How the International Baccalaureate Shaped My Experience at University

Posted by Kambala

My name is Grace Weston and I am third-generation Kambala Old Girl who completed the International Baccalaureate in 2015. As a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) and Commerce graduate of the Australian National University, I am currently working in Sydney at EY in Financial Services Advisory. My time at Kambala was long and fulfilling; a journey I started with a group of girls I still call my close friends today.

One thing I have learned, of which the IB first demonstrated, is that in choosing a similar path you find yourself among likeminded people. It takes a certain mind and associated driving ambitions to shift away from the HSC toward an alternative like the IB; and in that many friendships were made. Collaboration drove our cohort and is what made the experience so fulfilling.

The curriculum the IB provides is well rounded in both subject and perspective. You are given the tools to develop a sense of thought leadership; a skill I believe fosters the most successful students, employees and world citizens. With that independence, I was able to start university with confidence and purpose. The requirement to ‘drive’ many of your subjects is not dissimilar to the HSC in the realm of major works. However, where I believe the IB differs was in the opportunity to collaborate with teachers on topics of mutual interest. The best example of this is the Extended Essay. At university, you are expected to collaborate with individuals of varying age, thought and experience. The IB provides you with skills that considerably reduce the gap between high school and university expectations. I left Kambala with a strong understanding of how to get the most out of my time and work independently.

The IB also rewards dedication and commitment. My first year was difficult; I was frustrated by results well below my expectations. However, with perseverance and dedication, I improved. It tested my commitment but eventually enabled me to adapt to a new way of learning. Now, when I am faced with adversity, I remember the benefits that come from committing to a challenge and find confidence in my ability to ‘stick it out’.

I would recommend the IB to any young woman looking to push herself and learn more about her potential. The IB prepares you to be agile. It introduces you to difficulty, pushes you to your limit and demands you extend beyond it. Life outside of school; at university and in your career, asks for the same and in that the IB brings these experiences two years ahead of your peers.

About the Author

Kambala Old Girl Grace Weston ’15 is a Performance Improvement Consultant at EY Sydney.