Humans of Eunoia x Leadership – A PlethORA of Opportunities

In our final Humans of Eunoia article, The Origin* interviewed Jiya who will share with us her leadership journey as part of the Ora House Committee. Read on to find out more!

Written by Li Xin Rong (19-I4) and Lee En Tong (19-U2)

Designed by Lee En Tong (19-U2)

“[My times spent as leadership positions] were similar in that I grew from each of them, and realised leadership wasn’t just about leading people; it’s more about listening to them and serving them.”



As 2019 draws to a close, we interviewed Jiya Dutta (19-O1), a member of the Ora House Committee, to end off Humans of Eunoia on a sweet note. 


If money wasn’t an issue, what profession would you choose?

Hmm… I like to dance. Ok, I would pursue writing, as an author. I’ve been reading ever since I can remember. Initially, I didn’t start out with English medium books since I used to study in India. I used to read a lot of Indian mythology and books of similar genre, but once I came over to Singapore, I started with Rick Riordan’s books. (Rick Riordan is the author of Percy Jackson & The Olympians series and The Heroes of Olympus, to name a few) I just loved how he was able to use mythology and weave it into a brand new story in an original way.

It would be a really fulfilling and fun endeavour to try writing my own story. I’ve tried writing my own in the past, but unfortunately, it’s not likely something I would pursue if money was an issue. However, if money wasn’t an issue, writing would be something I’d love to do.


In what ways do you find meaning in the positions that you serve?

I am a member of the House Committee, and I find it really meaningful. I’m doing something not only for the house, but for the school’s culture as a whole. I feel that leadership positions are a way for you to give back to the community who has given so much to you. Serving in House Comm so far has taught me that I can find a lot of meaning in doing things for the House, and helping out in school activities. I feel that as a new school, we really need to cultivate a very strong school culture right from the start, so that we are able to help newer J1s next year integrate better into the whole system.

I find particular meaning in working together with my committee mates and teachers. Through this leadership position, I really learnt the value of teamwork. Without any help from my House Comm mates and teachers, I don’t think I’ll be able to do many of the things I have contributed so far. Road Run, organising signature events and house parties are some of these instances when I was really grateful for the social support structure around me.


Is this your first leadership position, or have you had other opportunities in your life so far?

I was actually Head Prefect back in primary school, and in secondary school I was a Councillor for a while. I was also the Captain of my CCA. The experiences that I have gathered from those different stints are similar, but also different. It was similar in that I grew from each of them, and realised leadership wasn’t just about leading people; it’s more about listening to them and serving them. 


It has been almost half a year since you were invested into your leadership position. If given the chance to go back to the start of the year, what would you do differently?

If given the chance to go back to the start… I think right now, there isn’t much I regret from my time as House Comm member. However, I would have tried running for Vice Captain. Looking at how my Vice Captains are doing their jobs and putting so much time and effort in it, I would like to try that as well.

I would also try to take more initiative. I remember not being that outspoken or vocal with my ideas at the start. I felt that not being from one of the IP schools, my views would not count for much and that they had more experience than I did. If I had been more vocal, I would have welcomed more new opportunities instead of shying away from them.

It was actually a unanimous decision for my classmates to nominate me as the House Rep. It came from a place of wanting to include and make me feel welcomed, which I am very grateful for. I wouldn’t be the same person I am now without this leadership opportunity.


Outro: Reflections


We are at the final article of our Humans of Eunoia series. When first starting out, I met with unprecedented challenges such as coming up with creative interview questions and learning how to best represent the interviewee in our articles. I learnt how important the transcription process (we voice recorded our interviewees) was in changing the tone and meaning of the article. For each interviewee, whether coordinating available timings, making my interviewee feel comfortable or taking a genuine interest in them, a lot of learning took place, and I have gained valuable experience. I am very grateful for this opportunity to get to know Eunoians a little better and strive to write their colourful stories.


