What our alumni says.

A Journey of Self Discovery

Meet Shalomita Alessia Warganegara, or simply Alia, featured in our latest "Our Inspiration" edition, where we highlight stories worth telling. At BINUS University, we ensure that students can be the best versions of themselves. With numerous avenues to pursue their passions, the university aims to be a great starting point for personal growth. Like me, participating in the Outstanding Student Competition (Pemilihan Mahasiswa Berprestasi - Pilmapres) has taught me the importance of self-confidence. Why did I decide to participate in Pilmapres? As a current Journalism major at BINUS University International, I am passionate about the power of storytelling to create an impact in society. My work, "Mami Yuli: A Haven for Rejected Trans Women in Indonesia," sheds light on human rights, a topic that often lacks attention. The subject had never piqued my curiosity before. One of my lecturers, Miss Dian Sarwono, approached me and suggested I sign up. With a flicker of doubt about my qualifications, I completed the application that same day, still not knowing what I had signed up for. The application required highlighting my accomplishments, but at the time, I only had a few in fields like arts and badminton. I felt adrift, lacking any accomplishments I could consider worth celebrating! Do I have aspirations to achieve by participating in the Pilmapres? For me, it wasn't about winning; it was about making a difference. I wanted to raise awareness and understanding around the transgender community. The competition provided a platform to advocate for this marginalized group, despite the controversial nature of the topic. My goal was to bring attention to their struggles and break down societal taboos. The preparation? With no prior debate experience, I knew I had to step up my game. I am incredibly grateful to everyone at BINUS University International for their support! My tutor, Miss Astri, provided me with a strong foundation in maintaining composure, dissecting questions, and responding effectively. She also gave me essential information on the Sustainable Development Goals, which proved to be crucial during the process. A special shout-out to Jacqueline Abyasa, whose camaraderie turned the competition into a friendly rivalry! The rocky road? The debate was, of course, a significant challenge. I mentioned that, right? I was panicking! I felt the pressure of representing BINUS University International and feared being perceived as incompetent. Choosing a topic was another hurdle. Discussing transgender rights in Indonesia risked being seen as a Westernized issue, but I bridged this gap by connecting the topic to a universally relevant theme: education. Balancing my internship with competition preparation was also difficult. Despite the exhausting late nights, I was determined to give my best, driven by the dedication of my mentors. So, what did you gain? One word: transformative! I improved my critical thinking and ability to think on my feet—valuable skills for an aspiring journalist. I can now confidently say that it's about the process. Although I didn't win in the end, it doesn't define one's worth; intellectual and personal development do. My journey at BINUS University International has been a testament to the university's commitment to nurturing leadership skills in its students. The supportive environment, dedicated mentors, and challenging opportunities at BINUS have empowered me to grow as a leader and advocate for important social issues. My story is just one example of the transformative experiences awaiting prospective students at BINUS University International. Thank you Alia for sharing the story with us! Stay tuned for more story!
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