An aspiring tech entrepreneur seeking to champion sustainability

18 Apr 2024

The Chung Cheng High School (Yishun) alumna, whose father was a programmer, was exposed to programming as a GCE ‘O’ Levels subject. Thrilled by the idea of solving programming problems with neat and logical codes, Julia Lim Jia Yi enrolled in Singapore Polytechnic’s Diploma in Information Technology (DIT) through the Early Admissions Exercise (EAE). She found that the modules in DIT were precisely what she was interested in, as she wanted to learn how to use technology to solve real-world problems.

In SP, she was placed in the Director’s Honour Roll twice and even co-founded an EdTech startup with two seniors, focusing on gamification in STEM education. The team built proprietary software, Ludos, to gamify education using quizzes, leaderboards, and interactive story elements to empower educators through better classroom engagement. The start-up’s gamified programmes have since impacted over 1,500 primary and secondary school students.

More than just aiming for grades, the all-rounded Chua Chor Teck Gold Medallist contributed to SP’s Mixed Martial Arts and was vice-president of the School of Computing Club. Outside of SP, she picked up competitive basketball, represented her local basketball club at overseas matches and obtained a sailing license. When she is not studying or taking part in co-curricular activities, she works part-time as a food delivery rider. She wants to be independent to ease the load on her father, a sole breadwinner.

Through the year-long Polytechnic Technology Programme, the Singapore Digital (SG:D) Scholar interned as a software engineer at GovTech, developing and enhancing functionalities and integrating services to better meet clients' needs. A project she considers most memorable involved helping citizens book adoption-related workshops and parenting consultations for divorcees with children through BookingSG, a calendaring and rostering booking management tool for government agencies. Through her stint at GovTech, she realised that leveraging technology for the good of society makes her work truly meaningful.

A compassionate leader, Julia dedicates her skills and time to empowering the next generation of youths. Volunteering with Cyber Youth Singapore (CYS), her role as a programme lead for the Digitalise Singapore, supported by the Infocomm Media Development Authority’s (IMDA) Digital for Life movement, aims to empower local youths in their tech projects. In addition, she volunteered at Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) at the Napiri Training & Development Centre to spread Christmas cheer to youths with disabilities.

As she reflected on her growth journey, Julia realised that the EAE process allowed her to rediscover her passion for learning while building her portfolio. Group projects in SP encouraged her to value creativity and collaboration over competitiveness, which she realised were essential in creating impactful outcomes. Her journey in SP allowed her to share her knowledge and experiences with new students at events such as the Freshmen Orientation Programme.

Julia aspires to be a tech entrepreneur and a changemaker. She will work on areas she is passionate about, such as enhancing the efficiency of processes to achieve sustainability goals and driving positive societal change. She intends to further her studies in Computer Science and Entrepreneurship at the National University of Singapore (NUS).

SP Sustainability Matters