The tech industry has immense power to affect social change. Many of the students at the Product College come in with the desire not just to find personal success but to help the world in some tangible way. Trevin Wisaksana is one such student.
“I was born and raised in Indonesia, a developing country where a majority of the population is underprivileged,” Trevin explained. “My background drives me to make an impact in society and be a part of a movement to improve education and people’s daily lives through technology.”
In high school, Trevin was disappointed to see so many of his friends getting good grades but not using their knowledge to make any sort of impact. “I wanted to be different. Different in the sense that I wanted to achieve something greater than getting high scores. So when I applied to universities, I looked for one where I could immediately start building things that’d make an impact in people’s daily lives.”
“Luckily, my brother had enrolled at the Product College a year before,” Trevin added, “and he told me it was exactly what I was looking for.”
One of the most helpful things Trevin learned at the Product College was to always “follow up and follow through.” He explains, “When you wait for an opportunity to come to you, you’re doing it wrong. Following up and following through is about being aggressive and looking for opportunities to move forward and achieve what you want. It’s a vital skill for startups, marketing, and life in general.”
One project Trevin is proud to have followed through on is his Automatic Drone Package Loader. “I’m a big drone enthusiast. The Automatic Drone Package Loader is a robot arm that automatically picks up a small package and loads it onto a drone’s mini cargo bay.”
But getting the arm to work wasn’t easy. Trevin recalled, “I remember staying at Make School with my instructor until 2:00 in the morning to complete the robot arm’s movement algorithm. Sometimes when I got the algorithm wrong, the robot arm would swing around violently. I broke at least three motors. I had to build my own digital testing environment to keep the costs down.”
All of that struggle paid off. Trevin got the Automatic Drone Package Loader to work, and he quickly put it to work for the good of others. “I was part of a startup called Drones For Humanity that envisions using drones to deliver medicine after natural disasters. The goal behind the Automatic Drone Package Loader was to make such deliveries more automated, as it would be able to automatically load aid into a fleet of drones to respond to disasters. It is a concept that we wanted to show to the Indonesian Disaster Management Authority, the FEMA equivalent of Indonesia.”
When Trevin looks back at his time at the Product College, his favorite memories are of the instructors and classmates who constantly pushed him to achieve his goals. Trevin said, “I enjoyed being immersed in a community of progressive individuals who strive to impact society. They never cease to inspire me. The positive peer pressure I feel when I see people continuously learning helps drive me to become a better person.”
At the same time, Trevin felt like the Product College was a safe space to mess up. “One of the things I really appreciate about the learning environment at Make School is how safe it is to make mistakes. I’m an introvert, and being an introvert is very challenging when you’re told to go out and pitch or give a lightning talk,” Trevin explained. “But I quickly learned that it was really about going out there and just doing it, and if I made some mistake like mispronouncing something or forgetting what I was going to say, no one there would make me feel embarrassed. Everyone is there to support you.”
Having a strong community of like-minded people has encouraged Trevin to keep following up and following through in all of his endeavors. To learn more about Trevin’s current and upcoming projects, visit his website.