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IB, worldview, and me

We invited IB Diploma graduates to reflect on post-IB life and offer perspectives on topics of their choosing. This is the third article in a series by alumna Haley Clasen

By Haley Clasen

Dense webs of relationship connect alumni of the IB Diploma Programme (DP) who find they can relate despite otherwise differences – a testament to IB’s deep influence on worldview. Two personal examples:

Completely by chance, one of my fellow interns this summer was a DP graduate. Though we had extremely different backgrounds and experiences, this fact immediately bound us together. As we tackled ideas together in the workplace, that piece of common ground was foundational to our working relationship.

Second, one of my friends from my own diploma years participated in development work in Kenya last summer. She found herself working alongside current DP candidates. They quickly became friends who maintain contact despite the distance.

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Haley Clasen received her IB Diploma from Fishers High School, US.

Since graduating from the DP, IB’s worldviews have continually manifested themselves in my life, connecting me to other graduates and highlighting three key aspects of DP’s nature: interdisciplinary work, application, and commitment.

Interdisciplinary mindset

I work in the Writing Center at my university, and I am consistently the only social science major in a room full of humanities students. While English majors are sometimes hesitant about reviewing an APA or Chicago-style research paper, I am as confident with literary analyses as social science literature reviews due to DP’s detailed requirements to understand both. While English majors know much more about Jane Austen, magical realism, and clever word choice than I ever will, my own interdisciplinary perspective taught me to try to know – not just so I can be a better tutor, but so I can be a better thinker.

Emphasis on application

While some intellectual agendas simply hope that its students know more, IB wants its students to use their knowledge in the real world. Through programs like creativity, activity, and service hours (CAS) in the diploma, IB programmes highlight that learning is not contained to the classroom and that some of humanity’s most important work involves serving those around us. Post-IB, both my on-campus internship at the Collaboratory at Messiah College and my summer internship at the Sagamore Institute were based around applied research and how our learning could help those around us. A paradigm of application fostered through an IB education resonates far beyond a student’s IB years and prepares them well for future efforts.

Commitment among students

The DP has high standards and demands. When they work hard and have strong support from their communities, students can meet and even exceed IB’s demands, and when they don’t, they see the consequences. Students learn to take ownership of their own education. Whether we succeed or not, we know we are responsible for the results.

Furthermore, when students own their education, it does not own them, allowing grace for mistakes, reflection, and self-care. This level of commitment and personal confidence allows me to deeply invest in the people and activities around me. I build everything from relationships with my roommates to a co-curricular project management team to physical strength through ballet dance, because DP paradigms taught me to value commitment to my holistic education.

Overall, IB worldview extends well beyond the programmes and into the further academic and professional life of its graduates. By emphasizing interdisciplinary mindsets, application, and commitment, IB alumni build the ability to face any problem that comes their way. Not only does this deeply connect them with other DP graduates who think in similar ways, it opens doors to the future, not only for the graduates themselves, but for entire communities to move forward.


Contributing author Haley Clasen is passionate about learning! She writes about what the pursuit of knowledge looks like to her, and how it can ameliorate global society. She currently attends Messiah College and received her IB Diploma at Fishers High School, US.

Are you an IB graduate? Join the IB Alumni Network by visiting ibo.org/alumni.