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How KIS prepares you for your career path

by Aiden

Indian students and alumni share the the IB programme’s numerous benefits.

Meet KIS International School’s Indian students and alumni, who shared with Masala their educational experiences and the ways that the school’s International Baccalaureate (IB) programme has enabled them to achieve their passions, ambitions, and career goals.

AAYUSH H. DESAI
Class of 2012
University & Area of Study: Bachelor’s in Finance & Global Business, Suffolk University Master’s in Quantitative Finance, Brandeis University
Current Position: Senior Financial Analyst, Vroom

What was your favourite memory at KIS International School?

I had numerous great memories, spanning my time in the Varsity Soccer team, to class field trips, drama productions & performances, and even in-classroom experiences that were unforgettable.

How well did the IB programme prepare you for University?

It prepared me well for life at a university level. The rigour and difficulty of each subject during the programme sets you up for success in the various courses you’ll take at university, and it brings students focus and commitment, while helping to balance academics with extra- curricular activities such as volunteer work and sports. This is much needed at the university level, where you begin an independent life outside of your comfort zone.

What did you study at university and why did you decide that field of study?

I studied Finance and Global Business at the Undergraduate level and then Quantitative Finance at the Graduate level. Growing up, I learned a lot about running a business from both my parents, and I believe that’s the reason I initially decided to pursue a career in Finance. Once I took Business Management at the IB level, my interest was piqued even further, and that’s what propelled me to pursue a business degree.

Tell us more about what you’re doing today.

I work for a startup based in New York, called Vroom. We are transforming the way you traditionally buy and sell cars by converting the entire shopping experience online and having the vehicle delivered to your driveway. My role is overseeing the data & analytics for our consumer finance division, which is centred around gross profit per unit of a vehicle we sell.

What traits do you think IB students share?

When I look at my friends from school, we stand apart by being more vocal and thoughtful in our opinions. We’re also more open-minded, as we spend years in a classroom filled with diversity, which helps broaden our perspectives.

MANIT SETHI
Class of 2013
University & Area of Study: Bachelor’s in Management (Marketing), University of Manchester
Current Position: Digital Marketing Specialist, KIS International School Web Design and Digital Marketing Consultant, manitsethi.com

Tell us more about yourself. When did you join KIS?

I joined KIS back in 2001 from Grade 1 all the way up to Grade 12. I went through all three IB programmes, the Primary Years, Middle Years, and Diploma Programme and have seen the school grow into the warm and buzzing community that it is today.

How well did the IB programme prepare you for university?

It definitely prepared me well for university. The first thing I can remember was that my IB grade on its own was enough for me to apply for universities in the UK. I didn’t have to take any additional tests, such as the IELTs or SATs. This made it easier, knowing that I only had to focus on my school work and not have to worry about any external examinations.

I recall the IB being challenging, but the skills developed during my time at KIS, such as critical thinking, research, time management, and note-taking skills, made my university experience much easier.

What did you study at university and why did you choose that field of study?

I studied Management with a specialised focus in marketing at the University of Manchester. I was always interested in finding creative ways to grab people’s attention and consumer behaviour. My passion for digital marketing picked up when I co-founded a social enterprise startup while at university, and had to build a website and run Facebook and Instagram ads for myself.

Tell us more about what you’re doing today.

Today I work as a digital marketing specialist at KIS International School and have recently fine-tuned the school’s branding and led the launch of the school’s new website. In addition to this, I create and curate content for the school and run digital marketing campaigns across a number of social outlets.

Do you have any advice for IB Diploma Programme students as they are working toward their exams and considering university options?

The IB can be overwhelming and stressful, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of overworking. Take study breaks, go to the park; take some time off for your mental health. When considering university options, it’s important to do your research and not make assumptions. Know what’s required in terms of academic performance and application criteria, and it’s worth comparing campus-based universities with city universities.

SANIYA MORE
Class of 2015
University & Area of Study: Bachelor’s in Broadcast and Digital Journalism, Syracuse University
Master’s in Journalism, Columbia University
Current Position: Finance reporter, The Block (fintech news startup)

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a journalist living and working in New York. I joined KIS when I was in the fourth grade (2008), and was there until I graduated. KIS was where I grew up, and I still remain pretty close with a lot of friends I made there (both students and teachers)!

How well did the IB programme prepare you for University?

It prepared me insanely well. College papers were a breeze, and I got a ton of credits and so I was able to study off-campus twice (once in London, once in New York City). The best part was not having to take any science classes, because I’d already satisfied all the requirements in high school.

What did you study at university and why did you choose that field of study?

I studied journalism at both Syracuse and Columbia. I’ve always loved to tell stories and journalism felt like the right path. The best thing about being a journalist is being able to talk to people, hear their stories, and get them to open up. It’s a privilege to be a voice for those who may not be able to share their narratives.

Tell us more about what you’re doing today.

I’m a finance reporter at a fintech news startup. More specifically, I cover cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology, and digital markets. Most of my job requires me to write longform stories about emerging technologies, though I have also hosted a podcast, covered some breaking news stories and spent entirely too much time on Crypto Twitter.

What skills did you develop at KIS that you are using today in your career?

The biggest skill I gained at KIS was being able to confidently communicate my thoughts. Being able to express yourself clearly and succinctly is such an important skill, and I have KIS to thank for that.

Do you have any advice for IB Diploma Programme students as they are working toward their exams and considering university options?

Don’t take life too seriously. Do your best and give it all your all, but rest assured that things have a funny way of falling into place. It’s all going to be just fine.

VENKATESH (MEGH) ABHYANKAR
Class of 2017
University & Area of Study: Bachelor’s in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Nanyang Technological University
Current Position: Process Engineer, Micron Semiconductors

Tell us a little bit about yourself. When did you join KIS?

I’m currently a final year chemical engineering student at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore, on track to graduate this summer, and I’m expecting to start work as a process engineer after graduation.

Before moving to Singapore for university, I lived in Bangkok all my life. Growing up in Thailand naturally exposed me to various cultures and allowed me to learn many languages apart from my Indian/Marathi heritage, a corollary of the melting pot that is Bangkok. I had joined KIS in 2015 for the IB Diploma programme, after completing my IGCSE examinations.

What was your favourite memory at KIS International School?

When I joined KIS, the existing members of my year group were very inclusive. Two of my favourite memories there would be my first DP retreat with Co’16 and 17, where I got to bond with my classmates, and the Track of the Tiger trip to Chiang Mai, where we got to immerse ourselves in the beauty of the Chiang Mai jungles while performing various ecological surveys as part of our Biology/ESS curricula.

Tell us more about what you’re doing today.

I am undertaking my final year design project on industrial scale production of Hydrogen with a group of other students from my university cohort. I am also expecting to start working as a process engineer in the semiconductor industry in the near future.

Tell us more about what you’re doing today.

Aside from my university courses, I’m the Co-President of UBC Psi Chi, which is a club representing the psychology honours society that provides Psychology students with academic and professional development events and opportunities. I am also a research assistant at UBC’s Depression, Anxiety, and Stress lab.

What traits do you think IB students share?

Being a non-IB student before joining the Diploma Programme (DP), I noticed certain characteristics that distinguished IB students from others. In my view, IB students in general are very eloquent, comfortable with writing essays and conducting independent research work, especially after their personal projects. Furthermore, I noticed that they are usually active, curious and creative in diverse areas, inclusive of the arts, sciences and humanities. My classmates in Co’17 were also very inclusive and reflective, which I believe is a trait many IB students possess.

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