A One-year Work Reflection

In 2022, I made a major life decision by moving to my Alma mater, UGM, but, not in the same department where I had undergraduate education from. I started my career in Department of Management and Public Policy. I was grateful to be moving back to my hometown, but I knew that I would be struggling in this new job, since, well, I was new.

I know my way around as an academia, I'd be teaching, researching and working for the community. So in my first semester, I try to do the same. In my previous engineering classes, I am used to students doing projects as final exam, so yes I tried to do the same. But there was quite a resistance from the class: apparently creative problem solving is not so heavily used here.

I knew that social studies uses a wide variety of "methodologies" or simply put "way of looking at things". STEM studies mostly are using "things", to solve, improve things around us. Output, efficiency, numbers, experience is important in STEM studies. While some social studies are happy with "just" understanding things. These I learnt after "forcing" my class on problem solving.

Then another struggle was probably the language barrier. Of course it's not about my skills in English or Bahasa Indonesia, but it was that I was not familiar with "pilot project" or "agenda setting". I was more familiar with "prototyping" and "testing". Then again, I am still thinking to preserve the engineering vocabulary to contribute to diversity and to help the two worlds "talk".

But it's not all doom and gloom; I am quite happy to jump into data science world (still scratching the surface tho). Its the one fun subject and students are willing to move heaven and earth for. Also, the data science community is interdisciplinary these days. The experts in DS are also very helpful to the newbies (unlike the UX community pssstt).

Other things I learned is that, my opinion matters. At first I felt like a village chief where I need to say something all the time. Back then, I say or ask something only when I didn't understand something. But now I realise, saying something is letting the other people know what is our stand.

Anyway, I am grateful for the past year. On the next next years I hope I am more ready to put new ideas into action (sorry for the cheesiness).


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