Alumni | Overcoming Adversity

Niranjan TALEKAR is from the Class of 2016 and was in SSIS for nine years, where he obtained his IGCSE and IB diploma and went to study at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Niranjan is currently a Supply Chain Data Analytics Engineer at Johnson Electric.

He recalls his time here fondly and says his years here were fulfilling and fun. “To this day, when I talk to my friends from SSIS, we reminisce about the times when we would all study for an exam in the library or that one basketball game when someone scored a game-winning three-point from the half-court line. SSIS has been like a home to me that fed and nurtured me into the man I am today,” he says. “I often talk to my brother (TALEKAR Vedant Vinayak, currently in Grade 10) to talk about his day-to-day life, and it is really good to hear that SSIS has kept developing the learning experience, I am glad to have studied at SSIS! Go Sabres!”

Impact of IB

Niranjan says that he realised he had become more open-minded and caring after completing his IB and university degree. The courses allowed him to work with many people from all walks of life who, in turn, have shaped him into a global citizen“The IB curriculum, as hard and challenging as it was, has had a substantial impact on my life and world views. I would not have been able to achieve this without the international environment at SSIS,” he admits. 

The Teachers’ Legacies

The alum namechecks many teachers who left not just impressions but who also shaped him.“I would like to thank all of the teachers who made an impact on my life and made me into the person I am today.” 

Ms Elaine TAN piqued my interest in the Sciences when I first came to SSIS. 

Mr Adam CROSSLEY got me into the world of guitars. I remember taking his After School Programme where he taught me the instrument, and that was when I started my musical development. I now own four guitars that I play on the weekends for fun. 

Mr Oscar BECWARIKA was always the funniest chemistry teacher who also used unorthodox experiments to teach us chemistry concepts. 

Mr Eubin MPETA led the MUN conferences when I joined and had an amazing time debating to develop my skills.

Of course, we have Mr Doruk GURKAN (Senior School Principal), who taught me English First Language in IB. In IB English class, I learned to overcome my stage fright and give commanding and confident presentations in front of an audience. 

Resilience in Adversity

The past year was quite turbulent for Niranjan. First, the school closure in Hong Kong SAR forced his classes and exams online. Then came the pandemic. He struggled and managed to graduate in May 2020, but “the job market was already shrinking since the companies were downsizing. However, instead of wasting time hoping for opportunities to come by, I strapped in and decided to work on self-improvement. I started taking multiple online courses on Udemy and Coursera to improve my Data Analytics and Big Data skills,” he says.

Hosting Mr. Lawrence CHAN during Strategic Management Discussion @PolyU

Since graduation, he had applied to over 300 companies and only received three interviews. And then one day, he spotted an opportunity as a Supply Chain Data Analytics Engineer at Johnson Electric. I was so excited for this role that I did not want to risk missing the chance to to get the job, and so I printed my resume and went directly to their office to apply. Eventually, after multiple rounds of interviews, I got the position and started working there at the start of 2021. “

“If there is anything that I would like you to take away from this experience is thatperseverance is key, and never give up in the face of adversity. If you have a goal in mind, stick to it with dear life and never stray from it. It will take blood, sweat and tears to get there, but it will eventually be worth it,” he reminds us. 

Advice to Seniors

He says one must have a vision in mind for the 10 years after university“You want to be able to find the courses that are relevant to the field you want to work in. You must have a vision for the job you will be doing because choosing a degree is important to catapulting you to those goals. Do extensive research in the field you want to work in.” 

He suggests asking the following:

  • Where do you want to work? 
  • Which company has the most scope for growth in that field? 
  • Does the university degree help accelerate your career towards that goal? (Talk to your teachers or University Counsellors as they have much more real-life experiences and knowledge to share. Discuss your ideas and plans, and they might help you to be more ambitious and focused.)

“There is a fascinating analogy that I came across recently,” he offers us. A little effort a day goes a long way to achieving your goal, and this can be represented with a simple formula.”

In the next five years, Niranjan hopes to become a big data machine learning expertand help businesses achieve their dreams through data-driven decision making. He has an entrepreneurial vision and wants to use his vast skillset to develop technology to better humankind

We wish him all the best in his endeavours!

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