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  • Writer's pictureQhansa D.

My Biggest Mistake During Undergrad (Informatics Engineering Major)

Hello everybody, this blog will be a CONFESSION about my biggest undergraduate mistake as an informatics engineering student. Because I think this mistake does not apply to non-engineering majors.

If you want to watch me rambling about this topic, you can watch the video on my YouTube Channel:

Let's continue!

Although some of you would probably think I didn't make any mistakes during undergrad, well, I am a HUMAN. The truth is there's one thing that I didn't do when I was an undergrad, and that is NOT CREATING A PORTFOLIO FOR JOB APPLICATIONS.

That's my mistake, and I'm telling you the truth.

I realized that people thought you don't need portfolios if you're not a designer, art major, or fashion major -- that was my thinking when I was an undergrad. So that's why I didn't make any portfolio for my informatics engineering major (I don't know why). But, I realized that THIS WAS A PROBLEM when I graduated from college.

My Story After Graduation

As you can see, I spent 3.5 years specializing in Artificial Intelligence. But, what I "really" want to be after graduation was becoming a User Experience (UX) Researcher for my day-to-day job. However, since I didn't create any UX or User Interface (UI) portfolio during college, I thought it was too late to make it after graduation. Because honestly, it takes time to create a portfolio. In the end, I chose to change my route to business development and business analyst; since they do not require any portfolio.

Another example! If you want to apply for a coding or programming position (e.g., mobile app developer, website developer, full-stack developer, AI/ML engineer, data scientist, data engineer, etc.), you need to show your PASSION THROUGH PORTFOLIO. Because honestly, I got this quote/fact from someone who was working at Spotify. He said:


After that, I read his thread, and I realized that IT'S MY BIGGEST MISTAKE. Because I was so passionate about UX, but if I couldn't show my previous projects (aka. Portfolio), I couldn't convince them that I AM VERY PASSIONATE about this field. So, whatever is your dream job or passion, if you are still in college or a student, take this advice from me:

Please, CREATE YOUR PORTFOLIO to apply for jobs! Because it's VERY IMPORTANT!

Suppose my explanations or my rambling haven't convinced you enough. In that case, I'm going to give you another example of my photography and videography career.

My Qhansa.Lens Story

After I graduated from college, I wanted to try other things other than my day-to-day job. So, I decided to post some of my past photography and videography projects on my website and social media.

At first, I was just having fun doing it since the purpose was to show everybody my "visual art" creations. Suddenly, my friend who was going to get engaged searched for a photographer for her engagement day. Since she saw my photos and video creations, she asked me whether I could be her photographer for her engagement day. But, at that time, I haven't had the lens that is suitable for engagement photography. Long story short, I couldn't take the opportunity.

But, from the story above, I learned that PORTFOLIO DOES MATTER.

The Take-Away

So, suppose you already have a strong CV or Resume. In that case, it's better if you also have a portfolio of your previous projects. Because some companies want to see HOW PASSIONATE you are in this field, and ARE YOU CAPABLE to do this job?

Just imagine, if Google wants to hire somebody good at programming and they can only see the applicant's CV/Resume and nothing else, the question would be:

How can they ELIMINATE the other applicants?

That's why, by having a portfolio, there would be a chance for you to get through the hiring selection system, just because you already have previous experience in creating the software or hardware.



If you're aiming to be a researcher, your Portfolio would be your PUBLICATIONS/PUBLISHED RESEARCH PAPERS. So, if you love researching, just create more papers and submit them to conferences/journals.

Well, I hope that this blog post is helpful for you. If you want me to share more knowledge-sharing content about college/informatics engineering, Don't forget to Like, Comment, and Share this blog post so you can inspire your beloved one too :)

See you around!



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