As our Year 13 students begin their final year at Aiglon, they are inevitably inquisitive about what shape life will take after school. Do I want to go to university? Take a gap year? On which continent? At which university? What will I study? Should I follow my head or heart? Do I even know what I am passionate about?
Every student’s journey will undoubtedly be unique. Every individual has their own priorities, and success can be defined in many ways. This is why we were so excited to call upon eight highly contrasting and successful Aiglon alumni panellists for our Year 13 University Advising Workshop held on August 29th.
The conversations which ensued from this intergenerational and interdisciplinary meeting were insightful. We heard how our eight alumni navigated their career paths, driven by a mix of choice and serendipity.
Our youngest panellist Lulu Aguiar (Clairmont, 2021) acknowledged that it is ok to change your mind and take time out to reflect on where you might feel happiest studying.
World Economic Forum business engagement specialist Sara Altamimi (Le Cerf, 2012) also switched fields, before landing her ideal role.
While Cambridge master’s candidate and RPI Jan Schnewlin’s (Alpina, 2013) key tip is to prioritize work experience.
Indeed, King’s biomedical science student Sylvia Ang (Le Cerf, 2020) found invaluable professional opportunities connecting with alumni via Aiglonlife.ch.
Whereas the CDO of a mobility start-up Mohab Kamel (Delaware, 1990) discussed the importance of perseverance and flexibility.
Karam Hinduja (Alpina, 2008), CEO of S.P. Hinduja Banque Privée S.A. challenged students who will be taking up positions within their family business to think about professionalism and setting boundaries.
MIT and Columbia graduate architect and structural engineer Nina Baier Bischofberger (Exeter, 1992) is an inspiration for women who dream of balancing motherhood with a fruitful career.
According to Cyber security communications expert Lucy Jay-Kennedy (Clairmont, 1999) some adversity can lead to unexpected opportunities, and that curiosity for learning and network nurturing can take you far.
We thank our alumni again for offering their valuable perspectives. Also, thanks to our alumni who joined us virtually for a North American West Coast chat: Leelaram Elangovan (Belvedere, 2018), Dominique Meyer (Alpina, 2013), Rita Chen (Clairmont, 2021), Chris Brenninkmeijer (St Louis, 2021), Robert Becsenescu (Belvedere, 2014). Our students found the sessions invaluable and have come away with plenty of food for thought.
We will be organising more workshops like these. Reach out to us at the Alumni Engagement Office if you would like to share your story with our students or contribute through other means such as internships or mentorships.
About Patience Fanella-Koch
Patience is Director of College & Careers Counselling at Aiglon. She leads a four-person team working to offer personalised guidance to students as they search for undergraduate programmes and further careers. Patience brings 20 years of experience in the admission and college counselling world and served six years as an executive board member of the International Association for College Admissions Counselling (IACAC).