– Xin Rong


Oh how time flies! This article officially marks the end of Humans of Eunoia and I am incredibly thankful to have been able to meet so many inspiring members of our Eunoian community. While we embarked on this project with the hope of achieving many of our intended ideals, we encountered various obstacles, ranging from generating questions to interviewing skills that truth be told, really stumped us. However, no journey is never fraught with difficulties and this genuinely made me better appreciate the effort that goes into journalism. As the rather cliche saying goes, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. It’s the colourful experiences of every member of EJC that intertwine to make our community uniquely beautiful.  


– En Tong


Humans of Eunoia x Leadership: Behind the Scenes

In this Humans of Eunoia x Leadership installment, Elizabeth Low, President of Drama, reflects on her leadership journey.

Written by: Li Xin Rong (19-I4), Lee En Tong (19-U2)

Designed by: Lee En Tong (19-U2)

Image credits here

“I think I’ll choose olive green as there’s a lot of ambiguity about it. People will see it and wonder if it is brown, green or yellow so I think it will be fun. It’s quite similar to how a person has multiple facets, so I think it’s quite an interesting colour.”


As we eagerly (or dreadfully) tread steadily towards J2 (oh how time flies), we’ve checked in with Elizabeth Low (19-E5), President of Drama, this week to discover her thoughts and reflections about her leadership journey thus far.



If you could choose the name of a crayon colour, what would you name it? 

Wow, there are so many options. I think I’ll choose olive green as there’s a lot of ambiguity about it. People will see it and wonder if it is brown, green or yellow so I think it will be fun. It’s quite similar to how a person has multiple facets, so I think it’s quite an interesting colour. Also, I like the colour green and I’m from Eder so olive green is quite a patriotic choice.


Image result for olive green crayon

(Writer’s note: in case you’re wondering what olive green looks like)



As we will be receiving a new batch of JC1s next year, what would you say you are looking for in potential leaders? 

Ah, interesting. I think what I would look for in a potential leader is how they carry themselves in terms of whether they are the same or different in front of their teachers or other students. For example, are they nice in front of their teachers but mean behind their backs? I think it’s very telling of a person’s character from how they interact with others. 

Personally, I also feel that integrity and empathy are very important qualities in a leader, so that’s what I will usually look for. For example, the value that we emphasise the most on in my CCA is inclusivity. Since drama requires different skills, we need everyone to work together. If I were looking for the next leader of Drama, I will look for someone who is very caring and helps every member to achieve their fullest potential, whether it is script writing, set design or lighting design. 


In what ways do you find meaning in the position that you serve?

Hmm… I feel very happy when I see the joy of my fellow members after each performance and after they manage to memorise a monologue. Even though some of them may feel that they could have done better, it was also a very meaningful experience from which they learnt a lot. 

I also find it very meaningful when we simply sit down to discuss ideas and how everyone is very encouraging of one another. I feel very happy that my exco and I have been able to cultivate such an environment where members are comfortable and everyone is respectful of the opinions of others. 

Humans of Eunoia x Leadership: Within and Without

In our latest Humans of Eunoia article, Lum Wan Tong, President of the 3rd Student Council, will share some insights about her leadership journey.

Written by: Li Xin Rong (19-I4) and Lee En Tong (19-U2)

Designed by: Lee En Tong (19-U2)


You’ve seen our student leaders filling the shoes of their predecessors earlier last term but we bet that you don’t know their entire journey and their individual passions!

As the second installment of Humans of Eunoia, the theme for Term 3 is leadership which goes hand in hand with Deep Dive Day 3. We hope to feature student leaders from the 4 distinct directorates and delve into their leadership journeys, their experiences with leadership and some memorable revelations along the way.

Here’s a brief overview of EJC’s current leadership structure:

ejc leadership overview 2019

This week, we will be featuring Lum Wan Tong  (19-U1), the President of the 3rd Student Council. Here’s what she has to say!

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m Wan Tong from 19-U1, I’m in the arts stream and I take History, Econs, Literature, H1 Math and KI. I have three younger siblings 🙂

Describe your leadership journey in EJC in one word or phrase.

