Attention: You are using an outdated browser, device or you do not have the latest version of JavaScript downloaded and so this website may not work as expected. Please download the latest software or switch device to avoid further issues.

World Mag > WM Summer 2015 edition > The Value of Professional & Personal Networking

The Value of Professional & Personal Networking

About IB and Alumni Association
Time Battersby / AISB HS Guidance & College Counselor
Time Battersby / AISB HS Guidance & College Counselor

As our careers develop, we become increasingly aware of the value of our personal and professional networks. “Who you know, not what you know” plays out into opportunities and in uence. We also become more conscious of how carefully and deliberately nurturing interpersonal relationships brings multiple flow on effects. It doesn’t take much to be friendly, to be empathetic, and to really listen to and engage with others. But wow! What a di erence it makes!

We’ve all been teenagers, dealing with the awkward juggle of growing bodies, hormones, pushing for independence and recognition, worrying about the future, and trying to t into complicated social worlds. 

Developmentally, teenagers strug- gle to be able to foresee the long term future impact of their present choices. Teenagers aren’t the easiest animals to work with and sometimes we wonder if they are even listening to a word we are saying. Believe me, despite the disinterested body language and minimal dialogue, they are soaking up everything around them, tting it into their rapidly evolving concept of the world and their place in it. So as the commit- ted members of the AISB Alumni Association walk away from another Grade 10 careers discussion, wondering if the sixteen year olds were only thinking about Game of Thrones or how many people liked their last FaceBook post, be assured, your messages were heard. 

This year we ran a series of careers discussions with Grade 10 students, and the messages were clear:

  • AISB is a great school (teenagers might doubt this);
  • IB prepares you well for university (teenagers might detest the IB!); 
  • You are part of a community and network that will be there for life;


  • That network is active and seeking out ways to better support current students;


  • Work hard at AISB, it is worth it; and


  • Make the most of all the opportunities outside the classroom. 


Embedded in their enthusiasm for AISB, the AA delivered believable and encouraging sentiments for our teenagers to value both the here and now experiences as well as to start to understand the strength of the community to which they belong. If we start seeding these appreciations in Grade 10 and consistently grow them in Grades 11 and 12, everyone bene ts. The current students will
be able to tangibly see the bene ts of both their time at AISB and of the alumni network ahead of them, and the AA will be gaining proud, active and engaged members ready to reap the bene ts of the alumni network. 

As a careers and university advisor, each year I run a workshop for Grade 11 students and parents to kick o the university search and application process. I can honestly say that the session in January of this year was one of the most pertinent and profound I’ve coordinated. It’s not because I’m getting better at my job, but because of the very real and relevant input by several members of the AA.

University applications are stressful, and let’s be honest, despite being important and exciting for the future direction of our kids, presenting the topic can be a bit dry. Not last January! Ioana Balu ’07, Alex Cristescu ’09, Philip Bouri ’04, Tianqi Yang ’09, Bogdan Doicescu ’08, Oana Toma ’07, and Monica de Romeo ’07, not only outlined their individual journeys from their senior years at AISB to university and now into their early careers, but they provided current and believable tips for both students and parents. Below are a few quotes from Grade 11 parents, attesting to the impact the AA made:

“I was impressed by their con dent attitude. Bogdan’s speech was well structured, organized and concise. This means that his upbringing, grafted on a good school background, gave wonderful results. Such meetings are useful because they provide information and give a sense of con dence that our children will succeed, too.”

“I am so glad of this new initiative because I could hear many details and tips from a student’s perspective. This was extra helpful especially because these students are now all working and have enough maturity to highlight exactly the aspects that most matter, how to tackle them best. Everybody tells us how not to panic, focus, and stick to the schedule, but their feedback and advice was even more detailed and helpful.” 


“The testimonies from the alumni were very helpful for us in deciding which country our son should go to for his studies. It was wonderful to hear directly from former students their experiences and see their enthusiasm.”

“The meeting with AISB Alumni helped us to realize that there are countless possibilities and everyone has a chance without actually having to be ‘the perfect’ student. They also could give specific insight in terms of how their applications went. It truly helps us to support our own kids as much as we can, emotionally but also in terms of research.”

Another anxious group of parents shu ed into the library one wet March evening to meet with several members of the AA, Jann Brindley, Alumni Guest and wife of AISB Director, and Veronica Savanciuc, mother of two AISB Alumni, and AISB's Board of Trustees Vice Chair and Chair of the Advancement Committee, to talk about the challenging period of preparing for sending their babies, the Class of 2015, o to university. As you might recall, this is quite a tough time for parents, who try and look brave as they blu to match their child’s excitement and enthusiasm about leaving for the wide world beyond the family home. Many fears and concerns were discussed and alleviated. Many tips and strategies tabled for the eager parents.

The sharing of experiences was rich, genuine and heartfelt, with a collective sigh of relief visibly noticeable as the parents departed, a little lighter and reassured.

So the AA did some great work this year, informing and connecting with our older students and their parents. This energy and commitment is commendable, and knowing the driving forces behind the AA, this will continue to be part of the annual contribution made. 


I’m going to throw out a challenge to you all. I spoke to some Grade 10, 11, and 12 students about what they would like to see from the AA. For the most part they were impressed that Alumni want to come back to AISB and meet with current students, but there were a couple of valid suggestions made, which you should hear and consider:

“I’d like to know who has gone to the universities that I want to apply to, so that I could talk to them and hear what it is really like” – several students have contacted AA members, asking questions about entrance requirements, getting accepted, portfolios, interviews and student life.

“I’m considering a gap year and want to know if any of the alumni might be able to help me nd work” – It would be wonderful
if alumni could establish a system where AISB students could access work experience and internships, even possibly post job vacancies for their own business ventures.

Thanks and congratulations to the AA team for having such a wide ranging impact across the AISB community this year. All power to you as we set the sails for more and more engagement with the current AISB community.

page10image7905712 page10image5833728

Read the entire WORLD Magazine Summer 2015 edition here. 

Similar stories

Most read

Andrei Rosu

“I am running while I am talking to you, I took my son to club training and I always have my gear with me, so I thought why not run" More...

Bogdan Doicescu, Development Manager Bog'Art

I was so molded by the American school and the culture: from sports, social dynamics, and the education system as a whole, that no other place would h… More...

Matthew Werner

AISB Parent / AISB Board of Trustees Chair / Management Counselor at the US Embassy in Romania More...

Have your say

This website is powered by