Don't be limited by your capabilities in JC: From Humanities to Data (Elliot Choo)

Submitted May 2023

Why did you choose to study humanities subjects?

I loved studying the humanities and was good at these subjects in Sec 1-4. The converse is true when it came to science subjects, so I went for the best option available in JC, which was the Humanities Programme. For uni, I wanted to wake up every day wanting to study, so I chose history. 

How did you get to where you are? What advice do you have for students?

[Elliot interned as a history teacher and journalist before university.] I recommend getting an internship or any job after JC. This is the first step to stop relying on one's parents for money, and also a good chance to really know one's likes and dislikes.

Before uni, I only had my eye on getting a scholarship and then joining the civil service before uni. But I did not join the civil service in the end. My scholarship applications were rejected, and my parents financially supported my university education.

After starting in HR, I moved to consulting as I wanted to accelerate my learning with project-based work, as compared to repetitive work in a mid-office/back-office role in a bank. During consulting, I fell in love with numbers again and then pursued a specialism in data as that was the growing field. I then moved to tech to work in a data-driven environment. Switching jobs every few years can accelerate earning potential and teach one how to negotiate. 

I wasn't great with math in JC but now work in data day in day out. I don't think my math has vastly improved. Rather, my interest has grown and I found more practical usage. One's capabilities in JC aren't the be all and end all.