Panthers Of ISKL #30 - The 2020 Alumni Advancement Interns


Panthers Of ISKL #30 - The 2020 Alumni Advancement Interns

This week, we meet up with the advancement heroes (summer interns) that comprise of alumni students, Bubele Lilitha ('18), Wen Li Yau ('20), Bausch Sian Kuan Koh ('20), Vu Nam Phan ('20), Farah Dianputri ('17), Sera Maryam Ahmad (20), Amanda Soo ('20), Tehnish Paramiswaran ('20), Cheryl Choong ('20), Elsa Rinaldi ('20) and Merysa (Meixi) Drapeau ('20).

While most of the interns have just graduated from ISKL, some are at college or taking a gap year before pursuing their studies. From assisting with the Class of 2020 Virtual Graduation ceremony, helping create content for the school magazine, Alumni magazine, photography/video productions, and undertaking numerous research, proofreading, making media reports and organizing duties, the Advancement Department has managed to accomplish plenty thanks to their excellent work.

A special shout goes to Alex Kim ('20), who interned for two months, having already left for his home country this summer, and Anqi Chen ('20), who created several cute illustrations of the Panther cartoon mascot.

We would like to thank them again for having been such an essential and enthusiastic part of our Advancement team!

Here are their stories.

Introduce yourselves!

Amanda: I'm a Pisces!

Bausch: I'm from KL, and have been at ISKL for six years. I belong to the Class of 2020 and graduated via an unprecedented Zoom graduation ceremony.

Cheryl: I'm from Malaysia and joined ISKL in 9th Grade.

Elsa: I was born and raised in KL.

Farah: I’m a lifelong creative, and perpetual nomad

Lilitha: I was born and raised in South Africa, and my most significant hobby is rugby. I am currently studying Information Technology (IT) at Sunway University.

Meixi: I'm half Malaysian and half American. I'm very outgoing and love meeting new people.

Sera: I'm from Malaysia, and I went to ISKL for seven years.

Tehnish: I'm from Malaysia. My favorite hobbies include longboarding, playing puzzles like Rubic's cubes, and bingeing good tv shows. I like to live life by a wise man's words, "we are here for a good time, not a long time."

Vu Nam: I am from Vietnam.

Wen Li:  I'm 18 years old. I enjoy creative writing, spending time with my dog, and as of recent, animating.


Why did you choose to be an Advancement intern?

Amanda: After watching an unhealthy amount of tv shows, I decided to reassess my life and concluded that an internship at ISKL would provide my days with a sense of structure and purpose.

Bausch: Besides immersing myself within a business organization and understanding more about marketing, I knew that I'd be surrounded by people who make the ISKL community special. I wanted to experience that culture of care and immerse myself within my cherished school one last time before heading off as an alumnus.

Cheryl: It was unprecedented times with COVID-19, and there was lots of uncertainty surrounding my travel plans for the summer when ISKL's Advancement Department sent out an email promoting this internship.

I've worked with the department in the past - managing social media accounts for clubs that I was a part of, and being in the communications team on the Prom Committee, and the internship sounded exciting! I have always enjoyed designing and being creative, so I decided to send in my application and go.

Elsa: I chose to be an intern here to gain experience in the marketing field and learn new marketing skills that I can use in the future.

Farah: To fill some time between graduation and going to do a master's.

Lilitha: One of the reasons I choose to be an intern here is the fantastic ISKL culture and international presence. Besides that, I thought it would be the perfect place to learn, given the career route I am pursuing and the opportunities available.

Meixi: I wanted to learn something new that I could apply to my future career and gain meaningful work experience.

Sera: I wanted to gain some work experience in the weird time of inactivity between graduation and going off to wherever I would go. ISKL is a place I genuinely care about and know very well, so it seemed like the perfect place.

Tehnish: I chose to be an intern here because my friend was also working here, and the way he talked about the job, it seemed like he learned a lot and had a lot of fun at the same time. This piqued my curiosity because I was stuck all alone in the house, bored out of my mind. Thus I decided to apply and have not regretted my decision to this day.

Vu Nam: Video editing is a hobby that I enjoy, so I got to gain more experience here.

Wen Li: I wanted to gain work experience before university.


Tell us about your experience/time working at ISKL as an intern. What did you learn, and what did you enjoy the most?

