Hello, I am Benjamin.
I stand out as an individual who is as unique as the singular path I’ve journeyed through life, shaped and refined by my intrinsic character and the rich experiences I’ve encountered. At the heart of my ethos is the drive to create substantial impact, imprinting a positive footprint in every sphere I traverse, and endorsing robust open dialogue as a vehicle to catalyze collective advancement.
As a native of Singapore, a nation profoundly ingrained with fundamental values like Integrity, Courage, Fairness, Openness, and Service, along with the ethos of “Punching above your Weight,” I passionately uphold these guiding tenets that have facilitated our evolution to our present stature.
The myriad experiences life has presented to me have enriched me with unparalleled adaptability, enabling me to integrate effortlessly into a diverse array of situations. This malleability extends to my competence in bridging the communication gap between individuals across different strata of society and varied educational backgrounds. With my robust qualifications across numerous domains, I am equipped to tackle a wide spectrum of subjects and challenges.
In forging personal and professional relationships, I champion open communication, sincerity, and the pursuit of shared understanding. In every interaction, whether with a janitor or a CEO, I lay a groundwork of mutual respect, firmly rooted in the conviction that everyone merits treatment with dignity and thoughtful regard.
To further propel Singapore’s unwavering growth trajectory and prosperity, I ardently believe that each one of us bears a responsibility to actively sculpt our cultural fabric and principles. By offering our societal model for global contemplation, we hold the capacity to effectuate positive transformation at an international scale. Together, we can labor towards building a more equitable and sustainable world.
I appreciate the time you’ve taken to delve deeper into understanding who I am. I eagerly anticipate forging connections with like-minded individuals who harbor the same fervor for igniting meaningful change and contributing to the collective good.
With Warm Regards,
Benjamin A Chua
My Life Journey: A Tale of Resilience and Growth
As a true-blue Singaporean, my roots lie in a middle-income family. From my earliest days, the spark of ambition for greatness ignited within me, even in the face of a multitude of obstacles that lined my path. My academic journey set sail on a somewhat turbulent note – the initial setback of failing to qualify for the EM1 stream and attaining less than desired scores in PSLE were hard pills to swallow. The subsequent phase of my educational journey led me to Dunearn Secondary School, a place unfortunately tainted by the presence of secret societies and riddled with gang-related activities. During this time, I found myself swayed into a whirlpool of negative behaviours, which culminated in my transfer to the Normal Academic stream after my second year in secondary school.
However, I was steadfast in my belief that our past does not carve our destiny. Observing some of my friends prematurely bowing out of the educational landscape due to lacklustre performance served as a wake-up call. I resolved to put my shoulder to the wheel for my N level examinations, and my efforts bore fruit when I graduated as the top student from the 5N stream in my O level examinations. This momentous achievement fanned the flames of my motivation, propelling me towards higher education. My next academic chapter unfolded in Republic Polytechnic, where I continued to excel, undeterred by the occasional hurdles that stood in my way.
Throughout my journey in National Service, my grit and perseverance became my guiding stars, empowering me to excel, despite enlisting in the obese category. Astonishingly, I was able to shed 16kgs and clinched the coveted IPPT Gold, a testament to my commitment to constant self-improvement. Furthermore, my innate leadership abilities were not overlooked during Basic Military Training, paving the way for my selection to join the esteemed 82/11 Officer Cadet Course.
However, as I navigated the rigorous training, a series of events stirred introspective thoughts within me, prompting me to deeply question the intentions and motivations behind my chosen path. After much soul-searching, I was confronted with the daunting decision of stepping away from the course. Nevertheless, I made a sincere vow that I would return, given that I could redefine my perspective and rejuvenate my sense of purpose.
Despite the trials I faced, I steadfastly persisted, ultimately securing a coveted spot at one of Singapore’s premier universities. This was a momentous milestone, particularly considering the obstacles I’d previously encountered. Even as financial pressures loomed and academic hurdles arose, I was undeterred. I went on to initiate a social enterprise, showcasing my determination not just to survive, but to thrive.
However, life had more challenges in store for me. Amidst these trials, I found it necessary to momentarily step away from university and venture into the private sector.
In time, an unanticipated yet life-altering opportunity materialized. Outward Bound Singapore extended an offer for me to join them as an Instructor. Embarking on this new career trajectory, I plunged into the unfamiliar waters, not wanting to be “just another graduate”. Following rigorous training and hands-on experience, I succeeded in carving out a reputation as a competent instructor.
During this transformative period, I found another reason to celebrate—I got married. In a unique twist, we incorporated a “paddle ceremony” into our wedding festivities, infusing an extra layer of significance and personal touch to the momentous occasion.
I was soon met with a challenge. I was bounded by an employment contract and was unable to secure an extension on my leave of absence from the university. The act of balancing work, studies, and personal life grew even more demanding when my wife experienced complications during her pregnancy, which eventually resulted in a seven month stay in the hospital and a bilateral nephrectomy for my child. Ultimately, my perseverance paid off as I successfully navigated these hurdles and completed my studies, graduating with a commendable academic record that stands testament to my dedication and resilience. My daughter also returned home where we perform dialysis for her every night.
Upon introspection of my life journey, along with the sense of moral duty I felt towards National Service, I made the conscious decision to re-enlist. I embarked on a rigorous training program, back in SAFTI MI. Concurrently, I decided to take up the offer to pursue a master’s degree, an opportunity that is hard to come by despite that it was not the best time for more commitments.
With unwavering support of my family, I ascended to the distinguished role of a senior military expert, a feat that was further recognised by a nomination for the highly coveted Sword of Honour. My journey culminated in assuming the responsibilities of an Officer Commanding (OC) in a vibrant and demanding air base.
Currently, my professional path has led me to delve into the realm of cybersecurity within the Air Force. The narrative of my life stands as a compelling testament to the strength of persistence, the versatility of adaptability, and an open-hearted readiness to welcome change. From a youthful dreamer to a robust and resilient individual, I am imbued with a sense of pride for the person I have matured into and the meaningful difference I can bring to the table in my career and personal life.
My life’s journey remains a dynamic and evolving narrative, brimming with learning and growth. Anticipating both the challenges and opportunities that lay unchartered on my path, I remain eager and open to embracing them. My story underscores the notion that we are not defined by the circumstances of our beginnings but by our drive to grow, adapt, and continually strive for better, shaping our own narrative with each step we take.
“The wind and tide may be against me,
but I am the helmsman.”
Quote on Indiana @ Outward Bound Singapore
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