IATSS Forum, Japan and I

Day 9 in Japan and the city has grown in me. I feel like I have a new family who accepts me with an open arm. It’s the kind of feeling that makes you feel like a part of something great; something you belong to. Who would have thought Japan would be a new learning place for me?

A little over a year ago, Anggita ‘introduced’ me to the 48G and although I was reluctant at first, I slowly got hooked on the idol group and eventually decided to join a leadership training program in Japan.

Everything went uphill from there, I got an information about IATSS Forum from Mr SE (who was the Head of CoFTRA at that time), I asked for Mark Poole’s and Joana’s recommendation letters + my direct supervisor’s. I wrote down the essays they asked, I filled in the application form. I even asked April to help me dropped the application off at the IATSS Forum secretariat in Indonesia because that day was the deadline for applying for the program.

I waited for the result for nearly two months. I thought that I didn’t make it because it seemed like forever! I wasn’t even sure that IF secretariate in Indonesia received my application because both of the person-in-charge (PIC) were out of the office at that time. It was possible that they didn’t even receive my application or receive it after the deadline. Sometimes you can be unlucky like that!

When I finally received an e-mail to notify that I passed the first screening and was invited to join an interview, I was so happy.

The challenge was, I didn’t have any idea how the interview will be done. I didn’t know that there would be a role play with the other candidates where 9 people carefully observed your every words and actions. I didn’t know that I will have to be interviewed by the 9 of them. The Japanese are really serious when it comes to many things. They really planned it well!

I stayed the night in Tanah Abang because I had to wake up early for the interview. I still remember clearly the uneasy feeling of riding my scooter to Whiz Hotel @Kelapa Gading at 7 a.m.

My introvert side was forcing me to run away from it. I thought passing the first phase was already good enough, but the competitive side of me ‘forced’ me to do the best. I didn’t want to regret not being at my best version during the interview. The pressure was really high though.

I was just sitting awkwardly, trying to act as cool as possible. All the other interviewees came from different backgrounds and unlike me, they didn’t seem like having an issue to blend in.

I was nervous, but oddly I was also feeling at ease because I felt like my parents were sending me a prayer to support me. I think it was their well-wishes and prayers that helped me passed the selection process. I was lucky! Yes, I was a potential candidate, but there was an invincible hand that helped through it smoothly. Alhamdulillah…

Sometimes all you need is courage to step off your comfort zone. That’s the only way to grow.

I’ll share more stories later!



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