Multi-talented Computer Science graduate makes a positive impact through music, sports, social service, and… coffee-making

Jordan Yoong Jia En has always had a strong interest in computers and information technology. As he enhanced his computing proficiency, he discovered that these technical skills could help to bring about a positive impact on others, and this deep commitment to serve led him to pursue an undergraduate degree in Computer Science at NUS School of Computing (SoC). 

Although he is academically strong, Jordan was determined to take full advantage of the myriad of learning avenues offered by NUS, going beyond grades and GPA. “Student life presented many opportunities and my four years in NUS have been very fulfilling,” he recalled. From music to sports to community work to coffee-making, this multi-talented former resident of the College of Alice & Peter Tan (CAPT) harnessed his varied interests to build lasting friendships and make a positive difference to those around him. 

Bringing people together through music, sports, coffee and community work 

An incredibly gifted musician, Jordan plays the guitar, cajon and keyboard. He is active in Guitarpella, a performance-based music interest group in CAPT that combines the dynamics of guitar strumming and acapella, showcasing various songs across different genres. Despite his heavy academic workload in SoC, he found time to conduct music workshops for residents of CAPT, perform at various events such as the CAPT’s Arts Showcase and the Dean of Computing’s welcome session for freshmen, and serve as the Project Director for CAPT10 Concert and Vice President of the CAPT Students’ Committee. 

Many of Jordan’s friends know him as an avid sportsman. He was a member of Team NUS Swimming and NUS Tchoukball – his teams clinched the champion title for swimming at Inter-Varsity-Polytechnic (IVP) Games in 2020, and emerged as the 3rd runner-up for tchoukball at the Singapore University Games (SUniG) in 2022. At CAPT, he was also part of the various sports teams that won medals for the residential college. 

Another of Jordan’s signature contributions to CAPT is transforming CAPTCoffee, originally a coffee interest group, into a student-run café within the residential college. A certified barista himself, Jordan developed a structured on-the-job training programme for junior baristas during the Morning Brew sessions, and over time, nurtured a competent service crew to operate the café on different shifts. 

CAPT is known for its community engagement programmes, and as a resident of the college, Jordan was involved in many of these initiatives. One memorable experience was the Constellations project under CAPT’s Active Community Engagement Wing, where he taught music to at-risk youths from the Singapore Boys’ Hostel during his second and third years. “Through my weekly sessions with the boys, I learned that even though we may have different family backgrounds, we share many common qualities as one people,” Jordan shared. 

In 2019, he also took on the role of a teaching assistant in the Study Trips for Engagement and EnRichment (STEER) Nepal programme, where he benefitted greatly from learning about the Nepalese culture, social dynamics, and conservation efforts.

Jordan also applied his Computer Science skills for a good cause through Project Sa’Bai in Cambodia, an initiative organised jointly by students from SoC and the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine (NUS Medicine) to improve healthcare accessibility in the country. During their stay in Cambodia, medical students conducted healthcare screening for the local community, while computing students, including Jordan, helped to build a patient-record system. “While my focus has mainly been on technology and computer science, this experience has allowed me to witness first-hand the immense impact that technology can have on the healthcare sector, especially in resource-constrained settings,” he recounted. 

An exciting career ahead 

Jordan, who will be receiving his Bachelor of Computing in Computer Science with Honours (Merit) today, is excited about the new chapter of his life after graduation. 

He will soon be starting work in a local digital bank as a Security Software Engineer, a job offer that came in recognition of his excellent performance during his internship with the company. His new job entails building tools for seamless integration, making decisions for security issues, as well as streamlining and automating processes. 

Jordan said, “The training in SoC is very relevant to my job. Although I had to pick up new skills during my internship, many of the competencies I’ve acquired during my undergraduate degree programme, such as programming and logical thinking, provided a strong foundation to grow my career in the IT sector.” 

This advocate of student life activities hopes to balance his work commitments with his diverse interests – and for now, these include “playing tchoukball and dodgeball competitively on a club level” and carrying on with his community engagement projects.

This story is part of NUS News’ coverage of Commencement 2023, which celebrates the achievements of our more than 14,700 graduates from the Class of 2023. For more on Commencement, read our stories and graduate profiles, check out the official Commencement website, or look up and tag #NUS2023 on our social media channels!