Due to his nature as a straight-talker, Ong Jun Hock Ryan was bullied continuously for almost four years during his secondary school days. Many saw him as a troublemaker for not conforming to the norm. The bullying disrupted his studies and resulted
in Ryan skipping school for almost a year before transferring to West Spring Secondary School just to complete his Secondary Four education.
As a result of his bumpy secondary school journey, Ryan scored badly for his G.C.E. ‘O’ Levels and could only qualify for a handful of polytechnic courses. However, Ryan saw polytechnic as a new start to his life and wanted to play a part
in Singapore’s Smart Nation journey by supporting the growing need for computer scientists and engineers.
Even though he was weak in Physics and had no background in Additional Mathematics – key subjects for engineering courses - Ryan was determined to challenge himself and applied for Singapore Polytechnic(SP)’s Diploma in Computer Engineering
(DCPE) course as his top choice.
It was the right choice on hind sight as SP provided Ryan the right platforms to grow his confidence, character and knowledge. Even though he encountered difficulties in basic Mathematics and Engineering modules, Ryan would always seek the help of
his patient and caring lecturers. He also put in extra hours to revise his lessons and was rewarded with mainly Distinctions and ‘A’s in his first semester.
Ryan also decided to grow himself holistically by joining the SP Primers Club as his co-curricular activity. His first involvement with the club was participating in the 2016 edition of the National Day Parade as a motivator. Seeing the audience joining
in and enjoying the celebrations as he led them through the songs and dance filled Ryan with joy.
At SP, Ryan learned to lead through the SP’s Leadership Programme camp in Johor Bahru and his appointment as a class leader. Even though he did not have faith in himself, Ryan’s lecturer identified with his abilities and believed in him.
As class leader, Ryan organised bonding events for the class and served as the liaison between his lecturers and classmates.
The positive experience convinced Ryan to become one of the founding member and Chairman of the School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering Ambassadors Club. As Chairman, he was actively involved in organising and leading events for the school
and developed a framework to better manage the club and its activities.
In recognition of his attitude and strong character, Ryan was selected to be a delegate of the S. Rajaratnam Endowment – Youth Model ASEAN Conference in 2016. During the conference, Ryan tapped on his foresight and general knowledge to lead
his committee to the 1st runner up spot in the Committee Pitch Battle Competition.
He also had the opportunity to take part in a hackathon organised by the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). During the 12-hour hackathon, Ryan used his engineering knowledge to help his team develop an innovative prototype of a
recycling machine. The invention impressed the judges and he walked away with the 1st prize.
The SP Model Student also managed to put his engineering skills and knowledge to good use during his 22-week internship at the Center for Strategic Infocomm Technologies where he developed a unique solution to identify potential data leakage.
Ryan has already been offered the SUTD Global Distinguished Scholarship to pursue Engineering Systems and Design. He has also been offered a spot in the Computing and Law degree at the Singapore Management University. Ryan hopes to pursue a career
as a legal tech advisor and contribute to Singapore’s Smart Nation journey.
Ryan is living proof that belief and faith can take one far even if society chooses to judge or assume.