IMPACT 0342: MAKING AN IMPACT AND FINDING MEANING IN LIFE
Ryan Kueh, 24, is currently a student at Yale-NUS College and previously studied Business Studies at Ngee Ann Polytechnic. He has pursued many avenues of work from public policy to consulting — with a common theme of trying to make an impact in everything that he does.
On his off days, he loves chatting with friends about anything and everything, from where to find the best coffee or wine, to unlocking the true meaning of life. Today, he gives us a glimpse into his world.
Tell us more about what you do!
I’ve done many things, still am, and will always be on the lookout for new things to do!
But I’ll begin with my time at Conjunct Consulting (C2). C2 is a social enterprise that provides consulting services for other social enterprises. I first volunteered as a consultant, working with the Autism Resource Centre to develop their then-upcoming master plan. I subsequently served as a Chapter Leader and worked together with other wonderful individuals to run the NUS Chapter of C2.
Currently, I’ve decided to focus more on my personal interests. The first is that of engaging with the climate crisis. I had the opportunity to tackle this mega problem during my time at Wood Mackenzie, where we contributed to a report on the viability of carbon capture by the Asian Investor Group on climate change.
The second interest I am pursuing is understanding our own Singaporean culture better. I’m currently researching the history of Singaporean hawker culture under Professor Tan Tai Yong. We’re trying to better understand how hawker culture came to be the way it is today, how hawkering was like in the past, and what spurred this evolution.
What motivates you to do this?
What inspires me is the notion of contributing to something bigger –Be it during my time in C2, through the various internship stints, or even via my personal research. The thought that I’m working on something that pushes the boundaries and creates impact gives me great motivation to keep going.
Have you faced any challenges so far? How did you overcome them?
In the pursuit of change, sometimes it might feel like the story of Sisyphus – where you’re pushing the rock up the hill, only for it to roll down near the top. For me, seeing how the desired result can create meaning for another – even for one person – is what drives me to continue doing what I do.
If you could share one piece of advice with your fellow youth, what would it be?
If you’re interested in something, take the plunge and experience things firsthand. Believe in yourself and surround yourself with people who believe in you too. No matter how menial, what you do is meaningful and has a larger impact. Remember, all big things have small beginnings.
What are your hopes or plans for the future? What do you want to see or perhaps do?
The world increasingly demands more from us and we must be increasingly ready to meet that demand. My hope for the future is for youths to break away from cookie-cutter models and continuously challenge themselves. Challenge what you know, empower yourself and find your own meanin