WHILE other 17-year-olds might be starting to prepare for their SPM, Jeshaiah Khor Zhen Syuen has already completed his undergraduate degree.
The teenager finished his Bachelor of Engineering in the field of Mechatronics Engineering with a Distinction last year and is now waiting to receive his scroll from Monash University Malaysia this April.
Although he was the youngest student to have enrolled in the university, his coursemates had never treated him differently throughout the four-year programme, says Jeshaiah.
“Initially, they were stunned when they found out that I was only 14, but there was no special treatment,” he adds .
They would throw in some “age-related jokes” every now and then, but the teen took them all like a good sport.
Despite being labelled a “child genius” for his high achievements, Jeshaiah claims he is not.
He says he had more free time at varsity compared to his peers in secondary school.
“Most of my teenaged friends have a full schedule when they are in school with back-to-back classes followed by tuition.
“For me, as a university student, I sometimes had three to four-hour breaks between classes.
“There were also days when I was free for long stretches and this was when I spent time with with my friends and had group study sessions.”
He is also an avid rock-climber and made full use of the rock-climbing wall on campus whenever he had the time.
Jeshaiah has no regrets saying that he enjoyed studying at Monash University Malaysia.
“It was almost like my second home. I practically grew up there.”
He sees himself continuing in research and development in the future and plans on pursuing his Masters or PhD in the field of bio-based engineering.
“A life in research doesn’t sound too bad to me,” he says with a grin.
The teen is hoping to obtain a scholarship so that he can pursue his dream.
Jeshaiah started reading the newspapers at the age of 18 months and was home-schooled right up to O-Levels.
He then enrolled for his A-Levels which he completed in 2012 with 4As.
He received a special Jeffrey Cheah Foundation-Monash University Scholarship the following year when he enrolled at the university.