Meet the president

Leadership Values in Action
by Kavitha Sundralingam

When you sit and have a chat with Ryan Ong, our third-year Diploma in Accounting & Finance student, you can’t help but notice his dynamic mind—and indeed, that contagious smile.

He is lucid with his beliefs, thoughts and goals in life that sometimes it’s hard to believe that he’s only 20. You’re looking at the President of Temasek Polytechnic’s Student Union (TPSU).

As TPSU’s main man, Ryan’s role isn’t solely based on overseeing the team. He gets into the very fine details of groundwork when it comes to planning and executing events. 

“Leadership is about giving and stepping out of your comfort zone,” Ryan said. “It’s about being able to communicate and represent people who can’t speak up as much.”

He aims to be the pillar of strength and voice for those who need it. Sticking true to his beliefs, he encourages his team to nail the number one attribute when it comes to teamwork—expressing their thoughts and communicating with one another. 
Many of us may wonder what goes on in the life of a student president. Ryan took us through his jam-packed schedule and we have to admit that we were impressed with his efficiency!

The day kicks off with a tutorial at 9 am, followed by lunch, group projects, revision, an early dinner and a team meeting. Supper is a must.

“It’s so important connecting with my people,” Ryan said. “I strive to motivate them, empower them and I know they’ll do the same for me.”

Some work days turn into work nights and Ryan is grateful to his lecturers for guiding him.

“All my lecturers go out of their way to help us,” Ryan said. “They give us feedback on our projects and stay late with us to answer our questions.”

Ever since he joined TPSU, Ryan has taken his leadership to the next level. He places empathy before everything else.

“We need to respect each other’s feelings and thoughts. We need to be there for the students, and especially the freshmen as they come in sometimes frightened and lost. It’s an opportunity to be part of something great, and possibly even change lives, and for that, I am very grateful.”