This article is originally an assignment for one of courses I take this semester. I think it is good to share it on my blog.

I interviewed Asst. Prof. Tegoeh Tjahjowidodo from MAE. I chose to interview him because he ever received an award for his inspiring teaching.

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He told me the story about how he ended up being a professor. The interesting thing about his story was he never had the plan to be a professor in the first place. He was doing Ph.D on non-linear dynamics and then working as a research engineer in mechatronics industry. Numerous publications that he made led him to the opportunity to become a professor.

However, he really enjoys doing his job as a professor because it fits with his background. It is a pleasure to have a job that you enjoy doing. Since he enjoys what he does, becoming good simply happens over time. It was not a volcanic ambition which drives him to the place he stands right now. When I asked him to name three important factors to his achievement, he mentioned education, experience, and luck.

Mr Tegoeh said that as a professor he encounters so many problems because being a professor is like having various types of job (teaching, writing proposal, doing research) put into one. Heavy workloads and tight schedule are very common in his job. When I asked “Then, how do you solve those problems?”, he interestingly answered,

No, I don’t (solve those problems) ..

because those problems stimulate you to be more productive.

In the end of the interview, he told me that if there is something he wanted to do differently, it is to have more understanding about himself and chase his true passion. He said that the best thing in life is to be yourself, to do what you really want to do instead of doing what society thinks you must do. I was surprised, despite of his achievement, he thinks that if he were given the second chance (to travel through time) he might choose to become a musician.

Truth to be told, he never had any plan to be a professor in the first place. It all happened in autopilot, the dot just got connected. But still, we have not yet seen such a time machine exists, so there is no reason for him to not enjoy being a professor.

Now, I have been wondering what my true passion is. It is the first thing we must do before moving further in the road to success. I believe if you really enjoy the things that you like and eager to learn more about it, other things will follow.

In fact, life is full of surprises and we do not always have control over everything. There are times when you feel you do not belong to where you stay. Nevertheless, you just have to keep learning and improving yourself until one day those seeds of patience will blossom. When that moment catches you up, you will hear your heart whispers,

“Now is the right time to chase your dream”

3 thoughts on “An Interview with Mr. Tegoeh : Discover Yourself

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