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World Mag > WM Summer 2014 edition > What happens after AISB?

What happens after AISB?

I will miss AISB greatly but also look forward to what the future has in store. Thank you all for the wonderful experiences you've helped create for my wife and me - we leave with the fondest memories
Dr. David Ottaviano
Dr. David Ottaviano

The mission of our institution is to help prepare students for a successful life of change in an everchanging, smaller world. AISB, as an IB World School, provides an international perspective and rigorous curriculum for students. We expect students to participate, collaborate and provide servicebeyond their world to influence the lives of others. The AISB mission isto engage learners in a rigorous and balanced international education, preparing them to realize their full potential and inspiring them to be successful and responsible global citizens.

AISB has the expectation that all of our students take the full IB program.Over the years, we annually track the academic progress of our students and we follow our alumni as they gooff to university and the work place.For example, when we surveyed graduates, they generally reported to us that they were well prepared for their studies. Most often remarked, was that the rigorous high school program prepared them to study and be able to write papers well in university.

For the past 6 years, I have been giving two speeches to ourgraduating seniors. The first is attheir “senior breakfast”, where they gather for the last time in school before their processional. Maria Tudor, our Alumni Association President, invites them into the group of the 1000’s of alumni of theschool. It is at that time that I share with them statistics I have gathered over the years about their future. You might find some of these statisticsinteresting:


• Academic Achievement: InRomania only, 75% of studentsnow pass their IB, while theworldwide average is 78.54%. They are among the 130,000 students who annually participatein the IB examination program.The worldwide school averagenumber of points is 29. In our school last year 98% of our students participated in the full IBand their group average was 34. They earned the highest number of points of all schools in the CEESA region.

• Physical growth: Our men havereached 97% of their adult weight and our women 94% of their adultweight. They will continue to grow for several more years.

• Relationships: 10% of them have already met their marriage partner. 74% will marry cross culturally. (Either another nationality or who also had an international background).

• Marriage Age: The average ageof marriage when I was your age, was 22. The average is now29 in Romania and Europe, and 28 in North America. For our international students it is 30 yearsold. I believe that our students are more facile at fleeting relationshipsbut they are more careful or choosey about their marriage partners.

  • University: Almost all of our graduates will go to university in their first year out from AISB,with others joining the mandatory military in their home countries. All will eventually go to university. Most important is that they almostall will finish. This will take anaverage of 4.4 years.

  • Friends: The average number of close friends will go from 4.5 inhigh school to 6.5 in university. In life we only have a few closefriends that we maintain apart from families.

  • Interests: Most of our graduates will be addicted to variety, travel and change.

  • Belonging: Most will have a sense of belonging in more than one country.

  • The biggest surprise to me wasthe long-term commitment torelationships. I expected that, like the many different kinds of cerealyou can buy in America, people would change marriage partners as frequently as you change countries. But the research shows just the opposite. Our graduates value relationships and apply a tremendous amount of resiliency and ability to cope with major life crises: bankruptcy, death of loved ones and traumas.

  • Self-sufficiency: Most areexceptionally self-sufficient and have a high regard for the education and exposure given as young people.

  • Residence: 63% of them willreside in a country other than their own.

  • Lifestyle: 66% of them will enjoyan international lifestyle.

  • Majors: 86% will work in businessmanagement or education. Most will rise to leadership positions.

  • Languages: 33% will choose to study languages in university. This compliments their high linguistic capability.

  • Work: 82% of them will have jobs with international aspects.


In reflecting upon my own life, when I was in high school and college, I was relatively accomplishedacademically but enjoyed understanding relationships withpeople. I was elected to leadershiproles in high school and university before embarking on my life’s work.I studied psychology in university because I was interested in human behavior and this reflected my laterwish, which was to help people be “the best they could be.” These interests and experiences led me to become Head of School. Ourgraduates have asked for advice
in seeking a career in this difficult market. Here are some suggestions:


• In your lifetime you will likely have 7 different careers so if you do not get your “ideal” job when you firstenter the market, do not worry. The most optimistic way to look at your career isn’t whether you majored in it in university or how long you stay with an employer. Make the best use of your talent and ability and the work will come to you.

• Spend more time with people than with your electronics. It isvery tempting to interact through media than in real life but you are successful with the manner in which you ENGAGE in work with people. Remember that people hire you, not technology.

• Don’t expect to “get it all” in your first job. In fact, you should expect to have to sacrifice and work veryhard in order to position yourself for the future. This means yourfirst year on the job you shouldexpect to put in 150% in order to accomplish your work well.

• Learn and experience as much as you can about different culturesand languages. We live in an increasingly small world with a global marketplace. The more you travel around the world, watching and learning, the more you will be able to take advantage of this global marketplace.

• Find people whom you trust togive you advice. Ask for advice often. Consider it and keep modifying your actions until you get it right. This may not be the “right” you consider correct, but the “right” your employer considers correct.

My second graduation speech is the more public speech which happens at the graduation ceremony for parents, grandparents and the wider school community. Over my 29 years of graduations I have found that the long term effects ofan international education can be evidenced in cross cultural skills, and global understanding which are the products of friendships rather than merely the subjects you have learned as part of the curriculum.AISB is a wonderful school, it standsby its mission, and helps to educate its students for the new world of work.


Just like our Graduating Class of2014, I will also be taking off at the end of this year. I have felt so fortunate over the last 6 years to bepart of this beautiful community and to have had the opportunity to learn from the many parents, students,faculty and staff members who have walked our halls. I will miss AISBgreatly but also look forward to what the future has in store. Thank you all for the wonderful experiences you’ve helped create for my wife and me – we leave with the fondest memoriesof AISB and Romania.

David Ottaviano,

Ed.D., Director

Read the entire WORLD Magazine Summer 2014 edition here.



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