Community Spotlight: Gwen Sears, Halcyon Graduate



Community Spotlight: Gwen Sears, Halcyon Graduate

As part of our monthly Alumni Spotlight, we touch base with our close network of past staff and students. This week, we are delighted to feature Halcyon alumna Gwen Sears, who has recently completed her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Entrepreneurship at the University of Richmond, Virginia, and is currently working as a Recruiting Coordinator at The D.E. Shaw Group.

Can you share some memorable experiences from your time at Halcyon?  What were you most proud of?

Some of my most memorable experiences at Halcyon include art classes with Mr Gow and Ms Sue, football practice with Mr. Byrne, showcasing our work at the DP art exhibit, and the sigh of relief after I completed my last exam!

At university, what did you study and where?

University of Richmond, Virginia. Major in Psychology, Minor in Entrepreneurship.

How did your education at Halcyon contribute to your career journey?

My education at Halcyon has certainly prepared me for the challenges I encounter while working at a hedge fund, where the environment is frequently demanding and high-pressure. The rigorous workload and emphasis on time management and self-discipline at Halcyon equipped me to effectively juggle multiple tasks, meet tight deadlines, and work long hours in my current role.

Which specific skills or knowledge gained during your time here have been most valuable in your professional life?

Two notable skills that I developed at Halcyon, communication and time management, have proven invaluable in my career. These abilities are essential in my current role, and my experience at Halcyon provided a solid foundation for their development.

If you could give one piece of advice to current students, what would it be?

A huge advantage of attending an international school is the exposure to diverse cultures, perspectives, and ideas–an experience I haven't encountered to the same extent since leaving the IB. My advice would be to fully embrace this opportunity and learn from your peers!

What do you remember of the transition from Halcyon to university and into the working world?

At Halcyon, teachers put significant effort into understanding and accommodating our learning styles through individual academic attention, a level of care that I didn't find at university. Fortunately, Halcyon also taught us independence and self-management, which helped me navigate the transition to university and the working world more successfully.

What does the school's 10-year anniversary mean to you personally?

The school's 10-year anniversary holds immense personal significance to me. This milestone is a testament to the unwavering dedication of my mum, one of the school's founders. Her commitment to making Halcyon exceptional has left me feeling immense pride and gratitude for her and her role in positively shaping my education. I’m reminded of the countless hours she has devoted to ensuring the school's success, and I’m filled with gratitude for her dedication to us, the students, and to the school's vision of excellence. Thank you mum!! 

What hopes do you have for the next decade of the school's growth and development?

My hope for the next decade of Halcyon's growth is to see it expand its educational offerings to include the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP)!