Amanda: It allowed me to create art for a client. With IB Art, you create art with a rubric in mind. I never had to interact with another human being's opinion and wants when creating art. With the mural I did, I thought I was designing and painting a piece of art.

After talking with Catherine, I realized that I did so much more than paint a mural. I was a project manager, I managed a client, and I did branding amongst other things. I don't think I've done or learned any of this before. However, coming upon this realization, it's surprising how instinctual the whole process is. The best way to learn is through experience and doing the task yourself!

Lilitha: As a business student, being an intern at a school of ISKL's magnitude helped me understand the vast scope of duties and responsibilities that each department has to contribute to its overall success.

Seeing every member of the school adding value to the service we provide, made me realize the importance of maintaining aligned goals and a common desire to strive for excellence.

Cheryl: I enjoyed my time interning at ISKL's Advancement Department. I learned a lot about the dynamics of working as a team and how to communicate ideas clearly and effectively so that everyone would be on the same page. I also enjoyed working with friends and being at school, where I was able to see my teachers and my friends.

Elsa: My experience has taught me how to manage my time and be organized.

Farah: I learned how to adapt to the situation and make the most of it.

Lilitha: I learned that IT is an extensive industry and can be applied in multiple departments. What I enjoyed most is how helpful everyone is, and even when you make a mistake, there is always support.

Meixi: ISKL has such a supportive work environment, and it's something new every day. It doesn't feel like work because the projects we are working on are exciting and applicable to our High School (HS) experience. So it's kind of like reliving HS again!

Sera: It has been such a great experience. I felt very welcomed and comfortable since I've already experienced the school as a student.

I have learned a lot about how the school uses social media and the process of creating publications. I've enjoyed learning from and working with the people here in the office.

Tehnish: My experience working at ISKL has been an eye changing moment, as I am out of the school environment and now into the work environment.

I have learned many things along the way, such as advanced techniques for photo editing and different videography skills. I've enjoyed the atmosphere of the office, as everyone here is cheerful and supportive.

Vu Nam: I learned different photography and videography techniques during my internship, and I enjoyed working with my friends and meeting new people.

Wen Li: The working environment is fantastic- people are kind and cheerful and are continually uplifting one another. I've also loved working with my friends in the 'Intern' room, also known as the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I also love how the team loves to celebrate birthdays and other momentous occasions.


Where are you heading to after your internship?

Amanda: I will be doing online classes for the first term. Hopefully, by December, I'll be making my way to Canada and attending in-person.

Bausch: I will either be studying at New York University, University College London, or King's College London after my internship.

Elsa: I am heading to the University of Arizona to major in Psychology (BA).

Farah: I am taking a gap year to gain work experience and travel within Malaysia before applying for a master's in the UK.

Lilitha: I am going back to South Africa to further my studies.

Meixi: If everything goes well, I'm planning on going to the University of San Diego in January, if and when California opens up again.

Sera: I will most likely take a gap year as I'm kind of hesitant to go abroad right now. After everything dies down, I'll most likely be going to university in the UK or the Netherlands.

Tehnish: Hopefully, the University of Toronto in Canada.

Vu Nam: I'm planning to go to New York University to study mechanical engineering.

Wen Li: I will be attending Wellesley College in Boston.


What do you hope to accomplish in the future?

Amanda: I hope to improve communities by creating sustainable environments that facilitate human connections and advocating for the use of sustainable materials - concrete and glass are not the only options.

Bausch: Several things - but I hope to take care of my family first.

Cheryl: I hope to be happy, and make those around me feel happy, loved, and appreciated for what they do.

Elsa: I hope to apply what I have learned from my time in HS and my internship at university.

Farah: I would like to do some work experience in UI/UX design and undertake a master's degree in Human-Computer Interaction.

Lilitha: I aim to be a successful software engineer and hopefully own an IT business soon.

Meixi: I'm not sure what I want to accomplish yet because I feel like it's such a heavy question, but I want to be doing something that I enjoy. I know it sounds cheesy, but I want to be in a happy place in the future. I feel money can't buy happiness, so it's best to come naturally from what I love.

Sera: I hope to do something good in this world.

Tehnish: I want to be happy, and have all my friends and family happy because if they are happy, I am happy!

Vu Nam: To live a happy life.

Wen Li: I hope to inspire hope and selflessness in others by leading by example.


