My Physical Condition Is Not a Barrier to My Ambition


A Story of Roissyah Fernanda Khoiroh, Bangkit 2023 Batch 1 Graduate from Statistics, Universitas Terbuka

Paulo Coelho once wrote in The Alchemist: “When you really desire something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” Roissyah Fernanda Khoiroh (24) fully understands this. Once an able-bodied person, one day, an accident tore down her “universe,” marking the change that from that moment on, she had to rely on a wheelchair for mobility.

It wasn’t easy for Nanda―that’s what she’s called. However, she believed that, ultimately, things would work out for the good, as she put her faith in a divine plan. Fueled by her dreams, Nanda was determined to rise above this obstacle and become the best version of herself.

Seeing that his physical condition wasn’t a barrier to her ambition, Nanda pursued higher education at Universitas Terbuka, majoring in Statistics. As the time went by, her interest in Machine Learning bloomed. It made her aspire to work in the data field and led her to join Bangkit 2023 Batch 1.

How was Nanda’s journey in Bangkit? Let’s read her full story below!

When Nanda’s Life Took a Turn


Nanda was born to a humble family in Lumajang, East Java. To make the family’s ends meet, her father worked as a manual laborer responsible for loading and unloading ice blocks, and her mother was a caretaker in a shared accommodation called “kost-kostan,” belonging to a relative.

As the first child of two, Nanda aspired to be his parents’ pride by having a promising career that could give her family a better life. Therefore, she was motivated to nurture her passion and be an expert in her chosen field.

When Nanda was younger, she had a normal physical condition. Unfortunately, everything changed once she grew up and found out that her shoulders looked different.
“When I was in junior high school, my doctor told me that I have scoliosis.”
As time went by, her condition got worse, and she quickly got tired. To cure it, Nanda decided to undergo spinal surgery in 2018. Unfortunately, her spinal nerves were cut, and it all went south from there: her leg was paralyzed, and she started to live with paraplegia.
“Since then, I can't walk like I used to. Now, I must use a walker at home and a wheelchair if I want to travel far.”

Once Quit College, then Starting Over at Universitas Terbuka

Before going through the surgery in 2018, Nanda studied at Universitas Jember. However, the surgery forced her to take a semester off from college. Sadly, after a while, she decided to quit and postpone college for two years.

In two years, she regained her faith in herself and her ability to continue her studies. Finally, Nanda decided to start over at Universitas Terbuka, majoring in Statistics. The online learning of Universitas Terbuka allowed Nanda to attend all scheduled lectures despite her circumstances.

After three semesters of data-processing-related learning, Nanda’s interest in Machine Learning emerged. That feeling bloomed when she felt stagnant with her daily classes. Moreover, big data captivated Nanda at that time, knowing that being an expert in this field could make her a Data Analyst or Data Scientist.

Eager to deepen her machine-learning knowledge, Nanda began exploring this discipline. She also took several free mini-courses and was drawn into her self-learning process.

Learned a Lot in Bangkit


Nanda’s self-taught process continued until one day in 2022, she considered looking for a good training program for Machine Learning. Not long after, she found the Kampus Merdeka program and was interested in taking part. Unfortunately, she couldn’t participate because of administrative restrictions.

However, Nanda chose not to give up. She patiently waited for the next opportunity and finally became acquainted with Bangkit. Seeing the program as a golden opportunity, Nanda signed herself up and became one of the Bangkit 2023 Batch 1 Machine Learning cohorts.
“I found Bangkit from LinkedIn and knew that this program would benefit my future."
When asked about her learning experience in Bangkit, Nanda shared her good impressions. At first, she admitted that she feared the Deep Learning course. However, Nanda overcame her fear by watching Deep Learning videos on YouTube. After that, she muttered, “It turned out to be fun.”

In Bangkit, Nanda enjoyed learning everything from scratch, starting with Python, machine learning, and deep learning. For her, Bangkit’s learning material was very well-structured. The modules were also easy to understand.
“Apart from the Instructor-Led Training (ILT) session, Bangkit also provided a lot of comprehensive material from Coursera and DeepLearning.AI. There were also many discussion peers on Discord. Moreover, I think the capstone project was an unforgettable experience for me.”

“The Result Never Betray the Process”


Her days in Bangkit were memorable for Nanda. While studying here, she made many new friends who still keep in touch until today. After going through more than 900 hours, she finally graduated and became one of the distinction graduates.

After graduating, Nanda and her friends joined many Machine Learning competitions. From there, she became more passionate about expanding her experience in the data field.

Not long after that, Nanda found a job vacancy at Braincore.id, a startup based in West Jakarta that provides AI consulting services. After the recruitment process, she was finally accepted as a Research and Development Assistant. She writes papers with his team daily to be published in journals. Even though part-time, Nanda is still enthusiastic about achieving her full-time dream, while enjoying every part of the process.

When asked how Bangkit contributed to her professional world, Nanda explained that the Deep Learning material and practice writing code from scratch are beneficial. Furthermore, the concepts really helped her to understand how a method or algorithm is built and works. The technical skills gained from developing convolutional neural networks (CNN), NLP, image processing, and text processing also played a significant role.
“One of the ILT soft skills that helped me the most was probably communication, as well as adaptability and resilience, which always motivate me to keep going.”
Furthermore, Nanda shared some motivation for Bangkit cohorts, especially women, who want to follow her footsteps and pursue a tech career:
“At first, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to survive in Bangkit. It turned out I could do it and survive after having the courage to try everything. So never be afraid and just try it.”
Apart from being a Bangkit 2023 Batch 1 Distinction Graduate, Nanda holds TensorFlow Developer certification. Humbly, she said that it resulted from the process she went through. Nanda believes that satisfying results will come if we put our heart into anything we do.
“My physical condition is not a barrier to my ambition. Therefore, I'm determined to always focus on my process because I believe that the result never betrays the process.”
More stories about Bangkit Alum and Cohort:
  1. Rini Aprilianty Riadi - Take a Leap of Faith, Rini!
  2. Nuril Hidayati - Don’t Let Self-Doubt Hold You Back from Pursuing Your Dream
  3. Dimas Nazli Bahaduri - Life is Challenging, So Keep on Moving

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