Isabella Angelica Millanes (2019 MPM) is a name that has been common on the KDIS News Center pages for some time now. Easy and laid-back, yet entertaining, her feature pieces have tugged at the heartstrings of many. Bella, as she likes to be called, is from Manila, Philippines. She is passionate about writing, a trade she attributes to her journalistic training back in her undergraduate years. She has been writing for the KDIS News Center for the past 18 months and will soon be ending her journey when she graduates on the 3rd of August, 2020. We recently met and had the following conversation.
Q) Kindly Introduce yourself.
I have been doing a Master of Public Management program here at KDI School and writing for the news center as a student reporter. I did a degree in Journalism for my undergraduate and then enrolled into law school a few years later, but eventually I joined the Bureau of Internal Revenue in Philippines and worked as a training specialist in the human resources department. I am an IBK (Industrial Bank of Korea) scholar and will be graduating this August.
Q) What motivated you to apply for the student reporter position?
When I finished my journalism degree, I never went into media or something, so I never had the opportunity to put my writing skills into practice. Therefore, when I joined KDIS and came across the call for student reporters early last year, I saw this as the ideal opportunity to exercise my skills. To add to that though, I am passionate about writing. I have nursed this passion since my childhood. It should not come as a surprise to anyone that I am now a writer.
Q) How has the experience been so far?
It has been nothing short of amazing. The job has been more of a hobby than it has been a burden. I can’t complain. The experience has also helped me to open up. I am kind of an introvert and since the job requires one to interview people, I’ve had to come out of my shell. I have found that talking to a diverse body of students on different subjects interesting. It has shifted my outlook on a number of things. The PR team has been supportive too, especially Mr. Peter Park. This has made the journey relatively easy.
Q) Is there any specific writing project you did that fills you up with pride to this day?
I once interviewed some students and the PR team liked my approach. They would later request me to do a similar interview, and on this we did a number of extra touches like infographics, studio photo-shoots and all. I was thrilled by this response. It made me feel that my work was being appreciated.
Q) How has the writing journey at KDI School shaped you as a person?
As I shared earlier, when I joined formal employment back in Philippines, I never got the chance to put my writing skills into practice. The KDIS News Center offered me the platform to exercise my trade. I can confidently say that my writing has grown thanks to this opportunity. In the same vein, having an editor (Professor Christopher Plumb) to point out mistakes and help you put your ideas into perspective has helped me immensely. I am at a better place than I was before.
Q) Is there a specific book or writer that has influenced your writing?
I cannot really say that there is this specific writer who has influenced my writing style. I read different people, books, magazines, newspapers and what have you- and all of these readings have influenced my writing. That said, the Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah is my all-time favorite book. I also enjoy reading Bob Ong, a popular Filipino writer. He uses humor to paint the contemporary Philippine life.
Q) What will you miss the most about this place?
I will miss everything. The busy student life, the library, the field, the dormitory life and what not. I will also miss the independence that I got to find when I came to Korea. Since joining KDI School, it was my first time living alone -actually outside our home (haha). I have grown in more different aspects as a result.
Another thing I do not take for granted is security. Sejong and Korea in general, are quite secure compared to home. Here, I can go out anytime without any fear whatsoever. I will miss that.
Q) For students who would want to write or be student reporters, what advise do you have for them?
Try to develop a passion for writing and read. Apply. Get in. Write often. Submit your articles on time. That is all.