Although only 21 years old, Dody is already the co-founder and CTO of a start up company called Skilio— a one-stop platform that measures and analyses soft skills to empower individuals in developing their soft skills (which are critical in this modern economy).
Dody, who is also currently a first year student at SUTD not only saw the importance and value of soft skills in post-modern Singapore, but also the need to provide a platform where students can monitor their growth methodically.
In my conversation with Dody, I discovered that this creative and enterprising mindset started when he was a student in junior college through a mentorship programme with Praxium where he created his own mobile app that has multi-functions which are suitable for presentations — a voice amplifier and a mouse-functioned feature.
“I met Louis when he came to my school for a talk 2 years ago. I was a considerably shy person last time, I don’t know how and why I did that but I approached him afterwards. He [Louis] is, really a good guy. I want to be like him. He’s like a role model in inspiring and nurturing young people.”
What inspired you to create a Voice-Clicker app?
“Last time, my laptop was in a pretty bad condition. It’s screen was falling apart and the touchpad wouldn’t work anymore.”
Dody sought many ways to fix that problem. While most people would think of using a mouse to solve this problem, he was already having ideas on creating a mobile app that can communicate and give instructions to his laptop, using the phone screen as a touchpad instead.
That was just his initial idea, before meeting Louis.
In their regular meetings, Dody deepened his ideation process with the support of his mentor, Louis, who constantly sharpened his ideas and helped him see viable ways to evolve his app into something more.
Louis shared how people often find it troublesome to hold a microphone and a mouse simultaneously during presentations.
Dody then got inspired to combine the two features into a mobile app with the help of Louis’ guidance.
Managing Projects alongside Studies
“Before meeting Louis, I didn’t have the motivation to continue studying because I was quite bad at it. When I do my projects, I only had Google. That’s it. I didn’t have a mentor.”
“After meeting Louis, things started to get busier. I used my holidays and post-exams time to do full-time internships at my mentors organizations. Even though I ended up having less free time, I felt that I was gaining so many more skills. I would feel tired by the end of the day with these commitments but it was my mentors who kept pushing me forward.”
Louis, together with Lih Wei (Technology Mentor), was working very closely with Dody in providing relevant resources and support.
“It’s really good to have a mentor, yeah. When I faced a problem, Lih Wei would suggest to google specific key words that I never heard of and guide me in finding my answers. Most of the time these (keywords and knowledge) are very new, so this shortened my learning process by at least 10 times.”
“By myself, I won’t even know what I don’t know. “ — Dody Senputra
Dody described that 4 to 5 months working on his mobile app as “the biggest growth in his life” — he couldn’t ask for more.
Advice for Younger Audience
“The first step is always the hardest. Because your starting point is always the furthest from your end goal.”
For the lost individuals who don’t know how to start, you’ll just have to start somewhere! Keep moving, at least you’ll know which direction is the right one after trying.
Last Words from Dody:
“I’m super, super lucky that I met Louis that day in school. Wah, if not I wouldn’t even be where I am today man! I used to have a lot of projects but they never got very far. After Louis and Lih Wei mentored me, I can start seeing ideas coming in, seeing results from the projects I did, and had the courage to Do First Worry Later.”
If you are inspired by Dody’s story and would like to have a similar experience, then you’re in for a treat because Praxium will be launching a structured mentorship programme, so that we can help more youth pursue their aspirations by combining their passion with pragmatic support.
If you’re interested to receive mentorship, drop us a note in the comments section, or DM us on our social media platforms on Facebook and Instagram @praxiumsg.