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"Studying in Monash helped me step out of my comfort zone."

Name: Syahirah Anwar
Age: 29
Nationality: Singaporean
Scholarship: Monash University Scholarship Award for Honours Degree of Bachelor of Arts, 2011
Awards:Overall Best Graduate Award for the Degree of Bachelor of Arts, Monash University, 2010

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (2012)

Tell us briefly about your work or role in your current organisation.

I am currently employed at the Blue Chip Magazine as an assistant editor. My main responsibility is to edit articles. My job scope also includes planning out issues, conducting interviews and writing articles.

How has your study in Monash Malaysia helped to prepare you for the working world?

Studying in Monash helped me step out of my comfort zone. For the first time in my life, I was studying as an international student, and I had to learn how to quickly adapt myself to a new country and interact with people from different countries and cultures. The exposure has helped me in my journalistic career, as I am able to easily assimilate with different crowds. In addition, the many term papers and my thesis research during my Honours year have been extremely beneficial to my writing skills. I also feel that the modules, especially in international relations and gender studies, that I took during my time in Monash has helped me look at many situations that I encountered as a journalist, and now as an assistant editor, through fresh perspectives.

While at Monash what type of opportunities did you participate in?

I mainly took part in activities that were organised by the international student body (MUISS), which included many trips and get-togethers. My time at Monash has also brought about opportunities for me to attend some talks by some prolific speakers that the School of Arts and Social Sciences often conducted.

When you were choosing a course and a university, did you have a clear picture of your future? How did that change (or reconfirmed) during your experience at Monash?

From the start, I always had a journalistic career in mind. Hence, my reason for choosing Monash’s School of Arts and Social Sciences. Since I had previously completed a diploma majoring in journalism, I felt that majoring in international studies and communications, and later on in gender studies for my Honours year, would help in widening my scope as a journalist.

My experience at Monash certainly did help in solidifying my chosen career path. Through my interactions with my lecturers, some of whom had been in the journalism industry, and the modules that I did, of which some were a prerequisite, while others were based on my choice, I just knew that journalism was the career for me.

Whilst at Monash, did you have any industry exposure/placements? How has it made a difference to your own life or the life of others around you?  Did it consolidate what you have learned from your undergraduate course?

I didn’t have an industry placement, but during my summer breaks I was working at one of the local papers in Singapore as a journalist. I was handling several gender-related articles and I felt that it gave me a chance to utilise what I had learnt during my degree program into practice, especially in the understanding of how some theories came into play in the real world.

What was it about Monash that made you select this university in the first place?

I was looking for a university that is reputable, and marketable internationally. Monash, being a G8 university, fitted my needs, and it offered a program that I wanted to do. Plus, since the university had a campus in Malaysia, it made it more convenient for me to travel back and forth to Singapore!

What do you love most about your student life at Monash?

The people! There was a pretty diverse group of people on campus. I loved meeting and interacting with people from different countries and cultures!