Very cliche, but, growth. When I went to EJC, I didn’t know a lot of people, only those from SCGS since I was from the SC Integrated Programme (IP). Also, in secondary school, I wasn’t a prefect. I took on other leadership roles so joining Council was something I always wanted to do. 

It’s about getting to know new people and taking up the challenge of running for President. It led me to grow and learn a lot about myself, as well as how to work with others and how to drive a vision across. So far, my leadership journey has been a lot about growth and learning from the mistakes I made.

How is your leadership experience in JC different from secondary school?

In secondary school, I was the head of my CCA, so it was on a smaller scale. It was just managing the club, looking at how we could progress as a CCA and maintaining the welfare of everyone. Whereas in JC, Council itself is quite big (47 of us), so learning to work with different groups of people was more important than before. 

Additionally, beyond Council, I also had to learn to work with the CCA leaders and make sure that everyone is included. Sometimes it’s impossible for Council to do all the work, so it’s important to learn to delegate work to others.

What is one memorable experience you’ve had in your leadership journey thus far?

Student Investiture, because it was the first event we had to do. The first rehearsal went quite smoothly, but the second rehearsal had quite a lot of hiccups such as not having enough time to set up the chairs so it was very messy. It was the day before Investiture itself, so I remember feeling quite nervous and stressed on the actual day. People were rather uncoordinated, and people were trying to leave as well. 

Fortunately, on the day itself, nothing majorly bad happened and the teachers were quite happy with us. This was a memorable event for the start of my leadership journey.

Despite being Council President for a short time, could you tell us a challenge you faced as a leader in EJ?

As a leader, I don’t think I’ve faced many big challenges working with people. The people I’ve worked with (the councillors) have made it enjoyable. On a more personal level, however, it was a lot about managing my own expectations and learning how to assume this role. When I first eased into this role, it was as if everybody suddenly knew my name, so it was about dealing with this new position I was placed in.

Even now, people associate me as Council President. I have to be aware of not changing my actions too much because of this but to remain as myself. However, whatever I do would seem representative of a larger body.

Since people have come to associate you with being the Council President, has there come a time when people have treated you differently?

Inevitably, in some ways. Most of the time, my friends and classmates address me as ‘Pres’ and not really by my name anymore. It’s not something I really mind as long as it’s not the only thing they can associate with my identity. Apart from being President, there are still many things that I’m interested in.

So, what else are you interested in?

I guess I’m someone who’s very interested in history and culture and I really enjoy reading,  SingLit (Singaporean Literature) in particular as it is very interesting. My favourite authors are Amanda Lee Koe and Sharlene Teo. I like going out in nature, I don’t know, I sound really boring as a person. Hiking, spending quality time with my family and friends. I also like baking even though I mess up sometimes as I find it really fun and therapeutic. I like going to museums and festivals like the Night Festival.

They say that ‘Anyone can be a leader”. What do you think is the most important mindset/trait that people should have when they lead others? 

Everyone has the potential to step up as a leader. It’s something that requires a lot of courage because everyone starts out the same so it’s really about finding the courage, being self-aware to step up and do something that you really believe in. I believe that conviction and courage is what helps you to grow as a leader. However, we can all start by leading ourselves first. It’s just whether we can find that drive in us to really get it done. 

Is there anything else that you would like to say? 

I think one thing that we can all work on together, as an entire student body, is to be more forthcoming especially since we haven’t been in this school for that long so our school identity is still not as strong. For example, when we call for people to participate in events, they are not really inclined to volunteer and step up. This could also be because they feel that “Oh, I am in no position to do so or people might judge me”, but I think it’s time for us to discard that mentality and to step up regardless of whether we have a leadership position or not. I think we really need that courage in us, even in small everyday things. With orientation coming up, we will definitely need people to step up and fill all these different roles. Regardless of whether you have the experience, something I would really like to see is to have different people coming together. You don’t have to be the most extroverted or loud person, as long as you have the passion, that’s what really matters.