Mohammad Shihab is a lecturer in Department of Communication Studies, President University who is also an alumnus from his alma mater, the very same major. He has become a full-time lecturer at President University since 2016.
Communications as the background of his education began his career. He chose the specific major because, according to him, communication skill can be implemented anywhere and in any industry. He entered President University through entrance test. The result revealed that he was one of the students who got the best score, and therefore received a full scholarship for his study from the government of his hometown, Palu.
While working on his thesis, Shihab was asked whether he has a desire to work in the academic field. Afterwards, he was offered to become a lecturer by his thesis supervisor, Mohammad Raudy Gathmyr, who is an active lecturer at President University until now. His supervisor considered that the thesis he was working on was compelling and the process was well executed.
“Indeed, I have always liked the academic field. Alhamdulillah, my family background is a family that likes education. Being an educator is highly advised,” he said.
The main requirement for becoming a lecturer is to continue education to Master’s degree level. Following his graduation with a Bachelor degree in 2012, he immediately pursued his Master’s degree at Mercu Buana University taking the same major and concentration in Public Relations. While finishing his study, he was also working as an assistant lecturer in President University.
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After becoming a lecturer, Shihab thinks that the student’s learning methods he had experienced previously were inadequate. He encourages his students to implement the theories that have been taught in class. He detailed, “I do not want my students to only learn from the textbook. Students should be able to acquire skills, namely writing skills, holding events, and also skills to make PR simulations.”
He also stated that President University’s education is now much better and more practical. Currently, lectures are more relevant. The curriculum used by President University is way more modern than before. Along with the proliferation of the internet, all access to lecture materials can be retrieved via the internet easily, unlike the old days when learning process always relied on books and information obtained from the results of discussion in the classroom only.
Aside from being a lecturer, Shihab is also a volunteer at the Indonesian Institute of Pencak Silat Preservation and Inheritance (Garis Paksi). He becomes the manager of the institution’s social media. He once wrote an article about a Silat instructor from the institution who was invited to teach martial art abroad. The article he made went viral, there are many media wanting to publish his article. He managed to increase the visibility of the institution. This further proves his ability as a Public Relations practitioner.
But as for now, Shihab only focuses on being a lecturer due to the tight teaching schedule. He also teaches evening classes in addition to teaching morning classes. “There is not much time to join other organizations outside the campus. [While] we also need networking, because it is very hectic on campus, networking [opportunity] outside the campus is very limited,” he explained.
He explained how lecturer has 3 tasks, namely teaching, writing or conducting research, and conducting community activities. As noted by Shihab, a lecturer must have good educating skills, has capability of public speaking and academic writing such as writing essays and journals. Not only that, lecturers must also have the basic ability of organizing events to carry out community activities such as teaching PR for a company or speaking at a forum. He considers doing community service as a CSR, but for lecturer.
For that reason, in the future, Shihab aims to to be able to organize community activities that are directly needed by the community such as being a speaker in the community of Public Relations, or helping Usaha Kecil dan Menengah (UKM) to improve their business. Other goals of his are to pursue Doctorate degree within the next 1 or 2 years and write scientific papers published in accredited national and international journals.
This article was produced by Fyrda Shafira, Catleya Ayundasari, and Natalia Mawei Chrisdianti for Public Relations Writing course. It was firstly appeared on Medium.com, July 11th, 2019.