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“There was a significant difference between my friends who were IB grads and those who were not”

IB Graduate to IB Staff: Leonor Chiarella

To get the blog started, I have done a spotlight on a few of the IB staff members in the Americas office who are also IB graduates.

Leonor did the IB Diploma Programme at Seisen International School in Tokyo, Japan, graduating in 2002.

  1. What did you do for your EE? Explored the collaboration between the Vichy government and Nazi Germany.
  2. How did you feel about the IB while you were doing it? Bittersweet. To begin with our school was academically very rigorous, adding the Diploma seemed to have made it doubly so. It was a tough last two years of high school, but we had passionate teachers that supported us and took time on the weekends to help us, our parents were very involved in our studies and would support us at home, and we had each other. At the end of the day we were incredibly stressed, with not enough hours in the day, but despite it all we always managed to have time to goof off and have fun.
  3. Where did you attend university? Denison University
  4. Was your decision to attend your university based at all upon your IB experience, and/or the way that university regarded the IB? Denison had no idea what the IB was and therefore I didn’t receive any credit from the university. The reason why I choose Denison was the academic scholarship they awarded, they had the highest acceptance rate of international students and they were one of the few universities that would send recruiters aboard.
  5. How did you feel about the IB once you started university? Did you notice a difference between the IB grads and the non-IB grads? There was a significant difference between my friends who were IB grads and those who were not. The work load was nothing new to me, but I saw some of my friends struggle with the amount of work that was assigned and the papers that we had to write. Having the experience of the Extended Essay made it easier at the university level write the 10 page or 30 page paper.
  6. What is your position at the IB? Outreach Services Associate
  7. What is your favorite memory from your time doing the IB? Last day of exams!

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