Fadhila Inas Pratiwi, MA International Relations (Security)
“I have learnt how to approach people and expand my network by discussing ideas and asking questions with them. It was inspiring when I can discuss topics further and deeper with people with the same interest as me. It naturally develops my communication skills and builds my confidence.”
The ECPR General Conference is the biggest conference that gathers social and political science researchers from all around Europe. It consists of eleven-panel sessions throughout the conference with each panel session having dozens of topic and paper presenters within it. My paper was included in the panel of Causation in International Relations: Ontological and Epistemological Perspectives along with the other two panellists. The title of my paper is Terrorism Involves Heterogeneous Violence or Threat with Political Aims: Irish Republican Army Case Study. My presentation lasted fifteen minutes, after which I received feedback from the discussant - Professor Keith Dowding from Australian National University. I then received other feedback and questions from the audience.
I also attended another panel session and asked the presenters some questions. I got to meet new people and expanded my network by sharing some ideas and thoughts with them alongside exchanging email addresses.
What were your main achievements?
My main achievement is being accepted to this conference and receiving the opportunity to present in front of political science experts, most of whom have PhDs or are PhD candidates. It also gave me the opportunity to share my paper and ideas with many PhD participants and receive feedback from Professor Keith Dowding and other prominent scholars in International Relations even though I am still a Masters student. I got to meet panel presenters and learnt a lot from them, including how they develop their ideas and present them to audiences.
What did you enjoy the most?
I enjoyed the panel sessions and discussion. As the conference is the biggest in Europe for social science and international relations scholars it covers many topics, and panel papers deepened my knowledge, especially as I can access the papers through the conference website and learn so many things from them.
What were the hardest aspects?
The most difficult part is presenting a Masters paper in front of a PhD audience, and also receiving feedback from a Professor who is an expert in your subject. I felt nervous and not confident when I started to deliver my presentation. However, when it went on several minutes, I could cope with my nerves and presented it well. I also obtained an appraisal from the audience and the Professor said that my idea was interesting which meant that he understood what I said.
What skills have you developed?
This is the first time I have attended such a big and reputable conference. There are several skills that I learnt from attending the conference. The first is communication skills. Before my paper got accepted in the conference, I contacted the panel leader to discuss my paper and how to make it a good paper. Moreover, since the conference, I keep contact with them.
I have also learnt how to approach people and expand my network, by discussing ideas and asking questions with them. It was inspiring when I could discuss topics further and deeper with people with the same interest as me. It naturally develops my communication skills and builds my confidence. The second skill is presentation skills and academic writing. As this was the first time I presented my paper, it enhanced my presentation skills and allowed me to get used to an academic audience along with their questions, criticism, and comments. Besides, I also got to know other people at the conference, most of whom have a PhD.
How do you think your experience will benefit you in the future?
I am confident that the conference will help me to pursue a career as a lecturer. I could share this precious conference experience with my students and tell them how getting involved in such a great conference means that you meet great people. Besides, it will improve the quality of my CV and I will be able to compete with other candidates as there were no other Indonesian students presenting papers. Indeed, receiving this PGT Bursary award has made me able to attend this conference.
Thank you to donors
Dear Alumni and Donors,
Thank you so much for the funding that gave me an opportunity to achieve my goal in presenting my paper in the conference. It helped me a lot, since in Oslo everything is expensive such as food, accommodation, and transportation. I am so glad I received this funding and was able to attend the conference very well without worrying regarding the expense.
Once again thank you so much.
With grateful thanks to the alumni donors who made the PGT Professional Development Bursary possible.