Speech from IB graduate, Estefania

Here is Estefania Arrocet's speech from our Opening Event on 30 January 2014: 

While you were invited to have a taste of Halcyon today, some of you might be wondering what an IB education might look like ten years on.  Well, I am here to tell you that I am an IB graduate and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

I am Estefania Arrocet.  I enjoyed a full IB education from the age of 3 to 18.  I  continued my studies here in London at Kings College, with subjects at the London School of Economics. 

At 22, I embarked on an incredible journey working as an international sales executive, researching and producing special advertising sections on countries that were published globally in the likes of The Economist, The Times, Daily Telegraph, South China Morning Post, etc. 

Over 7 years, my job allowed me to live in countries I would never have imagined: from Portugal to The Republic of Tatarstan in Russia, from Peru to Nigeria, to name a few. One year ago, I founded my own company, Nexus. The mission of Nexus is to forge closer diplomatic and business ties between countries. It’s about connecting people, business and industries and to support businesses as they navigate through today's globalized world. 

So what impact did the IB and studying in an international school have on me? Firstly, the IB prepared me very well for top universities here in the UK. I must say the first two years were a breeze, because I had a great overview from a broad and rigorous curriculum and I had learned excellent, practical skills. More importantly it gave me tools to confidently travel all over the world and do business with people from very different cultures. 

To sum up, an international IB education helps you develop important skills above and beyond the mastery of basic course work and content.  For me, three of those top benefits are:

-  a network of friends all over the world
-  a profound exposure to different cultures, which made us very curious and very respectful of others and
-  a very rounded education.

To give you an example, I went on a one year assignment to Lagos, Nigeria, notoriously known for not being an “easy transition.”  Before even getting there I already had numerous contacts, from an old school friend to friends of friends.  This kind of global networking is priceless.  Especially in today’s world.

Aside from a list of contacts, I was informed about Nigeria. Having studied Decolonization in IB History, and having read two of Nigeria's most celebrated writers, Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka, without even realizing it, I arrived with a framework.  This helped me to converse comfortably with my new business associates.  I vividly remember talking with the Minister of Communication and Technology about Chinua Acehebe's famous work, “Things Fall Apart.”

I could give you hundreds of examples like this, but we don’t have much time.

In summary, I’m excited that Halcyon will offer the full IB upper school curriculum in an international context.  I’m sure its students will benefit more than I did.  I believe an IB education provides an amazing skill set which this generation needs to succeed in today’s world which is increasingly frontier-less and incredibly globalized. Thank you.