Oct 4, 2012

Interview with Jonathan Toh

As many of you might've already known, a team of DIT students has won "Now you CAN - Leadership Series (Season 2)". Recently, we got a chance to have a short interview with Jonathan Toh, a DIT (IS option) third year student who is a member of the team. Jonathan has been actively participated in various competitions during his course of study with us. Besides winning "Now you CAN" competition, he was also won "Best Student Presenter in SITF Awards 2012". Now let's find out his winning secrets and what inspires him to be so active in joining competitions.


Jonathan, pls Tell us more about yourself.

"I’m Jonathan Toh Jun Hong, currently year 3 from Diploma of Information Technology (DIT), I’m an active sportsman doing Sailing every weekend and currently the Lead for Microsoft Student Partners. I have also recently started a business in Singapore with a friend from School of Business and currently looking into more business opportunities.

I started my SP Life with 3 CCAs, Mostly music related but ended up with only one at the end of the first few months, Sailing. I believe in “focusing in only 1 and be the best out of that 1 thing” so fair enough I was able to prove the impossible in year 2 after 1 year+ of sailing experience; reaching the National position of 4th on national level on Singapore Sailing Federation’s ranking board. The most memorable experience was to finish 2nd after a coach in a race with 30plus other sailors whom only came in after 10mins+.

People normally think negative when they are on a disadvantage which in this case , other sailors having 5-15 years of sailing experience and with me only 1 year plus but when we flip the way we think, the results will be much more positive than what you will expect.

Soon after my competitions, I received a hint from the school that I was removed from the ‘competition’ team for my diploma. I believe it was due to my drop in result during that semester which is when I weighted if I should continue sailing and aim to be a national sailor like my friend whom is one now or learn something new. Well I decided to go for competitions,something related to my life goal & vision, IT related. One lesson I took away from this experience was to always ensure that I’m working towards my ultimate goal and not let distractions happen without noticing.
Well, shortly after, I reduced my sailing activities by almost 80% and told the school I’m interested in competitions and this is how everything started.

Same for Microsoft Students partners, I got rejected in Year 1 but I didn’t give up because I believe in my passion and I not only became a student partner but also the lead for the SP Team."

Recently, you've won "Now you can" competition. Can you tell us more about your award winning project?

"My teams consist of 4 students including myself they are Tan Jian Sin, Francis Cheng & Nicholas Lee. All of them are my coursemates (DIT).

MediJournal integrates real-world technology and existing infrastructure, to create a medication reminder application that not only is adaptable across all ages but also extremely intuitive and fast. Boasting its Automatic Scheduling Feature, MediJournal enables a user grab their medication info from the Hospital's server and automatically schedules the reminder timings with only ONE touch of the button.

In pursuit of rich user experience and social interaction, family members/doctors can also can check if their loved ones did take their medication. This is especially useful since the doctor can now make a better diagnosis."

The winning moment

Any other competition you are participating now?

"I’m currently participating in SAP dashboard design competition. My batch isn’t taught what and how SAP is/work but the main reason I took up this competition is because of the word design. Having to design or create something of yours is a bless. Well, I see it as a challenge for myself, learning and exploring the different fields of IT. "

What actually inspires you to participate in various competitions? Why is it that you do not want to be just like the most of the students who come to school to study only hoping to get a good GPA? Why need to do extra work?

"Well as explained in my story above, knowledge, life skills, the love in learning and exploring new stuff and if you can tackle and come out with a solution for real world problem, you are at around industrial standards but! If you can’t even handle your GPA, what makes your think you can tackle real world solution (In terms of coding skills). However, it is a sad fact that GPA is still the most important factor leading to where you want to go, in Singapore. "

What are your winning secrets?

"Each and every of us are special individual and you are the winning secret because different people react, act, believe, etc. differently.

I personally believe that everyone has to start somewhere and failure is unavoidable so FLIP it like what I said, look at the other perspective of failure, it helps you avoid mistake in future. The more failure you learn the more you avoid in future. I see Polytechnic as a time for experimentations, trying stuff which doesn’t have a clear outcome.

I participated in 7 competitions and with some leading two teams (Imagine Cup, Splash Awards, SITF, NIA, SP Mob Fest, SAP Dashboard Design, Now You Can Leadership series). Each and every competition brings a learning lesson for me which I’m sure I did benefit from all this experiences. If I gave up trying after my first failure, I wouldn’t be what I am today.

Another thing for sure is, coding skill is not everything, you may be a genius in programming but if your idea isn’t thought through and if you DON’T have the sense of belonging, it will not work out far for you. I would say, both play an important part."

Was SP-DIT your first choice in JAE?

"Yes, SP-DIT was my first choice."

Why  IT ?

"Technology is faster than you can write it on a book. That is how fast technology is growing; My objective here in SP DIT is to understand more about IT & have the foundation of programming so what I could start something of my own. I would say my goal is to be an innovator. "

How does DIT course help to groom you to be who you are today?

"Lecturers, they are the opportunities. There are some really some committed lecturers who have strong passion in grooming students but it all still depends on how hungry you are to learn.
'If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door'.

Your school is your resource, it all depends on if YOU want to make use of it."

What is your future plan after poly;  or rather after NS?

 "I personally have multiple plans, Entrepreneurship, Businesses. Grow my current company & innovate solutions using IT."

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