From an Economist to a Data Intelligence, Bangkit Helped Me Cross the Path

A Story of Putra Andika Pradana, Bangkit 2023 Batch 2 Distinction Graduate from Economics, Universitas Airlangga

Putra Andika Pradana (22) is a Bangkit graduate who illustrates a successful career shift into tech. Despite coming from Economics as one of the non-STEM disciplines, he discovered his true passion for data science. This revelation led him to enroll in a data science boot camp, equipping him with foundational knowledge.

After that, Putra—that’s what he’s called—solidified his skill by enrolling in Bangkit, a career readiness program from Google supported by GoTo, Tokopedia, and Traveloka. His perseverance and dedication throughout Bangkit led him to kickstart his career at PT Astra International Tbk.

How could an Economics graduate like Putra thrive in Bangkit? Let’s get to know more about his journey in Bangkit 2023 Batch 2!

An Economics Student Who Wanted to Become a Data Scientist

Although Putra was born in Trenggalek, Jawa Timur, he chose Surabaya as his home since he moved to this city shortly after birth. From elementary school to college, he spent his time in the capital city of Jawa Timur.

As the only child, Putra was blessed with supportive parents. His father is a private employee in the financial industry, and his mother is a housewife. Therefore, Putra was advised to pursue a finance, accounting, or economic career, just like his father. That’s why he went to Universitas Airlangga, majoring in Economics. However, soon, he realized that his heart wasn’t in it.
“After two years of studying Economics, I felt a growing sense of dissatisfaction. I knew that there was something more out there.”
During this time, Putra began to explore the world of IT, although he had been fascinated by computers since he was a kid. Tinkering with computers only to kill time, the younger Putra initially didn’t find anything interesting about tech when he stepped into high school. Having a desire to bring back his old passion, Putra enrolled in many online tech courses.

The more he learned, the more he realized he had a natural aptitude for coding. He loved the problem-solving aspect of it and found it incredibly rewarding to see his ideas come to life on the screen. Encouraged by his passion, Putra decided to take a leap of faith.
“I enrolled in a data science boot camp, determined to learn everything I could about this field.”
The boot camp was an intensive experience, but Putra thrived in the challenging environment. He learned about data mining, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI). He also gained valuable experience working on real-world projects.

Being Inspired by One of His Friends

Putra knew switching from Economics to Data Science would be challenging, but he was determined to succeed. He had always been good at math and was confident that he could learn the technical aspects of coding. After contemplating, Putra decided to sign up for Bangkit.

Putra learned about Bangkit from Fichrie Fachrowi Adli, his fellow economics friend at Universitas Airlangga. Fichrie participated in Bangkit 2021 Batch 1 and was offered a prestigious internship as a Data Analyst at the Dewan Pertimbangan Presiden Republik Indonesia.
“I was inspired by Fichrie’s story and decided to apply for Bangkit myself. I was accepted into the program and began my studies in the second semester of 2023.”
However, Putra quickly realized that Bangkit was challenging. He came from a non-IT background, so he struggled with the coding aspects of the curriculum. However, he was supported by his peers. He formed a study group with other students struggling with the program and helped each other on Discord.

From Putra’s perspective, Bangkit proved to be an invaluable resource for learning Data Science, even for someone with a non-IT background. He found the material to be clear and understandable and the curriculum to be meticulously organized.
“I found the Bangkit curriculum very helpful despite my background in economics. From Python, I delved into the mathematics underpinning machine learning and moved on to deep learning. All of these subjects were taught in a well-structured manner.”

Became the Only Intern from a Non-STEM Background

Putra’s hard work and dedication paid off. He completed Bangkit, and not long after that, he got a prestigious internship at PT Astra International Tbk. Before his internship, Putra scrolled through Instagram and came across the Astra Career account. He noticed a post about the Data Intelligence Internship.
“Before applying to Astra, I already completed the TensorFlow Developer (TFD) certification exam offered by Bangkit. I believed that this certification, combined with my Bangkit experience, would strengthen my resume.”
Putra submitted his application and went through a series of tests, such as a CV screening, a psychometric test, and different technical tests. The technical test is closely aligned with the material covered in Bangkit. It consisted of three parts.
“First was a Python programming challenge, then a machine learning challenge, and last was a conceptual challenge, where I had to design a solution to a problem posed by Astra.”
Putra found the knowledge and skills gained from Bangkit immensely valuable in all three parts of the technical test. The soft skills he developed, particularly in problem-solving and critical thinking, were also instrumental in helping him approach the challenges effectively.

After the technical test, Putra participated in an interview. He drew upon the interview skills he learned in Bangkit, focusing on effective communication and making a positive first impression. Finally, he was offered an internship at Astra International.
“While it was an internship, I recognized it as an excellent starting point, especially considering my non-IT background.”
Interestingly, Putra was the only intern in the program with a non-STEM background. The other interns had backgrounds in mathematics or physics, which were still within the STEM realm. The internship was a valuable learning experience for Putra. He worked on real-world data science projects and gained valuable insights into the industry.

“Be Unwavering in Your Commitment to Your Goals”

Beyond the well-structured curriculum, Putra discovered many other benefits to joining Bangkit. The program allowed him to network with others who shared his passion for Data Science, learn from experts, and work on a real-world project called Capstone Project.

Overall, Putra felt that Bangkit was an enriching experience. He believed the program equipped him with the necessary skills to embark on a Data Science career and opened new doors for his future.

When asked for tips for fellow social science students, especially economics, who aspire to succeed in an IT career, Putra gave some advice.
“Be unwavering in your commitment to your goals. Despite the challenges, keep pushing forward and never give up on your dreams.”
Furthermore, don’t forget to fuel your passion by constantly seeking knowledge and exploring new concepts. Enrolling in online courses, reading books and articles, and attending IT and data science workshops are essential to tech enthusiasts.
“Lastly, take advantage of Bangkit, where you can find a well-structured curriculum and supportive learning environment.”
Putra encourages current Bangkit participants to stay hungry because the journey to success is long and requires continuous effort. So, stay motivated and keep learning with a relentless hunger for knowledge.
“Embrace lifelong learning because the tech industry is highly dynamic when Data Science and Machine Learning constantly evolve. Embrace a growth mindset and commit to continuous learning throughout your career.”
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