This Mechanical Engineering Topnotcher Says, “Think Big to Live Big”
Contrary to what many people believe in, topping the engineering board exams is not meant only for the class wizards, those who submit their course requirements on time, or those who graduated from top universities and brought home Latin honors.
In reality, topping the boards is actually meant for those who study smart and exceed their limitations. Just take it from Engr. Deyn Edriel Estoque, who typically skipped classes in college but managed to grab 3rd place in the February 2020 Mechanical Engg board exam.
Ever since his high school days, Deyn had always wanted to pursue an engineering degree and be the first-ever engineer in his family.
However, he was torn between three courses during his college enrollment at the President Ramon Magsaysay State University in Iba, Zambales.
He couldn’t decide which among Civil, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering he wanted to take up since he was interested in all three majors.
Eventually, he decided to go for Mechanical Engineering. Since he had always been fascinated by mechanisms and machines and dreamed of following Tony Stark’s footsteps and building an Iron Man suit, he thought the ME track suited him well.
But aside from his passion for the field, there was one other massive factor why he chose to go the ME route: his big dreams of becoming an entrepreneur, starting his own company from scratch, and helping poor but outstanding students achieve their goals, too.
He knew that to be as great as these two leading car maker companies, he needed to acquire the necessary knowledge to steer him in the right direction. Taking up Mechanical Engineering was the first step to achieving this dream.
For the first two years of his college life, Deyn was your average student who frequently skipped his minor classes and spent his time playing games at computer shops instead.
But after reading various engineering topnotcher stories on the internet, he was inspired to become one of them, as well.
He realized that it wasn’t enough to get an engineering title at the end of the finish line, but rather, he wanted to achieve what nobody else in his university had: becoming his school’s first-ever engineering topnotcher in a licensure exam.
So starting from his third year, Deyn changed his mindset and began to believe that to achieve something big, one has to think big, too.
He lived by the quote, “To be in the top 1%, you have to be willing to do what the other 99% can’t,” and every day for the rest of his college years, he always strived to exceed his limitations and treat each exam as his last.
But just like most engineering students, Deyn struggled a bit in school, as well.
He would sometimes get disappointing scores on exams, but these didn’t discourage him from throwing away his dreams of becoming a topnotcher.
Instead, these scores motivated him to quadruple his efforts and do much better on the next exams.
His aunt also immensely helped drive him to study smarter as she would reward Deyn with cash at the end of every semester, given that he won’t receive any grade lower than 1.5.
After he graduated in May 2019, he and his classmates immediately enrolled in a review center and planned to take their board exams in August of the same year.
Deyn gave his 200% for the duration of the review, avoiding all kinds of distractions and creating a study plan that involved solving a minimum of 200 questions on a particular topic and memorizing 200 to 300 elements and terms every night.
However, after three and a half months of review, Deyn felt that it still wasn’t enough to achieve his goal of topping the board exams.
He knew that there was so much that he needed to study despite acquiring outstanding results in the review center.
So to ease his worries, he decided to skip the August 2019 exams and enroll in another review center for February 2020. He continued with his study plan and worked smarter for the rest of the review.
On the day of his board exams, Deyn was surprised to encounter problems he had never seen before and terms that he wasn’t aware of.
He even found his favorite Machine Design subjects to be pretty tricky, as well. By the end of the two-day board exams, Deyn was disheartened, thinking that other examinees had done much better than him and that he wouldn’t be able to take home a topnotcher spot back to Zambales.
But lo and behold, on results day, he opened his Facebook account to floods of congratulatory posts, all happy for his achievement. He was a bit confused at first, but then his heart started raising when he learned that he was the February 2020 ME board exam 3rd placer with a rating of 89.90!
In a Facebook online interview, Deyn shared his pieces of himself and his secrets to success.
Why did you choose this course? Who or what was your inspiration?
I really wanted to be the first engineer in our family.
The top three engineering courses that I have chosen during college enrollment were Mechanical, Civil and Electrical.
Well, my reason for choosing to become a mechanical engineer is to be my own boss in the future. Being my own boss in the sense that I don’t have to work under any one. I want to be the payer of people’s salaries.
Examples are the two major car manufacturers we know today, Toyota and Mercedes Benz. Both Mercedes Benz and Toyota are owned by families who decided to be self-employed and the same time made people have a better life.
Today, Toyota and Mercedes Benz are two of the world’s best car makers. Ideas are born out of the desire to change something in life.
