Claudia, Si Ahli Diet

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Aku dan Claudia pertama kali bertemu ketika aku baru tahun pertama kuliah di UNSW. Nggak terasa, sekarang kami berdua sudah lulus dari jurusan masing-masing dan sudah mulai kerja! Setelah menyelesaikan Bachelor dan Master in Science, Claudia sekarang bekerja sebagai dietician di Sydney.

Hi Claudia! It’s a pleasure and an honour to be interviewing an old friend for today’s episode of Diaspora! Aku ingat kamu sebenarnya asal Medan. Mungkin kita bisa mulai dengan hal-hal yang kamu paling suka tentang Medan?
Hi! Yes, sure! My favourite part about Medan would definitely be the food, and that everything is very affordable, in terms of the nail salons, hairdressers, foods, etc.
It is also my comfort zone as my family is there.

Apa first impression kamu ketika baru pindah ke Sydney?
Apakah impression itu berubah setelah tinggal disini sekian lama?

My first impression was that Sydney was a very fast paced city, with roads full of cars and people. Very beautiful skyscrapers and tall buildings in all directions, surrounded by trees. Even after being here for so long, I still think that it is a very beautiful and relaxing city to live in, regardless of the crowd.

Saat baru pindah ke Sydney, apakah kamu mengalami culture shock?
Apa bedanya budaya Sydney dibandingkan Medan?

One of the culture shock was that people are very open here compared to back home,
in terms of the way they think, dress, act and just life in general. People are dressed more conservatively in Medan than here which is more open. Another thing would be the prices of everything here e.g the price of one meal here is equivalent to around
10 meals in Medan.

Wah, that is quite a difference! Semoga sekarang udah nggak begitu kaget, ya! Sedikit berbeda pertanyaannya, di bulan Maret kita merayakan International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Kedua jurusan Claudia di kuliah menyangkut ilmu science. Apakah bisa sharing dengan kita pengalamanmu di dunia sains?
I have always been into Science since high school. Did Food Technology in my Bachelors with an honours year where I had to complete a Thesis project which involved a lot of laboratory work, which I actually quite enjoyed. I then got into a full time job after graduating, and realised I didn’t really enjoy the 9-5 job in Food Tech, hence went on to do another Master’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, where I can have my own Dietetics business with more flexibilities in the long run.

In my master’s degree, we had to complete a 20 weeks clinical placement as well as
13 weeks of research project as part of the degree. Clinical placement involved working with all sorts of clients/patients with different health conditions in different settings:
food service, community and clinical (hospital), and providing dietary advice or recommendations to help improve their nutritional and health outcome.

Wow, proses yang sangat panjang ya! Tapi senang mendengar bagaimana kamu bisa enjoy dan akhirnya bisa kerja di bidang ini! Apa hal yang paling menyenangkan dalam pekerjaanmu, dan apa yang paling menyulitkan?
The best thing about being a dietitian is that I get to meet and interact with all sorts of clients with different conditions, age groups, etc. I like how I am able to help them make
a difference in their life through diet. I also enjoy listening to their stories and learning from it.

The challenging part of the job would be dealing with clients that aren’t as engaged
as others, where they would just sit silently in the room and you’d have to work harder
to get information out of them to help them.

Apa mimpi dan aspirasimu waktu kecil? Bagaimana mimpi-mimpi itu menuntunmu ke area food science dan akhirnya menjadi seorang dietician?
I’ve always loved food since young. They’re one of the reasons why I love travelling,
as I enjoy exploring new foods. That led me to my dream of wanting to study and work in the food area. My family has always been health conscious compared to others, and we have always believed that food plays a big role on health. That was one of the reasons why I undertook this area of study, as I want to help people achieve a healthy life through diet.

Apakah kamu bergabung dengan komunitas Indonesia di Sydney? Bagaimana pengalaman itu membantumu menyesuaikan diri terhadap kehidupan di Sydney?
I was part of an Indonesian community when I first started my studies here,
as my housemate was also Indonesian and we were part of the same program.
She introduced me to all her other friends and I introduced her to the people I knew from the program. Everyone became friends eventually and we would hang out like every week. It does help me settle down here as we were all on the same boat, living away from home and family for the first time, and we would cook and study together quite often.

Aku ingat kamu sebenarnya rencana untuk balik ke Indo setelah selesai kuliah. Apa alasanmu untuk ingin balik ke Indo, dan kenapa akhirnya memilih untuk menetap di Sydney?
I was planning on going back to Indo after finishing my master’s degree, as I thought I had no chance at the PR. It was also then when COVID hit and cases were very high in Indo and all borders were starting to close, hence my parents told me to stay longer here in Sydney for safety reasons. At that time, I started consulting my migration agent and turns out, I actually had a chance at PR as my first degree and work was on the skilled migration list. That was when I chose to stay to lodge my PR.

Wah, COVID benar-benar bisa merubah rencana ya! Dan kebetulan banget ternyata kamu bisa dapet PR! Bolehkah ceritakan pengalamanmu semasa periode COVID?
When covid first started, and Australia started to shut its border, I was in the middle of my university clinical placement. One of my placements were in a hospital, so I had to continue my placement regardless. There weren’t any mask policy back then due to the low case numbers, and we weren’t allowed to wear mask in the hospital whilst seeing patients back then. It was quite an experience.

After finishing the master’s degree, I continued to stay here throughout the series of restrictions and lockdowns. It was quite a paranoid time, as I kept receiving news of people dying from covid and I was always monitoring the news as well. What kept me going during the lockdown were my friends and family, emotionally supporting one another during the hard times through video chat.

Wow, what a journey! Terima kasih Claudia sudah membagikan sepotong dari kehidupanmu dengan kita semua! Semoga pengalamanmu bisa menginspirasi kita semua yang sedang mencari jalan setelah badai COVID dan/atau sedang menuntut sebuah karier dalam bidang sains! [IM]

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