Making the time to talk - UWCSEA Alumni Careers Week 2019
By Alumni Department, UWCSEA
Over the course of two weeks in January 2019, over 40 alumni generously volunteered time out of their busy working days all over the world to talk with current UWCSEA students about their career paths and share their passion for their current professions. Organised by the Alumni Department, the aim of the talks was to give students the opportunity to learn about a broad range of careers and ask questions in an informal and casual setting.
The talks were held on both East and Dover campus either in person or via Skype with some alumni waking up at 5am UK time to chat with students before breakfast, or dialing in before turning out their lights on the West Coast of the United States.
Highlights included: two documentary filmmakers, Patrick Rouxel ‘84 who discussed his filmmaking focused on environmental concerns along with his animal conservation work, and Sheila Sofian ‘81 who spoke about her animation filmmaking focused on humanitarian issues, Eye Surgeon Chan Ning Lee ‘09, and Linda Steinbock ‘06 who talked about working with Save the Children and making a difference to the lives of refugees.
Alumni came from all walks of life, including Aviation, Law, Medicine, Research, Finance, the Arts, Architecture, Flim, Media, Cybersecurity, Facebook, Software Engineering and International Development. Alumni talked openly about their roles, dispelled various myths (for example, you don’t need to have 20/20 vision to apply to flight school!) and some discussed the relevance of AI to their professions and industries.
Many students had researched the professions before attending the talks and during the question and answer sessions asked very thoughtful and detailed questions. Students asked about diversity in different career areas, the ‘truth’ about the work/life balance of being a corporate lawyer and the relevance of various IB subjects to various careers.
Students were encouraged by alumni to “follow whatever path or IB subjects interest you” and not to “be pressured by what other people like or think is a good job” and ultimately walked away with the message that “there is not one perfect route to finding a job you love or one perfect endpoint, but do what you like and it will work out in the end.”
Thank you to all the UWCSEA alumni volunteers for making the time to talk!
"My films are an act of global citizenship." Watch Patrick Rouxel share more about his work in filmmaking and environmentalism in the video below.
What is your alumni story? Our UWCSEA alumni are an amazing global community who remain connected to our UWC mission throughout their lives. Maintaining connections is a cornerstone in strengthening the bonds of our united UWCSEA community. Check out our series of alumni profiles here. If you have a story about yourself or another you'd like to share, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.