That idea has made me to come and study mechanical engineering, so that after I acquire all the necessary knowledge I will know the right direction and purpose for my idea.
The avenues open to me after becoming a mechanical engineer are endless.
Another reason why I chose to study mechanical engineering is that mechanisms and machines have always fascinated me.
Especially how they work, the complex movement they have got. Ever since I was a kid, I really wanted to create iron man suit like Tony Stark.
What are your favorite subjects in your entire engineering study? How about least liked subjects?
I’d say my favorite subjects are Machine Design, Heat transfer and Thermodynamics. I chose this course because I love its majors. I enjoyed these subjects because of the theories and laws applied to it.
The different cycles and formulas with problem solving techniques makes it very exciting. The subjects I hate the most are probably P.E., Filipino, and other minor subjects which are not related to any engineering majors.
During the lectures of these minor subjects, most of the times you’ll find me playing computer games at shops.
Have you had any subject failures or disappointing academic performance to the very least? If yes, what did you do about it? How did you cope?
I don’t remember any failures but disappointing exams or quizzes?
YES. Whenever I get a disappointing score on a certain subject, I’d quadruple my efforts to make sure I’d do better in the next one.
I remember receiving cash rewards from my aunt every sem and the challenge is that I won’t have any grade lower than 1.5 on any subjects.
Any topnotcher study tips or tricks that you think others should emulate from you?
Learn the basics first, then it will be your stepping stone for solving more difficult problems in the future. The best time to memorize formulas is after waking up.
Don’t overwork yourself during review and always remember to take a break. I usually go to bed early at 7pm after a long day of review and during night time I enjoy myself watching movies for 2 hours before sleep.
I tend to sleep early so that I won’t feel tired the next day and make it more productive than yesterday.
What is the best engineering school advice that you can give to other students?
Exceed your limitations. In the first place, back in college, my very goal is to top the board and be the pride of my school to be their first engineering board topnotcher.
So I exceed my limitations. I can remember my favorite quotation back in college, “To be in the top 1%, you have to be willing to do what the other 99% can’t”.
It’s just means that to achieve what nobody else has, you must do what nobody else does.
You have to believe in yourself because
Most students don’t believe in their selves
Most students don’t believe they’re the best
Most students don’t have big goals.
Most students are contented to stay average
Most students follow the crowd.
But not you.
You have to think that you can achieve everything you desire in life. You’ll just have to think big and you’ll live big. If you allow the mindset and actions of others to define you, you’ll never achieve the success you want.
If you want extraordinary success no one else has, you need to adopt a new mindset. You need to become more. You need to change your mode of thinking so that your output increases 10x or even 100x. This is how you achieve enormous success.
Board Exam Experience
What were the greatest struggles that you experienced while preparing for the board exam? What did you do to overcome them?
During the last month of review, I have trouble sleeping probably due to extreme pressure and excitement for the upcoming boards.
And because of that, I tend to develop anxiety and stress and it became very difficult for me to review. But as the judgment day came closer and closer,
I always received very warm and positive messages from my family, friends and even students from our school that I can definitely do it and top the board and it became my strength that truly helped me during those times.
Did you enroll in a center for your review? Do you recommend doing so? Which one did you go to?
After our May 2019 graduation, my classmates and I enrolled in a review center for August 2019 ME board.
After three and half month review, even though my results in that review center were outstanding, I feel like it’s still not enough to top the board.
I feel like there so much that I still need to learn. I decided to skip the board exam that year and enrolled in another review center for Feb 2020 ME board.
How did you find the board exam? Easy, average, or difficult?
Overall, the exam was very difficult. Majority of the problems were the first time I encounter them. Some problems needs complex solutions to be solved. Some have errors in the given and probably unsolvable.
During the first day, Power and Industrial Plant Engineering subject, there were many terms that we are not aware of.
Almost 60% terms and 40% problem solving. In the second day, the math and machine design subjects were also difficult.
What were your expectations after you took the board exam and before the results were out? Did you have a feeling that you will be at the top?
At first, I am really anxious about the results. I feel that there are other examinees which could have done better than me. But my friends keep telling me that I will be in the top ten so I stayed positive and enjoyed the days while waiting for the results.
What did you do the first minute you discovered you topped the board exam?
The first time that I found out that I topped the exam was when I opened my Facebook account and received several tags in congratulatory posts.
The first congratulatory post I saw was from Jonel Casupanan, my classmate back in college.
I was still in my dorm in Manila when they announced the results. I received several messages and comments such as “The Pride of Zambales and PRSMU” and it was very surreal for me. I was very happy back then that it took days for it to sink in to me that I really am a topnotcher.
