Gabriela Sekar Shada : Making Strides in the Male-Dominated Tech World

From Malang, East Java, Gabriela Sekar Shada or cordially called Sekar went to Jakarta to further her study at Sampoerna University. “After I graduated from high school, I continued my study to this university in 2014,” she reminisced her past journey.

Sekar ended up studying at Sampoerna University, being the only woman in the class. This allowed her to have unique experience. “The fact that I have interacted and worked with many male classmates and colleagues teaches me a lot. I learn how to think in a simpler way and how to deal with logic better,” she said.

To Sekar, Sampoerna University has taught her a lot of life lessons, not only in class but also practical lessons. “We are all taught to become proactive students inside and outside classes. All the lecturers are very welcome to our questions. They encourage us to join international conferences, too,” Sekar told.

Sekar chose to major in Computer Science even though she had always been dreaming of becoming a doctor. She then found out that a passion is not necessarily doing something we have been longing for a long time. Instead, passion is the maximum effort someone puts into a thing or into a work.

At Sampoerna University, students are encouraged to taste the professional world as early as possible. Sekar herself had already taken her internship program. “I took it at the end of the third semester then I went to work at a startup company as a search engine optimization (SEO) specialist for 2 months and continued the work as a freelancer for about 6 months,” Sekar related her work experience.

A month right after she graduated from Sampoerna University, she was working as a front-end developer at a Singaporean property portal company which is based in Jakarta for 7 months.

As a novice, Sekar soon realized that so many of subjects and skills that she learned at Sampoerna University are applicable to the professional setting she is now entering. “I found so many subjects I learned at SU useful, especially courses in the junior and senior year such as human computer interaction, algorithm, and web-programming. Those are helpful to support me doing the job.”

On adjusting well to a professional world, Sekar shared some tips. “Being a good observer is the key. Understand the office culture, understand how the rhythm of work and understand the people. Use the probation time as much as possible to discover and deeply understand about the company. Moreover, another thing I did was ignore all the hesitation if something is not clear and probably, I cannot cope with. Being humble is also the key and show that even if I cannot understand and do this in the current time, I am willing to learn & explore new things.

“Currently I am working as a front-end developer at Alodokter headquarters in Jakarta starting from June 2019,” admitted Sekar whose time is now mostly occupied with office tasks.

Despite her tight schedules, Sekar still makes time for her hobbies: writing and reading. Right before she goes to bed or whenever she has much spare time, she always reads and writes. “Simply because I still need my own me-time without being disturbed by other things. Most of the time, I spend my time writing anything.”

Sekar may also use writing to lay out her plan. When asked about it, she honestly said that she plans to earn a master’s degree soon. “I have still no idea where to further my study, but I am now trying to apply for some scholarships available out there.”

She shared a motivational tip for those who have not found their passion just yet during their college years. “If you’re a university student who hasn’t discovered what you’re most passionate about in life, don’t worry! You’re not alone,” Sekar convinced.

She is assured that nothing is too hard when there is a will. The resources are all available. The lecturer, the library, and all the faculty members will be very welcome to support you to help you find your passion.

This is the best thing to happen if you are just not ready yet to make up your mind, whether to major in a certain field or study program or not. Why? Because at Sampoerna University, you do not have to major right away in your first and second year (freshman and sophomore year). Instead, you are free to explore many disciplines under our General Education Core Courses and then decide later to major in the third year (junior year). Click here to read more about how our General Education Core Courses work. (*/)