From CCIP Program to Jakarta Post


Hey folks, what’s up? It’s been like forever I don’t say a word on this blog. I hope you all guys are doing great. Just wanna share a few things that I have been doing in the past two years.

I returned to Indonesia in September 2012 after finishing a one year program at Pierce College in Lakewood, Washington State. I studied media and communication from August 2011 to August 2012 at Pierce from where I earned a certificate on “International Media and Communication”. My study was financed by the U.S. Department of State. I could not afford studying abroad on my own expenses anyway. I am not going to explain details about the scholarship that I received, but for you who are curious about it you can google “Community College Initiative Program (CCIP)” for further information or you can click on “CCIP” folder in this blog. I made some articles about the program earlier.

Alright guys, now I move on.

I arrived at 2 am on Sept. 2 at Makassar Hasanuddin International airport, where my dad, mom, brothers and sisters as well as members of the Kure gang Nahla and Ucho “Uchie” Patawari, who, when I came out of the arrival gate, like cheerleaders screamed out loud “Kure”, which is the nickname for every member of the club of four, and showed a welcoming board written “Welcome Home Kure Haeril”.

Since my arrival, I rejected jobs for about one month to make sure that I spent quality time with my family in Polewali, West Sulawesi, and in Makassar, in South Sulawesi.

In early October, I returned to teach English and Linguistics classes at Hasanuddin University, where I had been assisting a number of lecturers since 2008, the year when one of my lectures made a “controversial” decision by appointing me, who at that time was still an undergraduate student, as a helping-teacher for his classes.

As a result of the “controversial” decision, a lecture at English Department said that “ungrad cannot teach ungrad”. But I did not care anyway. I went ahead to prove that my boss made the right decision.

Well, I made money from teaching at the university, but it was like working for peanut though. I actually did not care about how much I earned as a lecturer assistant because my main goal at that time was to get teaching experience.

Mmmmm…Don’t get me wrong. It does not mean that I don’t need money anyway. Don’t take it that way. I made living through teaching private classes. It was more than enough to pay all my expenses in Makassar.

I am not a money-oriented person though. I like doing voluntary activities. I had been a volunteer at two NGOs in the city since 2010, namely the Makassar branch of the Blind People Association (Pertuni) and the Samudra Indonesia Foundation, which focuses on educating children of street vendors and street singers in Makassar.

I continued activism at Pertuni and Samudra Indonesia in mid-October. In Pertuni, I taught TOEFL to its committee members, who wished to continue study abroad on scholarships, and I also advocated difable students if they experienced unfair treatment at their respective schools. Just in case you are not familiar with the term “difable”, it stands for “different ability”. Difable persons could do things in their own ways. They are not “disable” as the terminology “disability” suggests. I strongly suggest you to use the terminology “disable”.

Meanwhile, our short term goal in Samudra Indonesia Foundation is to prevent children of street vendors and street musicians becoming beggars by providing them with extra classes, which are fun, in the afternoon after school time.

In early November, my friend Safrin, who was visiting Jakarta at that time, texted me that he saw an announcement at the Jakarta Post. He said that the Post was currently opening application for reporters. The information came one day before the deadline of the vacancy anyway. At first, I said to myself that I did not have enough to time to prepare all the necessary documents to apply for it.

But, suddenly a thought crossed my mind that I should leave Makassar and tried to challenge myself by getting out of my comfort zone. Then, I sent my application online.

I waited a call from the Post for three weeks after sending my application but to no avail. During the waiting period, I thought that my application failed to impress the selection committee, but I was curios why I could not pass the early stage of the administration process.

At that time I asked my myself a serious question “Really, Am I that bad?”. It was just my perception though. Anyway, I experienced failures so I don’t really care if I fail on something, but I need to know the “why” in the first place.

I decided to call the selection committee for explanation. Mba Yosefin of the Post said that I did pass the administration selection, but she said that the committee was still debating whether to invite me for an interview in Jakarta on my own expenses. I told her that I wanted the job and I would pay all my expenses during my stay in Jakarta. I flew to Jakarta in early December 2012.

I spent two weeks in Jakarta to have separate interviews with editors, managing editors and chief editor of the Post as well as having psychology test and medical examination. One week after that mba Yosefin informed me that I got the job.

Getting the job means I was selected as a cub reporter at the Post, not yet a reporter anyway. There were eight cub reporters on my cohort. I went through classroom training sessions from January to April 2013 before experiencing the real atmosphere of newsroom in mid-April.

To receive promotion as a reporter, a cub journalist should undergo nine months on the job training. During that particular phase,we interview people and write stories with the help of mentors, who are tasked to have a close monitoring on our periodic achievement.

During on the job training phase, we have a chance to get promoted in an evaluation section which is held every three months.

In my first three months I was tasked to cover issues about Jakarta. The result of my first evaluation was unsatisfactory. It was not enough to help me get promoted. Then, I was moved to online desk afterwards. This time my evaluation result was even worse than the first one. I was warned that by chief editor pak Dimas that I had only three months left to improve.

My last place during the on the job training period was National desk. The warning did boost my motivation to do better for the third evaluation. After three months, pak Dimas summoned me in his office and said “congratulation you made it.”

After having two months covering politics from November to December, in January I was assigned to cover graft issues and most of my stories are about corruption and money laundering cases involving bigwigs that are being handled by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). I usually make a joke that “I don’t catch bad guys because I am not a KPK man. I just write about them.”

Anyway, that’s all for now guys, I am tired hehehe… See you again in the next article. Bye

 

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