What is your message to ISKL?

Amanda: The overwhelming amount of activities and clubs ISKL offers has allowed me to realize that academics are not the end-all, be-all. It allowed me to grasp the idea that I have more to offer than grades and IB scores.

Your quality in character is not defined by your academic results but rather the risks you're willing to take to grow.

Bausch: Thank you for all you have taught me both in and out of the classroom. I have been given opportunities that I wouldn't have gotten anywhere else.

Cheryl: Thank you so much, ISKL, for all the support and opportunities that you have given me. 

Elsa: My message is to give every opportunity you get at ISKL a try, and you won't regret it.

Farah: Enjoy the support networks you have here, be it your teachers and friends. Nurture those connections and make the most of it.

Lilitha: Don't let any obstacle and failure pin you down or push you against your life success. Be thankful and proud of the struggles you had in your life.

Meixi: It was the best two years of my HS experience. It feels more like a home than you think, and it's a place that you can be yourself and find your people. There's honestly someone for everyone.

Sera: Thank you for everything!

Tehnish: Try everything

Vu Nam: Be all You Are.

Wen Li: Always be kind and supportive of one another!


Describe the most memorable moment you had as a student at ISKL?

Amanda: Being rowdy with my friends in the English commons. Those small moments of realizing how unbelievably happy I could always startled me.

Bausch: It's hard to name one specific moment as there are so many special ones. Mobbing Mr. Ortiz after his dance, going to the 'Night Under the Stars' Prom, and enjoying Senior Treats on the deck with friends.

But the one that stands out for me was captaining the IASAS Badminton Team to silver in Jakarta in 2019. It was an incredible journey that provided me with great fulfillment, immense pride, and joyous friendship. I'd love to relive it again - to battle, laugh and cry together with my teammates one more time!

Cheryl: It would be the student's and teachers' kindness, and how warm and supportive everyone is.

Elsa: Participating in the Super IASAS at International School Manila (ISM). I was able to experience excellent school spirit and support from not only ISKL students but also other IASAS schools.

Farah: Winning the Departmental Book Award for Visual Arts.

Lilitha: Getting the gold in IASAS Rugby in my senior year. The coaches, my parents, the nurses (especially Nurse Mela) - the atmosphere was fantastic and one of a kind.

Meixi: Playing at IASAS in Bangkok for softball and being able to bond with my team outside of the school environment.

Sera: I have so many moments at ISKL that it would be impossible to pick one! But I would definitely include being in strings, my favorite classes, and being with my friends as some of my fondest memories.


What does 'Be All You Are' mean to you?

Amanda: I didn't understand this statement when I first heard it. As a cynic, I thought that it was vague, and structurally unsound. However, after lots of contemplation, I suppose it means you, as an individual, get to define what "all you are" is.

For many people, your potential is bound by your unwillingness to risk looking like a fool. That's why I aspire to become a full-time clown. The possibilities of "[being] all you are" would be limitless.

Bausch: To stand up for your values and keep them close to you, to be the best person you can be for yourself, for those around you, and the world.

Cheryl: To me, ISKL's slogan means to strive to be all that you are and all that you want to be without worrying about the judgment of others, or worrying about how challenging it will be.

It means discovering every fold of your personality and passions that would allow you to be everything you are. The sky's the limit, and ISKL offers endless opportunities to enable their students to pursue their passions and interests, to be all that they are.

Elsa: Learning at my own pace and time is what "Be All You Are" means to me. ISKL's learning environment, both in class and in the office, allows me to achieve so much at my own pace.

Farah: Academics aren't the only thing that makes up your education, don't be afraid to take risks.

Lilitha: Give 100 percent effort in everything you do and stay true to yourself.

Meixi: I think it's a pretty simple explanation, it just means to be the best version of yourself and push yourself to your limits. Make use of all your potential, and be the best person that you can be.

Sera: To me, it means harnessing every bit of your potential.

Tehnish: It means that there are no limits placed upon you; as long as you reach out, you can touch the stars. If you can dream it, you can always be with it.

Vu Nam: Try everything! Try new things! Don't be afraid to go out of your comfort zone.

Wen Li: It means embracing all the opportunities you can, which has been a big part of HS for me. Even though it can be overwhelming, I would not have had it any other way. If I hadn't done all the things I wanted to do, I don't think I would be the same person that I am today.