Who do you owe your success to?
I owe this success to God. I remember this formula shared to me by our instructor during review: God + Nothing = Everything (by using algebraic transposition) Everything – God = Nothing.
If you surrender all to the Lord, you will achieve everything you want in life but if you remove God in your life, you will achieve nothing. After all, you can’t achieve something big on just relying on your own capabilities.
I also owe this success to my family and relatives especially to my mom, grandmother and my aunts who supported me throughout my life.
They are my source of inspiration and without their support and love, I couldn’t have made it.
I also want to thank the Engineering faculty from PRMSU. Our very supportive Dean, Dr. Marlon Dedicatoria who is my mentor and also friend.
What incentives did you get from your university and review center after your board exam success?
I received several cash rewards and job offers. I personally want to thank our very supportive Congresswoman Atty. Cheryl Deloso Montalla for the financial support to all Engineering students from PRMSU.
Because of this amazing people that students are inspired and motivated to excel in their field and make the school proud.
Share your most effective study habits.
During your review, give not just your 100% but your 200%. You should Study smart not hard.
When you study, do it in a more focused and proper way. Avoid any kinds of distractions and use the time you have to the maximum. It’s not really important how long you study; what is important is how you study.
Have a study plan. And also, always practice solving engineering problems.
At first, some may seem hard to solve but eventually, you will start to recognize patterns that will simplify your approach in solving similar problems in the future.
Usually my study plan during the review is to solve a minimum of 200 questions about a certain topic and then review at least 200-300 elements and terms every night.
Give 5 important tips (in bullets) for future board exam takers who aim to become topnotchers.
Always aim for the top!
Treat every quiz or exam as your last.
By thinking that way, you know you will do your best to understand and answer all problems. Also, even though you didn’t graduate from top universities, it doesn’t mean you can’t top the board.
It really depends on how motivated the student is to review and bring their university to the top.
Keep God by your side (the most important tip for me)
Always remember the formula: God + Nothing = Everything (by using algebraic transposition) Everything – God = Nothing.
In actual board exam, before every subject starts, pray. Before guessing the answer for the remaining questions that you have no idea of which is the correct answer, pray.
You need every bit of advantage that you can get during the exams so seek help from God.
If you want to master something, teach it.
The best way to learn is to teach.
It only makes sense that you will work harder to understand and be more aware of the topic you are teaching, whether you know it or not.
You will be forced to really dig into the “why” behind whatever you are teaching and use it yourself until it becomes completely natural. Wag mo kalimutan tulungan mga kasama mo sa review kung ayaw mo maubusan ng ulam.
Take a break. Go out with your friends.
Do not stress yourself too much during review. Spend a day or two with your friends to relieve some stress and unwind yourself. I would like to note that you should not forget to take your well-deserved break in between studying. Eat healthy, pray always, and try to find joy in studying.
Be confident and optimistic that you will make it.
During exam. Just relax your mind. Don’t be pressured. Consume your time wisely. Make sure that all numbers have shaded letter. Give yourself an average of 5 minutes to solve a problem.
If you cannot solve the problem within that time, it can be deemed a hard question, so skip it and save it for later.
Doing this eliminates the chances of your spending too much time on difficult items and of not having enough time to deal with those that you actually can solve faster.
Use the whole duration of the exam. Do not leave early. Try your very best to answer all of the questions.
Believe you can do it!
Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.
Family & Love Life
1. Describe your family, parents, siblings (and children if applicable)
My parents broke up when I was a child. And because of that I lived with my mother and grandmother and they always supported me and I’m very thankful to them.
2. Did your parents encourage you to study engineer?
I was interested to pursue engineering back when I was still in my high school days. My parents supported me with my every decision and trusts me very well. They also encourage me that I will do well with every career that I wish to pursue.
3. Are you in a relationship? Or it’s complicated?
No, I’m not. I want to focus in my career first. I’m planning to pursue graduate studies in the UK with the help of my relatives there.
1. Describe engineering in one word.
2. Why engineering is important in our society?
Engineers have completely changed the world we live in, from modern homes, bridges, space travel, cars and the latest mobile technology. Innovative ideas are at the heart of what engineers do, and they use their knowledge to create new and exciting prospects and solve any problems that may arise
3. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
I see myself having my own company. Having my master’s and doctorate degree. I want to launch programs that helps poor but outstanding students achieve their dreams. They are the key to our country’s success and future.
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