A XAVIER University-Ateneo de Cagayan student placed sixth among the 2,472 who took the Electronics Engineer Licensure Examination given by the Board of Electronics Engineering last March 28-29, 2009.

Only 598 passed the exam.

Gian Carlo J. Estorba, 21, had long dreamed of topping the licensure exam but had abandoned the idea after he was thrust to work just two months after graduating cum laude at Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan in 2008.

Estorba works as an assistant aircraft technical specialist of Philippine Airlines.

The eldest child of five children of Virgilio L. Estorba, a harvester/surveyor at Del Monte Philippines Inc., and Josie L. Jamodiong, Gian Carlo had aspired to become an electronics engineer since he was in sixth grade.

The Estorbas are from the town of Libona in Bukidnon.

Teachers at XU described him as a “good student.” He has been topping his classes from elementary to college.

Estorba has been consistently included in the Dean’s List and studied as a scholar of the Department of Science and Technology and the university until his fifth year in college.

Giving more time to academics, he was only affiliated with Association of the College of Engineering Students (Aces) and Junior Institute of Electronics and Communications Engineering (IECEP) of the university.

However, he was involved in various academic competitions in the College of Engineering, both within the walls of the university and even in the national level.

His achievements include his being first runner-up during the 28th ECE National Interscholastic Quiz Show in Manila late last year. He was declared champion during the Mindanao Leg of the 4th Sweep Innovation and Excellence Awards Roadshow Online Quiz by Smart in Davao in 2007.

He had originally planned to take his review in Cebu for five months after graduation and take the board exam on October 2008. However, financial constraints made him decide to take the March 2009 exam instead.

He was able to take his review classes in Manila when he was given the opportunity to work with PAL. However, he largely missed his review sessions being a full-time worker at PAL.

Nevertheless, Estorba said he made it to top 10 by depending on these things: “mastery of the basics”, a little help from the review center, the inspiration he got from his family and loved ones, and of course, prayers.

“If you have mastered the basics, you can always make an intelligent guess. Take out all the stored knowledge in your think tank and use them. And for questions where you really can’t make intelligent guesses, this is where the role of prayer comes in,” Estorba said.

Gian Carlo (left) in his friendster account

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