Passion for gaming leads him to Temasek Polytechnic and coding
Besides maintaining scholarship and his place on director's list, this Temasek Polytechnic student is also a technical evangelist at Microsoft and leader at TP
His interest in gaming spurred him to delve deeper into the code behind his favourite games.
From there, Mr Shawn Tjai 's passion for programming led him to take up the information technology (IT) course in Temasek Polytechnic's (TP) School of Informatics and IT.
The third-year student, 20, is also the president of the Microsoft Student Community in TP, where he holds technology talks and organises outreach events for Microsoft in the polytechnic.
Being president was one of the many leadership opportunities he has been tasked with.
"I was shortlisted by a lecturer to be part of the Microsoft Student Community in TP, and I was appointed president in my second year," Mr Tjai said.
"It's a great opportunity because I handled many of Microsoft's events and it was exciting to be a part of it."
He is also in the National Programme Lead for Microsoft Student Partners in Singapore, and manages Microsoft events across all polytechnics and universities.
The professional gamer has represented Singapore in international championships for first-person shooter game Point Blank for the past three years.
And he does all this while maintaining his scholarship and position on TP's director's list.
Mr Tjai , who will graduate in May, told The New Paper: "I've liked gaming since I was very young, but when I was 15, I thought 'Why not create a game server and host the game?'
"Then, I taught myself how to modify code by trial and error."
Pursuing programming in TP was a natural choice for him, as its IT course teaches the business aspect of IT as well, suited for the entrepreneur in him.
"The industry is becoming more IT-related now, and studying business is important," he said.
"Four friends and I are looking into starting a company in this (IT) field."
He is now doing an eight-month internship with Microsoft Singapore as a technical evangelist as part of his course.
"I help talk to clients and give speeches about Microsoft products and convince people to come on board," he said.
"Once, I had to handle three major events in a week, and I even had to lead four workshops on the same day.
"It was tough but I managed to pull through."
On top of his internship, Mr Tjai has to handle his final year project as well.
Outside of school, he has dabbled in side projects, like developing Singapore Weather Today, a bot on social media that gives weather updates every 15 minutes.
Senior lecturer for the diploma in IT, Mr Yeak Shaw Wen, said: "Shawn has always been deeply passionate in the field of technology.
"With his knowledge and experience, he is able to explore and find ways to integrate IT solutions into entrepreneurial ideas."
About Beyond 'O' Level Seminar
What: Beyond 'O' Level Seminar
For: Students awaiting O level results and their parents
When: Saturday, Jan 7, 2017
Time: Seminar starts at 10am. Registration and breakfast from 9am.
Where: Temasek Convention Centre, Temasek Polytechnic
How to register: Online via the Temasek Polytechnic website: www.tp.edu.sg/beyondolevel
For enquiries, call 6780 6027 and 6780 6556 or e-mail email@example.com