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Jimmy Hikmatullah ’20: Coding a Career

Jimmy on city street
Jimmy Hikmatullah ’20

Welcome to Emersonian International, a spotlight series from the Career Development Center featuring career stories of Emerson’s international students and alumni. Whether in the U.S., in their home countries, or somewhere in between, international Emersonians are finding internships, engaging in their communities, and creating opportunities for themselves to develop their skills and move forward in their careers.

For our fourth spotlight in the series, meet Jimmy Hikmatullah, a soon-to-be graduate. Previously a student at Marlboro College, Jimmy is enrolled in Emerson’s Individually Designed Interdisciplinary Program (IDIP). We recently connected with Jimmy to learn more about his experience as a data analysis consultant at All In Energy.

This interview was reposted from Careerbuzz.

EI: How would you describe what you do? 

JH: As a fast-growing organization, All In Energy has exponential growth on their organization’s data, such as customer addresses, service records, and financial records. My job was to build, organize, and maintain a structure of data that can be scaled in [the] future so the data will be easily accessible.

EI: Do you apply any of the skills you’ve been learning in your courses to your internship/experience? If so, what are they? 

JH: Although there are no specific courses or topics that I applied directly during my internship, the mindset and thinking of problem solving are the key to finish my internship way beyond [what] I expected. Connecting the dots based on my past experiences of writing code and searching the solution online have helped me so much to adapt and learn fast, because I knew nothing about the software that All In Energy uses. In the end, I learned enough [about] how to build things inside the software to get a certification for it. That opens up whole new job opportunities for me in the future.

EI: What is one experience you’ll always remember from this chapter of your career development? 

JH: I was working just like any other day. There happened to be a weekly team meeting where we came together in a Zoom call to talk about what we have done [in the past] week and what is exciting about this week for us.

One of my coworkers told a story about how a son of one of our customers was so happy that he got a new LED light in his room, and also his room is not cold anymore. To me, although I did not interact with them directly, I saw their name in the software that I was working with. It felt like I had done something bigger than myself, and it felt so good. I am glad that I heard that story and it [has] fueled my work since.

EI: What does a “day in the life” look like when working remotely? 

JH: All In Energy has … given me a lot of flexibility since the beginning. I usually do my code during the night, sometimes way past midnight. So I am not a morning person at all. Being able to work from home means I wake up and while still on my bed, I can turn on my laptop directly, then start working.

Usually, there is a team meeting [at] lunch break that sometimes we can attend to simply connect with each other. My work is divided into two categories: the long project and urgent project. The first half of the day I usually work those urgent projects that come into my mail inbox in the morning with an URGENT! keyword in the subject field. Then I do the rest of the day doing my long project. At the end of the day every other day, I have a checkup meeting with my supervisor to discuss any updates in my work. Finally, after I clock out, I can close a million tabs that are opened on my browser and call it a day.

EI: How has your international student experience helped you manage life changes, like your Marlboro transfer experience and changes in your internship due to the pandemic?

JH: Since the beginning, I already knew things might happen. Somehow. The minute I stepped onto that plane the first time to the U.S., I understood what I signed up for. [A]daptability is a must if I want to get the most out of this experience, studying 10,000 miles away from home.

The day I heard that Marlboro was closing, I was fortunate enough to have friends in Boston.

They helped me to find housing outside the campus, because I checked the Emerson website for room and board and it was never an option for me. However, it was a completely different story with my internship. I was preparing the internship to be my big [opportunity] for … networking and getting to know a lot of people in Boston, professionally. I was expecting that because I was expecting to graduate soon and I was hoping to get a job.

Making changes in the world, no matter how small it is, has always been a passion of mine. So, I hope that despite what happened, I will still be able to find another [chance] to contribute to this chaotic world. Just like how I always do.

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