We are connecting with IB students & alumni from all over the world to share their experiences and perspectives with the IB community. This week we connected with Diploma Programme (DP) graduates Kai Hall and Ebunoluwa Akinbode, who are both students in the Elliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University.
We met up with George Washington University students and Diploma Programme (DP) graduates Ebunoluwa “Ebun” Akinbode and Kai Hall on campus to see how their IB education has supported their university studies. They share how the IB allowed them to explore different areas of interests and narrow down what subjects they were passionate about and offer advice for current DP students.
How did the IB help shape you as a learner?
“It can be a really exciting time for you to discover your interests, so take advantage of it”―Ebun Akinbode
Kai: I feel like the IB is a very challenging curriculum, and especially in the school I was in, it was a very close-knit community. So, we all supported each other through it and by the end of it we all celebrated, and it felt like an accomplishment.
Ebun: It can be a really exciting time for you to discover your interests, so take advantage of it and don’t just say, “well, I just checked off a box of what I need to get done.”
Kai: There’s more to the IB than just the subjects you’re studying, it’s a way of thinking, I would say.
What advice do you have for students in the DP?
Ebun: My advice based on my experience, for people in the DP, or just IB in general, is not to get caught up on trying to just meet all the requirements, but really understanding that IB gives you the chance to explore different things, and especially with papers that you write, where you get to choose the topics.
Kai: Really focus on the subjects that really interest you. I know that in the IB, not everything you study is something you necessarily like or something that interests you, but really consider the fact that the IB is trying to create a more balanced knowledge within you.
“If you want more of an international perspective, I think it’s for you.”―Kai Hall
Ebun: I think the combination between my creativity, activity, service (CAS) project and the extended essay that I wrote, really drove my passion for what I’m studying right now. And sometimes I wonder, “what I would have gone to college for if I hadn’t had that exposure to explore my own interests and found a love for something?”
Kai: Advice I’d give to someone who’s considering taking the DP would probably be, consider whether you like writing or not, the IB is very writing-heavy. If you’re interested in gaining a broad perspective on various topics, whether it’s politics or English or a foreign language or math or whatever it may be. If you want more of an international perspective, I think it’s for you. It’s definitely rewarding at the end I see myself applying some of what I learned in the IB to university material already.
Ebun: Evaluate who you think you are as a person and what type of student that you are, and if you feel that it’s not something workload-wise that you’re ready to take on, don’t feel pressure to do so. But if it’s something that you really want to push yourself to do, then definitely do it because the payback is well worth it.
To hear more from Diploma Programme (DP) graduates check out these IB programme stories. If you are an IB grad and want to share your story, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We appreciate your support in sharing IB stories and invite you to connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter Instagram and YouTube!
If you enjoyed this story, consider reading more below: