Deep Dive into JC | Temasek Junior College: How should one spend their time in JC?
Having graduated from Temasek Junior College (TJC), Aaditya Kothary would be sharing with us his experience and what he thinks the next generations of students like you should do when entering JC.
Getting to know Aaditya Kothary
What are you watching on Netflix at the moment?
At the moment, I'm binging on the DC Universe movies like Arrow and The Flash!
What do you do in your free time?
I like to scroll through Reddit and read about tech, especially on how to build an awesome PC. I'm intending to go into Computer Science after serving NS, so the PC would be used to handle high level of computation, alongside editing photography and video, which are also my passions, as well as for gaming.
How do you rate your school uniform?
I would say I'm not the biggest fan of the dark green colour of our school uniform. However, I quite enjoy the fact that you are allowed to wear school polo shirt almost everyday. Plus, there's Dress-Down-Friday, which you can wear any class t-shirt or CCAs' t-shirts!
Aaditya Kothary's TJC experience
How was your experience in TJC?
It was fruitful as I made some good friends. I also managed to learn some necessary hard and soft skills. Our teachers are also very good-natured. Overall, it was very memorable.
You mentioned before this interview that you were in the student council, talk to us more about that leadership experience.
As part of the student council, one has to take up some major and minor projects. Mine was the Temasek Leadership Showdown, a 4-Day Camp leadership competition for secondary school students in Singapore.
Sounds challenging! What was your roles and responsibilities?
It was held outside of school, therefore I was in charge of liaising with external stakeholders such as Marine Parade, Tampines Hub, etc. I was also in charge of AV and IT, so that includes powerpoint slides, scoring mechanisms and creating challenges. This leadership camp is also tied up with the President Challenge to raise money for charity.
Was there a point where work piled up?
Certainly! There were fleeting moments where I felt like dying: last-minute rush to prepare the briefs, sleepless nights to make sure everything is in placed. There were a lot of coordination involved but fortunately our team understood each other's struggle and we pulled through without significant arguments.
What do you learn from organising this event?
One important thing is I can push myself to do more than I can imagined as long as I believe in it.
Let's talk a bit about your academic life, what subject combination did you take and why?
For a I knew I didn't like writing, chemistry or biology. I also know that I want to pursue computer science in the future. All of these reasons lead to my subject combination of Physics, Maths, Further Maths, and Economics. Taking double maths would give me a strong fundamentals to pursue CS in university.
What were some challenges you faced academically?
One of them was taking Further Maths itself. Our cohort had 25 students taking the subject, which is a fraction of the population comparing with those taking a more traditional subject combination. Due to this small class size and the difficulty of the subject, there was not many avenues to ask for help and I had difficulty coping at the start, finding myself at the bottom 20th percentile after the first test. CCA commitment played a part too. However, I was not sulking and instead had to tell myself to push harder. It was, in retrospect, a good thing that I faced such a difficult start, as I could never be complacent.
What competitions did you join in JC?
I joined a few coding competitions such as the Cyber Defenders Discovery Camp, National Olympiad in Informatics, but the one that stood out was the Code Xtreme Apps Hackathon. It was a 2D1N camp held at Singapore Management University. The challenge statement was created by an IMDA collaboration with other agencies, and it is something along the line of: "How to gain insightful feedback from multichannel such as social medias and feedback form, on Suntec City Mall". We participated in the Student Category and there were about 40 teams involved.
What do you have to deliver and how as the experience?
We had to create a dashboard of data using R language. As we tried to pull an all-nighter, our creative juice ran out and we ended up gaming for a bit before getting back to work. We managed to clinch 4th Place in our category.
What was your biggest takeaway?
The environment of a hackathon meant that I was able to meet so many like-minded persons, even those in the open category, who possess skills I aspire to have one day
What would you have done differently?
I would have put more efforts into looking for computing events or competitions to further interest my interest.
And finally, one advice to someone looking to join JC?
Do keep an open mind and look for the positive sides in what you do!