Ajay (black tie) with PCEO Peter Lam (left) and staff from Engineering School
The Lee Kuan Yew Award, an Electronics Course Gold Medal, a TP Skills Mastery Award, a Diploma in Electronics (Merit), two subject Book Prizes, and a WorldSkills Bronze medal to boot – it’s a heavy haul indeed for Ajay Shanker to lug home. But the gutsy young man, who graduated in May 2019, doesn’t mind of course.
Graduating with with a near-perfect GPA of 3.98, the former student of Montfort Sec School is a shining example of an all-rounder who is not just an academic achiever, but also a leader in CCAs, an active contributor to community service and an odds-beater.
By the age of eight, he had lost both his parents and, with his older sister, they moved from one foster home to another until they settled down at the Salvation Army’s Gracehaven home. But his family circumstances did not deter him from striving to achieve his dream of becoming an Engineer. Neither did being in the Normal (Technical) stream in secondary school. Stigma? What stigma? “Why should a name used in the education system bother us? What’s important is how much impact one can make in society,” was his honest response.
Ajay went on to ace his ‘N’ and ‘O’ level exams, and joined the Common Engineering Programme at TP. (This is a common entry programme in which students only choose which diploma to stream into, after 1 or 2 semesters, thereby getting more time to make up their minds.)
Asked for the secret of his success, Ajay was hard-pressed for an answer, because he firmly believes that there is no one-size magic formula. After scratching his head for a while, the self-motivated young man said: “Just be always determined to get the answer to anything that you don’t know. For me, I have very itchy hands and am always curious about how things work,” said the inquisitive young man who literally took apart an old microwave, just to see how it was put together. (He never managed to put it back together again, but at least, he has learnt how it works!)
Ajay has been offered a place (with scholarship) to pursue a degree in Engineering Product Development at SUTD, as well as direct entry into the second year of NTU’s Electrical and Electronic Engineering programme.
For more information about the Diploma in Electronics at TP, click here.