Don’t Let Self-Doubt Hold You Back from Pursuing Your Dream

A Story of Nuril Hidayati, Bangkit 2022 Graduate from Geographic Information Systems, Universitas Gadjah Mada
“Success is sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” - Robert Collier
Anyone can become a tech talent if they have the passion, dedication, and hard work that Nuril Hidayati (23) has. The daughter of a carpenter proved that anyone, especially women and those with non-IT backgrounds, can reach their full potential in this field.

Nuril–that’s what she called–was a Geographic Information Systems Student at Universitas Gadjah Mada who was eager to learn Machine Learning in Bangkit 2022. Despite having no prior experience in tech, Nuril was confident with her learning process. However, to be a Machine Learning expert, she had to push herself.

Overcoming her insecurities and making continuous improvements every day were two things Nuril had to do to get what she wanted. Did she manage to do that? Let’s read her full story!

Having Underprivileged Background Didn’t Discourage Nuril To Thrive

Coming from a humble family, Nuril was born in Tuban, East Java, to a father who worked as a carpenter and a mother who served as a laundry worker. Having an underprivileged background didn’t shatter her faith in her future. Instead, it challenged her to be successful.

Tuban might be Nuril’s hometown, but she grew up and went to high school in Sidoarjo. After graduating, she pursued higher education at Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), majoring in Geographic Information Systems. She believed her persistence in learning and parental support played a significant role in the success of her education.

During college, Nuril’s curiosity about tech started to bloom. Moreover, she took a Spatial Programming class, then learned the basics of Python programming and utilized Machine Learning models to classify the health of oil palm plants.
“I became interested in learning more about Python programming until I joined Bangkit and chose the Machine Learning path.”

Nuril’s Bangkit Experience: Challenging Yet Rewarding

Since 2021, Nuril has already been familiar with Bangkit. Her acquaintance with Bangkit struck up when she saw this program’s registration post on her campus’ Instagram—being fascinated with tech, Nuril immediately joined Bangkit. Unfortunately, she couldn’t participate because she was a diploma student, and Bangkit has yet to open the opportunity for students like Nuril then.

Nuril was determined to be a tech talent; therefore, she waited almost a year for the next cycle of Bangkit. After taking the applied bachelor’s degree, she was successfully accepted as a Bangkit 2022 cohort.

Many things motivated Nuril to join Bangkit, including the support from Google, GoTo, and Traveloka. She believed it could shape her career readiness. Moreover, this program would allow her to have immersive tech learning and prepare herself for the global certification exam from Google.
“In my opinion, Bangkit graduates are trained to be more adaptable to current tech conditions. With extensive connections, Bangkit graduates can secure some positions in tech companies.”
However, her way to becoming an IT expert was challenging. At first, Nuril felt insecure because she saw many of her peers were experienced in tech. Reflecting on herself from a non-IT background, she questioned her capabilities once.

However, Nuril chose not to give up. With a fiery spirit, she maintained her insecurity and realized Bangkit was a place to learn and progress together. When she didn’t know something, her friends helped her study. Nuril also felt that the Bangkit curriculum was easy to digest; even a person with no prior experience in IT like her could understand.
“Bangkit’s curriculum was well-structured, comprehensive, and understandable for non-IT students like me. Besides the technical learnings, this program provided Instructor-Led Training (ILT) sessions about Time Management, Public Speaking, English, and Project Management.”
For Nuril, her most memorable experience in Bangkit was the capstone project. Even though the team members came from different campuses and had only online meetings, Nuril’s team was finally selected as the 53 Top Capstone Project in Bangkit 2022.

Life After Bangkit as a Backend Engineer

After 900 hours of learning in Bangkit, Nuril graduated and focused her energy on finalizing her bachelor’s thesis at UGM. Then, she finished her studies on campus and was ready to begin her new chapter in the professional world. Nuril aimed for a Back-End Engineer (Python) position at Badan Informasi Geospasial (BIG) Indonesia. After passing various tests and interviews, she was successfully hired.

As a Back-End Engineer, Nuril’s responsibilities at work and insights obtained from Bangkit might differ slightly. In Bangkit, she was taught to develop Machine Learning models to make decisions, but at her current office, she works more on web service APIs, databases, and servers.
“Even though what I learned and what I do are slightly different, I am grateful for understanding Python because I know that Python can be applied in various roles, including mine: Back-End Engineer.”
Apart from creating the web service API, Nuril was also assigned to map several areas. This task was linear with her study background: Geographic Information Systems.

When asked whether Bangkit professionally helped her, Nuril said that the soft skills from the ILT session helped her with CV-making and the job recruitment process. The session taught her how to create a CV with a more readable format for recruiters.
“Besides the CV-making insights, the public speaking session also benefited me. It helped me get the opportunity to be a Master of Ceremonies (MC) at my workplace.”

“Great Achievements Begin With 1% Progress Each Day”

The latest data from Statista (2023) states that only 26,7% of women hold tech-related jobs. Of course, it is related to Nuril because she noticed it’s quite challenging for a woman who works in tech. However, she had tips for dealing with it:
“Instead of feeling inferior or depressed, women should be able to mingle with friends from different genders. We must show that women can perform well, too.”
In Bangkit, Nuril might face many challenges. However, although she felt insecure and was trapped in a procrastination loop, she used the Time Management lesson from Bangkit to overcome this. She also advised Bangkit’s cohort to resist this temptation, emphasizing, “Don't hope that tomorrow will come. Just do it right now.”

Back then, Nuril also compared her progress with her friends once, making her tired. Finally, she realized no one was late because we all had timelines.

To end the interview, Nuril mentioned one of the Japanese philosophies, Kaizen, which challenges her to improve every day:
“When I was in Bangkit, I made a promise: Although I do it slowly, I will continue to develop myself every day. I believe that great achievements begin with 1% progress each day.”
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