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The importance of an IB education: Q&A with IB Alumni, Daniel Treviño Colunga

In this Q&A session, we asked IB DP Alumni Daniel Treviño Colunga a few questions about the importance of an IB education. From completing his DP to how it prepared him for university and his future career options.

Tell me  about your IB journey and what you have been up to  since?

I found out about the DP from my high school because they were offering it in addition to the national curriculum. We had a presentation about the programme and I was immediately intrigued because I always like challenging myself and my own capabilities. However, I procrastinated and waited 2 days before the deadline to sign up for the DP.

To this day, it was one of the best decisions I made because it set me up for my next step in life.

The programme is challenging because of the workload but it was all worth it. Right now, I am studying Economics at Universidad de Monterrey (UDEM) and the DP allowed me to skip quite a few classes because I already took them before coming to university.

My major requires me to read a lot of texts and the DP prepared me to handle that kind of pressure. It not only taught me how to read lots of pages but to understand what was being discussed in each chapter. A lot of my friends felt the pressure when we started but I didn’t because the DP prepared me for all the obstacles I would face with my major.

What made you want to study Economics and Financial services?

Studying Economics in the DP inspired me to pursue it in university. I didn’t want to limit myself to one career and that’s all thanks to the DP. We were given the opportunity to try so many things with the six subject groups and CAS (Creativity, activity, service) and that’s exactly what I wanted to do in university. With my major, I can study financing, biology, coding and many other disciplines.

I would love to develop different skills that will allow me to pursue a career in public service. The DP showed me the importance of giving back to my community and a career in public service would be the best way to fulfill that dream. Also, it has prepared me to pursue different paths, I can pivot into banking or other career paths if I want to and that’s liberating.

How did the DP prepare you for university and the jobs you have had so far?

The social skills and willingness to give back to people are two things that the DP taught me. It was the catalyst that inspired me to choose the jobs that I have done thus far.

TOK (theory of knowledge) also allowed me to question my beliefs and the knowledge that I had. Combining CAS with my academics was amazing because it allowed me to discover my passion for volunteer work. One of the activities that I did for the service component was volunteering in a camp responsible for moving donations.

Mexico experienced a bad earthquake a couple of years ago and I wanted to help people with cancer, considering that they were deeply affected by the crisis. It’s also a great way for you to build your social skills because you are working with all kinds of people. Therefore, I am forever grateful for CAS and the way it prepared me for university and the workforce.

Tell me about your work at Global Citizen Year?

The Global Citizen Year is composed of two tracks – the academy and the fellowship. We developed the academy during the pandemic because we were unable to gather in person. I was lucky enough to be admitted into the academy when I finished the programme. They offered me a community internship. I did it for one semester and because they were so happy with me, they kept extending it.

We have a global community of about 300 students from 80 different countries and my job is to ensure that they are happy and satisfied with the programme. One of the benefits of the academy is having classes and guest speeches from people who are experts in their field. Also, you get to follow different subjects with people from across the world including Venezuela, Japan, Nigeria and many more.

Being in class with people from different nations allows you to hear different perspectives. I do have a lot of different responsibilities including organizing games and events to encourage people to stay in the programme. Quite a few people leave because it’s hard, my job is to make it memorable for them.

What are your hobbies?

When I am not busy studying or doing Global Citizen work, you can find me playing games with my girlfriend or going out with my friends. I also enjoy going to the cinema and playing with animals.

Daniel Treviño Colunga is a Mexican-Canadian from Monterrey, Nuevo León, México. He is a former IB DP economics student who graduated from UDEM Valle Alto with 40 points. Currently studying at Universidad de Monterrey (UDEM). His interests include finance, climate change, education development and boosting financial literacy.