lecturer in his “English for International Relations” class for two years and in a political business debate workshop. Along the way, I tutored students in my department and watching them gain their confidence through my teaching is one of the most fulfilling things I ever experienced. The fact that words could build someone’s character by changing their behavior intensifies my interest on communication and language. This was a great sense of achievement and an encouragement to further pursue my interest.
While my interest in public speaking and communication was gradually shaped throughout my academic life, my fascination in media was sparked late in my undergrad study during a Global Media Journalism class. It was when my lecturer played a YouTube video titled “President Obama’s Anger Translator” for the class. What appealed to me is the fact that the unexpected and unusual speech was considered as one’s creative expression in the Western part of the world. In the East, especially in my country, attempting to do such thing would result in offending media, the opposition side, citizens, or even the Eastern culture itself. I was captivated by the bluntness of politics and how humor, as a part of expression, has become such a powerful force that it could give critics in a way that alters the way people think.
Throughout the years, TV news has played immense role in determining whether I get to go outside or stay home. It determines whether there would be massive demonstration on the street or peace for the day. A country where racism thrives through newspapers and TV shows is a place that I have learned to call home. The power of media was truly felt a year ago when Jakarta’s governor, who was a double minority, was thrown to jail for the words he spoke during an interview. Words that were exaggerated by the mass media and repeatedly featured as the headline news eventually stirred anger to the racial majority in Indonesia. He had 4 years to transform Jakarta and he served his job well. I watched how preposterous it was when media has complete command over what people read that day. Over what people think and to their political standing. Media is a truly potent instrument that could steer a state’s dynamic.
Outside academic study, I enjoy doing mixed martial arts, which allows me to have more structure and discipline in my daily activities. I do Muay Thai two or three days a week with my coach to perfect my movement and stamina. Playing guitar and ukulele is also a favorite pastime of mine. It is a perfect way to relax and recharge. Honing my guitar skill and training my vocal chord are aspects that I will continuously and joyfully work on.
In order to maximise my learning process in my undergrad study, I also spent 4 years studying French in the French Embassy and took DELF. Learning French has opened up my perspective about other states and has enabled me to grasp meaning even more profoundly when communicating with other people or reading text.
I would relish the chance to study in such contemporary degree that reflects the growing emphasis in communication, culture, and media. Working in media industries or corporations is such an interesting career prospect to me and is something that I am planning to do after completing my Masters degree. I believe that the university of Nottingham would maximize my postgraduate learning with this contemporary study and its diverse diaspora communities of international students. With specific modules like “Issues and Challenges in Contemporary Media” and “Language”, I believe that I would be ready to work in the ever-changing environment of media industries. I am excited about meeting students from different states and understanding their culture as well as the way they communicate.
My 6 years of experience in public speaking gave me an opportunity to communicate with my lecturers, fellow friends, seniors, and the marketing team in my campus. This opportunity of working with different demographics gave me strong organizational skills and a unique experience to engage in high level discussions related to my field of study. My enthusiasm in learning different fields of interest and the wide range of subjects during my undergrad study (e.g: law, economics, marketing, journalism, etc) have made me accustomed in using different lenses in solving an issue, which made me a better problem-solver. I believe that this set of skills will prepare me to face the challenges during my year as a postgraduate student.