Spotlight on ISKL’s Alumni Interns
Interning at ISKL during the long end-of-academic year holidays is a great way for ISKL alumni university students and recent graduates to gain some real-world work experience, and come back to the school they love. While our students and faculty were recharging their batteries over the break, we were happy to welcome a small army of alumni interns ‘back to school’ to get on-the-job experience in some of the very important school departments that continue operating and ensure the school is ready for the new year.
Sebastian Soo from the Class of ‘18 was one of several interns, including Suraj, Jai and Hannah, who spent the holiday working with the Project Operations Department on commissioning the new classrooms that have come online to accommodate our increased enrolments. It was no small feat for the team to fit out 18 classrooms with everything necessary for a 21st Century learning experience, and the interns were able to assist with making sure everything was in order for the start of school. For Sebastian, who is studying an Honours Program for Materials and Nano Science at the University of Waterloo, and who was part of the final graduating class from the Ampang campus, interning has been an opportunity to explore the new Ampang campus. “It feels that learning is becoming more interactive, not just with interactive whiteboards painted onto the walls, but also now with whiteboard tables. Coming back working here, not only do I get to see what the community and the campus has become...this opportunity allows me to give back to the school that’s cultivated my sense of character and values.”
The Admissions and Marketing Departments were also running at full steam over the break, traditionally the busiest time of the year for the team. This year, they welcomed alumni on board to work on a range of projects, including video (Naim), market analysis (Saskia) and statistics (Taj). Starting with the team at the most hectic time of the year, just prior to the commencement of school, Alina Katz (Class of ‘18) was able to help with guiding new students and parents during the orientation days and also helped the Marketing Department with research. That experience has prompted her to consider her own future career plans. Alina, who will enter her second year at University College Utrecht in the Netherlands this year studying political science and sociology explains, “Particularly in the marketing area, I was doing research, collecting information and analyzing it. As someone who thinks marketing might be an interesting career, I understand it much more now so it was really useful.”
For recent graduate Shagun Dhaliwal, an ISKL “lifer”, interning as part of the Alumni Department has not only involved updating the ever-expanding alumni database, but also delving into ISKL’s rich history, scouring the yearbook library for interesting stories and photos. She says, “It’s crazy! You see how much history there is in ISKL. I’ve been here for 13 years and I thought that was a long history, but when you see 50 years and more documented in the school yearbooks, it’s amazing to see how much has changed, but also that so many traditions have stayed the same, like IASAS, the pep rallies, clubs and activities.” This year, Shagun will take up a Bachelor of Arts and Science at University College London, specializing in Health and Environment.
Also a “lifer”, Class of ‘17 intern Melina Ankel, studies Business of Fashion at Polimoda, a leading fashion design university in Florence, Italy. Working with the Alumni Department on a project to explore a new range of alumni gifts has added new insight into her chosen career. “Even though it’s not designing per se,” she says, “it’s research and looking at different ideas for merchandise. I definitely see skills that I’ve learnt in my year at uni and it’s nice for me to be able to see that and apply those skills.” The project required Melina to research the ISKL Alumni network which she says gave her greater insight into ISKL’s influence on its students. She explains, “I was a lifer, so I really feel very connected to the community. You read the old yearbooks and you see the overlapping values. There’s a great sense of pride in graduating from here.”
Alina sums up a common sentiment expressed by our ISKL alumni interns when considering what it’s like to return to ISKL as a graduate intern. She says, “It’s a different relationship, but I got a better connection with all of the teachers and staff. It was very fulfilling for me...we became an even closer-knit family.”