It is fairly easy to conclude that someone who has failed 30 subjects in engineering is destined to fail further in life. In the case of Engr. Ian Kendall Santiago, this is not at all true.
Engr Santiago can be described as a black sheep when he first became an engineering student at the University of Santo Tomas taking up mechanical engineering. Instead of focusing in his studies, he turned to computer games, billiards, and alcohol which became the dangerous trio causing him to fail most of his subjects in his first three semesters there.
As a result, he was debarred from UST. Then he stopped schooling for several months.
Following this disappointing episode in his life, he was given another chance to prove himself to his parents by enrolling as an electronics engineering student at Far Eastern University. He admits that he only took it because it was ‘related’ to his first course, so this was another risk of testing the waters for him. Little did he know that this would lead him to what he truly wanted.
When he took Statics of Rigid Bodies as an ECE student, for some reason, he found himself enjoying it. This is what pushed him to shift to civil engineering where the said subject is considered a foundation particularly in design subjects. He mustered enough strength to ask for his parents’ blessing in this move – he got it. He became a CE student, eventually graduating.
After a total of 30 failed subjects within 9 years in college, Ian Kendall Santiago finally became Engr. Ian Kendall Santiago. It was a surreal moment for him.
What he didn’t realize is that it will become more surreal: His father asked him if he wanted to study further. Engr Santiago said yes.
With the opportunity in front of him, he studied Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Sanitary Engineering at National University. Upon completing the degree, he took the board exam and not only did he pass, he made it to the top 6 getting a rating of 81.74%.
It took a while for Engr Santiago. But he believes that education and learning are very important, unfortunately for him he wasn’t able to appreciate it right away. Now, he shares that it’s not too late to turn things around and do what you really want. Engr Santiago says that all the risks are worth it.
Lucky for him, Engr Santiago was given several chances by his parents to succeed in life despite the downfalls. For this, he is eternally grateful.
Aside from being a civil engineer, Kendall, as how his friends call him, is also a songwriter-musician. He also has passion in music, and while he is just starting in this endeavor, he is confident he’ll find some success later. As he said, it’s not too late to turn things around and do what you really want.
One can say that he is no longer a black sheep – he is a role model, someone that people should look up to for showing that the grit to become great is essential to meet goals and succeed in life.