The BCIS mission is to challenge and empower students to be compassionate and inspired people, who act for the good of all and for the sustainable development of the world.
With the recent graduation ceremony of our 10th graduating class, the Class of 2018, we took the opportunity to interview some of our alumni who attended our BCIS Alumni Week that was part of the graduation celebrations and see the roads they have taken in life after graduating from BCIS. Four of our alumni stopped by the main campus to visit their alma mater, participate in our annual Board Breakfast with the BCIS community, meet with some of their previous teachers, as well as speak with their younger peers about life after high school and beyond. The first and sole graduate from the Class of 2009, Ruoyi Jiang; Class of 2014 student Jack Li; and members from the Class of 2017, Amanda Li and Alyson Liu, spoke about the life lessons they have learned upon graduating from BCIS, shared important wisdom they have attained from living life without their parents abroad, the changes they have experienced after "growing up," and much more. We would like to share some of their experiences.
Ms. Ruoyi went on to study and graduate from New York University (NYU), and continues to live in New York where she is the proprietor of boutique shop "Chop Suey Club" that sells modern Chinese designers' accessories and more. Mr. Jack is already in his final year at Bentley University, where he is learning about business and working on the side as a manager at a car sales company. Ms. Amanda is studying the art of Ceramic and Hot Glass making in a tranquil and peaceful Alberta University of Arts and Design, while Ms. Alyson is majoring in Marketing and Finance at Northeastern University. Each has chosen a different path to follow, but as foreign students living and studying abroad, they have endured similar challenges and overcome them. Some of these obstacles they have faced include getting adjusted to having complete independence over their schedules and life in general; enjoying the limited cuisine options around their universities (school cafeteria food is not for everyone); not having someone, a parent for example, telling them when to wake up or what to do; and more. Over time, they were all able to adapt and adjust to their new surroundings, living conditions, and overwhelming workload. They all unanimously mentioned that BCIS prepared them well regarding the latter, helping them succeed in university and their other endeavors after graduation so far.
The students also learned many poignant life lessons the hard way (i.e. experiencing these firsthand) after high school. Among these, this one was especially felt: sometimes, people you may think are friends can do the unimaginable. Ms. Ruoyi mentioned that a good friend of hers stole an incredible idea she had been working on for some time. This person, who she once considered a close friend, suddenly cut ties with her after pilfering her work for monetary gain without a shred of guilt. That is why Ms. Ruoyi cautioned others to be aware of who their true friends are.
On a more positive note, all the students shared how their relationships with their parents have grown stronger. Although none are parents themselves yet, the young adults have come to understand the perspectives of their parents more, as well as sympathize with them. Indeed, the love only a parent can provide for their child is truly special. In addition, distance makes a heart grow fonder, as well as brings families closer in a way. They also mentioned that with the advent of technology, it is also not a problem to keep in frequent contact with loved ones, no matter the differences in time and location.
Lastly, the alumni were asked this question: If there is one piece of advice you would like to share with our current BCIS students, what would it be? Mr. Jack emphasized that grades are not that important. Although he did not receive the best grades in high school (in fact, he admitted his grades were poor), he stated he has found success in both his higher education studies and work career by following his interests and excelling in these instead. Ms. Ruoyi also shared essential wisdom that fell on eager ears: "I want to share with you one very useful tip I wish I knew earlier: instead of thinking what kind of career you want to have, think what kind of lifestyle you want to have first. Then think about the type of careers that will allow this lifestyle to be your reality."
We are thankful to our alumni for sharing their life stories with us. We are also looking forward to hearing more about their future endeavors and success.