What happened in this month last year? Looking back to the past, I think I was still in such mixed feeling. I was accidentally postponing my graduation. Well, honestly, I don’t want to call it accident, because I was not trying at my best to graduate on time (October, as I planned before). However, I guess I will never regret that decision (to not trying harder). If only I had tried harder, I might not be here.
Knowing that I was supposed to graduate next year, I started to talk with a lot of friends who had already graduated since the beginning of my final year (in fact, it turned out that it was not my final year). I tried to get some portrait of life after graduation, how wild it is, what they do, what they really want to do. Then, I made up my mind. I had a plan.
Plan, plan, and plan. Why do we have to make a plan if in the end we change the plan? Sometimes, we do change plan because the world changes. It doesn’t mean that we are inconsistent. In some circumstances, we need to adapt and do some revision, so we could go on to continue our journey.
Komurindo (Indonesian Rocket Payload Contest) was my turning point. After Komurindo was finished, I went back to Bandung. I checked my academic status and there was a problem. I had not received grade for my Final Project I. Unfortunately, I was too late to be able to change that grade. I could do nothing but wait until the status becomes ‘fail’. I was so careless, so I did not notice that I already missed the last day to fix my grade. To be able to graduate, I should take this course once again in the next semester.
I felt both sad and happy at that time. The sad thing was, I would not be able to fulfill my plan. I knew it was such mixed feelings to attend your friend’s graduation. It was like, “I want to be there with you guys. I want to get that degree. I bored of being a college student! I don’t want to be left out here!” But, on the other hand, I was happy. I was thinking, “YEAH, Finally I got a legitimate reason to procrastinate! I still have a lot of time to do my final project. I can hold my status as student longer and do whatever I want to do!”
After all, I was not ready to graduate. I wanted to extend my preparation time to enter the real world. I still did not know what I am going to do after graduation. I swore to myself, I had to make the most of my final year. I wanted to do many things that I had not done yet.
In the previous year, I served as the president of Student Idea Incubator. I talked so much about innovation and entrepreneurship. But you know what; I felt that I had never done anything. Well, I did get some awards and made some projects, but still, my action was not great enough to prove my words. So, I did several attempts to make it real; the triumph of actions over words.
I participated in Indonesia ICT Awards. It opened my eyes; this world is full of opportunities for those who are creative enough to envision it. Then, I tried to form a group of people who have interest to interactive digital media. I called it Coollab.
Apart from that, I also joined the Chordeo force, a crowd-funding platform. This idea is not so new in the world, but I think it is something that is needed by Indonesia. A lot of students have creative ideas but they don’t have the fund to conduct it. So, this Chordeo should be the solution of this problem.
I really like both of them. Not only because I was the one who gave name to them, but they are part of dreams that I always dream of. I thought of doing a start-up after graduation is a great idea, moreover, you had enough of bull-shi* theories, it’s time to do a real thing. I thought; it’s one of the options of what to do after graduation.
To launch the very first Indonesian satellite made by student, it was a crazy idea. Since I was in the Komurindo team and I made a promise to Pak Ridanto (I made the promise while I was still president of student Idea Incubator; It turned out that ITB-SAT was vacuum of activities at that time), I joined ITB-SAT team.
Joining this team had given me the chance to write a paper and participate in a conference. Joining this team also made me understand that electrical engineering is an interesting field. Unfortunately, I was not so in love with this field. I felt that I know nothing about electrical engineering. A desire to know more about it had started to rise up.
Then, I was wondering, If I continue my study in ITB, I would have the chance to stay on the team. Besides, I was also interested to an offer from my final project supervisor. This scholarship offered tuition waiver and stipend. In exchange, we should conduct a research, develop a product and build a start-up. I thought; it’s one of the options of what to do after graduation.
In line with the rise of my willingness to go to graduate school, I attended several presentations from overseas universities. I thought that I had enough of my time in ITB, why do I crave for the extra time? I am a person who easily gets bored. I thought; it’s one of the options of what to do after graduation. Some universities did a recruitment process in their presentation session. By chance, I came to NTU recruitment session and took the test without any preparation. Since that moment, I started to think to continue my studies in NTU, as a PhD student. And yeah, before graduation, I only applied to one university, NTU.
Besides that, I also obsessed to be a creative worker. I wanted to write 50 short-stories before graduation. I always imagine life as a writer is fun as it was pictured on ‘Fiksi’ (a movie about fiction stories brought to real by some psycho). Despite of my bad writings, I thought I enjoy writing. I also wanted to become a song writer. Although I didn’t have a good musicality, I thought I like the process of creating a song. Other than aforementioned, I also wanted to make my own mass media: magazine, tv channel, etc. Mass media is a really great tool to spread your ideas. Well, a lot of people could make a living from doing those creative things. I thought; it’s one of the options of what to do after graduation.
Of course there was another option. It’s an option that can be categorized as a mainstream; working for a big company. Yeah, it’s a good choice. I felt bored of being academia. I wanted to start to make a living. I thought it would be good if I could get some work experiences before I decide to go to graduate school. Ah, maybe I would continue my study in business school and be a CEO someday. Moreover, some scholarship opportunities are intended for those who had professional experiences for several years.
Actually, I ever thought to work in a state-owned company in Bandung where I had done my internship in the end of year three. I thought of this company as a place where idealist electrical engineer could take part to develop the nation through electronic technologies. However, I thought it was not a good idea since I was not armed with excellent technical skills. Moreover, it said that once you get there, you will probably have to stay there forever. I thought I was not ready for such thing.
Lots of emails about job vacancy keep overwhelming my inbox. Some of them caught my eyes. Though I was lack of hard skills and professional experiences, I thought it was no harm to drop my CV. So, I sent my CV to three companies. There were two reasons why I applied to these companies. The first is the fact that I had seniors or friends who work in there. The second is they are bona fide multi-national companies. Two of them are based in Singapore. The last one is based in Jakarta.
Unfortunately, I failed the first two. My seniors who work there said that it’s just not our lucky time since the company preferred to recruit experienced professionals than fresh graduates. Luckily, the last one worked. It was the so called IBM Apprenticeship program. My CV passed the selection, so I could take the written test. The test was not easy. I felt that I was getting dumber. But, once again fortune came to me; I passed the test and got the ticket for interview.
to be continued..
You know what, last night was a sleepless night, I started writing this at 2.00 pm (nonstop), and it was not finished yet (it even hasn’t arrived yet to the very moment of graduation -_-). It took me so long to write this post because it’s not easy to recall the memories and write them down. I had tried my best to make it as short as possible. Please give me your feedback on my writing.. Since I wrote it with sleepy mind, I am afraid that I only wrote some random words with a lot of bad structures… I will revise it later.. now, I want to get a sleep