How I Built My Startup Without a Tech Background

An interview with Cynthia Cecilia

Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Jobhun


I once heard Sheryl Sandberg's say, “You will be defined not just by what you achieve, but by how you survive.” I have a strong belief that everyone has their own dreams and their own goals for what they want to achieve in life. If you don't go for it, no one else will.


Well, anyway — I’m happy to meet you all! I'm Cynthia Cecilia. Currently, I’m building Jobhun, a career development platform for Indonesian talent to learn skills, find mentors, and matchmaking with companies.


My current activities, apart from being the Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Jobhun, include other positions like Community Leader at Indigo Telkom and Developer Circle Surabaya Lead at Meta (Ex: Facebook).


I've been lucky to be a mentor and have had the chance to curate startup development programs as a judge at Startup Weekend, National 1000 Startup Movement, BEKUP, ICON ITS, Management Startup Challenge Unair, and others.


God has also blessed me with the opportunity to actively contribute as a speaker. I enjoy sharing my insights and experiences about careers and development, to help others achieve their dreams and best visions about their future.


Uniquely, I don't come from a business or IT background.


I want to tell you one unique thing about me. I don't come from a background that is very close to what I'm living now. I studied Communication Science during college. And, this has been my main career path while I’ve been building things behind the scenes.


Communications has brought me into my own story. I started my career as a copywriter and marketing communications at several startups.


Until one day, I became interested in things related to building a startup. I was hesitant at first, because I didn’t have a background in this field. I took my first step (and many more since) and tried to switch my career in several ways.


How did I do it? I sought out experience through networking activities by working as a PR/Marcomm at the incubation and acceleration of a startup owned by Telkom Indonesia - Indigo Telkom.


Then I joined the Meta Developers Circle Surabaya community. Initially, I only joined as a member, then as time progressed I was chosen as the leader. Even though I don't have an IT background, I'm now trusted as a head of the developer community.


Armed with that experience, I built my own startup — Jobhun, which currently has 10,000 users. Jobhun has helped thousands of talents find their careers, even matching them with companies (in the form of job distribution or projects).


Some of the awards I have proudly received in my journey with Jobhun:

  • "Spirit of Developer Circles" Award for Building A Global Developer Community by Facebook (Menlo Park, San Jose, California, USA, April 2019)

  • Basha Market x Dekranasda East Java Campaign: Youth Brings Change (December 2020)

  • Award from the Governor of East Java 2021 for Jobhun: "The Main Youth in the Field of Skill Development of East Java Province in 2021"

  • 9 Womenpreneur by Lenovo Indonesia x Putri Tanjung

One thing others can take from my story


“Be confident and fear nothing!”


Anyone can become a startup founder, even if they don't have any related background. There are many paths that can be taken. There are many doors asking you to knock!


With qualified skills, we can achieve our dreams — maybe it seems impossible, but believe me we can be whatever we want to be. Career switches can be an option when we find something new that we want to explore, even though it doesn't match our educational background.


"The only thing worse than starting something and failing... is not starting something." — Seth Godin.


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