I would love to clear up any confusion you have. This portfolio project follows all the basic Python fundamental material (from syntax up to classes and some basic libraries). Because of that, the hints and solution code show techniques using functions and classes in Python. However, you are encouraged to use whatever skills you want, and make this portfolio project your own! If you know how to use pandas (or any other library), definitely feel free to do so!
I hope this helps, and I am happy to answer any other questions about this project or the career path in general.