Patrick Steven in Padjadjaran English Competition 2022
The world of English competitions is a place where eloquence and literary prowess combine, producing remarkable champions. In our attempt to figure out what makes these winners special, we were privileged to get down with Patrick Steven, one of the Padjadjaran English Competition winners—who won 1st place in the speech competition two years straight in 2018 and 2019 and 1st place in the essay competition in 2022—to gain special insight into his journey.
What makes Patrick’s journey interesting is his transition from high school speech contests to the prestigious essay competition. In 2018 and 2019, Patrick secured the top spots in both the high school speech contest and the varsity speech contest. However, in 2022, he decided to venture into essay competitions, seeking a fresh challenge and pushing the boundaries of his comfort zone.
The theme of the 2022 essay competition, which centered on the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, triggered this move, with a specific focus on the perspective of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Indonesia. Patrick, a senior in business management at the time, was drawn to this topic by his direct experience consulting MSMEs. The appeal of the competition lay not only in its prestige but also in the opportunity to compete and network with participants from various backgrounds and places, thereby broadening his horizons.
Patrick’s journey is more than just winning competitions; it is also about a never-ending quest for self-improvement. He emphasized the significance of continuous reading and writing as the foundation for honing his writing skills. By reading and immersing himself in a wide range of materials, from news to articles to novels, he refines his own writing style while drawing inspiration from the diverse styles of other writers. He also believes that active effort is required to stay at the top of his game, often participating in various events and competitions to keep his skills sharp and continuously evolving.
Patrick described his love for reading and writing because those activities are an exercise for the brain, keeping it engaged with intellectual matters. He expressed his fondness for speech as well, as it allowed him to take his ideas and intellectual thoughts a step further by addressing a mass audience and persuading them on issues close to his heart. “It’s a chance to inform and persuade people about an issue that matters to you, so it’s a platform that I take advantage of,” he said.
But Patrick doesn’t keep his wisdom to himself. He generously shared helpful insights for this year’s PEC participants. He emphasized the significance of selecting a topic that genuinely resonates with them and creating a sense of urgency when addressing the chosen issue, just like what he said, “Pick a topic that addresses something you truly care about; create a sense of urgency as to why you are writing about this issue.” He encouraged thorough research, emphasizing that crafting essays with depth and scientific rigor would set them apart from the competition. Furthermore, he urged participants to be concise and unafraid to take risks in their writing.
Patrick’s experience from the realm of speech to the world of essay competition is a testament to the significance of stepping outside one’s comfort zone, staying intellectually engaged through continuous reading and writing, and seizing opportunities like the prestigious essay competition to make a meaningful impact. So make your move and voice your words; show your true self. As Patrick said, “Be concise and don’t be afraid to take risks!”