A Taste of 5 Different Jobs at BISS Career Day
Photo by Nik MacMillan on Unsplash
What kind of career planning opportunities would you prepare for your teeanagers? Here at BISS Career Day this week, five passionate and inspirational professionals shared their understanding of careers, and reflections on their process of making career choices .
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A long-held traditional program for secondary students at BISS, Career Day enables students to actively engage in exploring different career pathways, and in getting to know what the ideal profession is really like. It allows students to add first-hand information and a personal touch to their career researching. Interactions between professionals and our students provide a great deal of insight into the best subject combinations that they need to select as part of their extremely academically demanding IB DP two year course, which begins in grade 11.
"Students will become stimulated to start to think about, and explore a whole range of possible career pathways that captivates their interests and has a very close alignment with the personality attributes, knowledge, skills, values, aspirations and abilities that they now possess and will eventually acquire when they study their undergraduate degree course at their chosen university”, says Christopher Wilson, School Counselor at BISS. Graduated with honor from Westminster University UK majoring Psychology and Physiology, Mr. Wilson worked at Kings College, London University and has been School Counselor at various high schools ever since.
▲Christopher Wilson, School Counselor at BISS who guides students with regard to college/university placements as well as career choices.
At BISS’ Career Day event this semester on April 22, five experts of different industries were invited to the school to share their stories about their career path, including former senior marketing consultant from McKinsey Co., this year's Rhodes Scholar from Peking University who is dedicated to fulfilling her dream to become an investigative reporter, two award-winning graphic designers, a psychologist who used to be a physicist, and a researcher and editor from the National Astronomical Observatory of Chinese Academy of Sciences.
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The whole Career Day started with James Wicker, researcher with China Academy of Sciences, who shared with students classification of astronomy, and the basic background knowledge including the solar system, the constellation, types of stars and their different outcomes, etc..
▲James Wicker, Editor and Researcher with National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences.
James was astonished by BISS students’ inquiries about “Do black holes spin?” or “What is hawking radiation?” Therefore, he broke into more niche topics including ways to discover black holes, and wrapped up with major achievements of ancient Chinese such as Su Song’s Water Clock (AD1092) and Stone Constellation Map in Song Dynasty (AD1078), as well as modern Observatory Equipment in China such as LAMOST (world largest spectroscopic telescope, Hebei Province) and FAST (the world largest single dish radio telescope, Guizhou Province) etc.. James is much impressed by BISS students’ broad general information and their enthusiasm about science.
▲Chang Xue, Counselling Psychologist
Psychologist Ms. Chang Xue shared her own experience of facing conflicts upon choosing her careers between answering her inner calling and meeting with parents’ expectations. When asked how to choose ones’ career when they have no interest in any subject at all, Chang observed that it was a common phenomenon among Chinese students to feel incapable of or frustrated with identifying their needs or themselves. More and more Chinese parents are trying to make their children copy their own successful stories, or fulfill the dreams they have yet accomplished, while pay little attention to encourage kids to follow their real passion and interests and, empowering them to become the best version of themselves.
"These parents are on tenterhooks to make sure their children do not make mistakes on choosing what to study and what they do in the future. But they haven’t realized that children can learn tremendously on their own by following their passion, and even by making mistakes on the way to find who they are and what they really want." Chang showed students how to empathize parents’ anxiety of pushing kids into their shoes; she also showed specific ways to soothe down the conflicts when facing their parents.
▲Fu Zixuan, Rhodes Scholar 2018
Students were cheered up when a speaker about their own age stood up onstage, who is one of the only 4 Rhodes Scholars from China in 2018. Currently in her senior year of study at Peking University, Fu Zixuan advised students to plan their future career at an early age. Fu started to think about what to become when she was only at 6 grade, and she even made a quantitative analysis in four areas seriously: “What is my passion? What I am good at? What is the most meaningful thing to me? What is practical to achieve? At that time, there were few resources she could find for advice or instruction, nor would most of her classmates or even her teachers think about career planning. By knowing what she really wants to do, she easily crossed out medical science and data engineering, both of which she had scored high, and pinned down to a professional that she would strive for in the future: Journalism.
Her interested in journalism started from Grade 8, when she joined Model United Nations. It was there where she began to involve herself into world issues such as conflicts in the Middle East, and to learn to welcome different points of view over the same issue. From being a delegate to finally chairing the association, Fu had a great opportunity to see the real world and had a deeper understanding of in-equality and poverty. Fu wants to make a difference to the world. May the changes be moderate or tremendous, she wants to take the initiative to change the world in a better way.
Fu came to realize that she needed a deep understanding of politics and economics in order to dig deeper in journalism. Therefore, she chose International Relations as her major when enrolled at Peking University. Fu advised BISS students to not only think about future career as early as possible but try it earlier as well. “A profession is much likely different from what it looks like when you are really in it.” Fu said.
▲Autumn Qiu, Marketing Consultant
As an experienced former consultant with McKinsey, the fourth speaker Autumn Qiu led a practical and informative lecture, with quite a few games and quizzes to guide students with classic marketing theory, what they mean in real business, and the marketing strategies most companies use to promote their products.
▲Guang Yu, Graphic Designer
The last but not the least guests are two artists from a design studio, who not only shared some of their design works, but their understanding about art and design. “Art is a kind of freedom where artists express their idea and belief in their unique way, whereas design is something you do to serve for your clients. As a designer, you need to follow the rules just like a doctor need to understand patients’ problems to solve the problems for them, not OF them,” said one of the two graphic designers. Talking about inspiration, the designers told students it never drops all of sudden from the void, but is based on years of deep involvement, careful analysis and tremendous practice.
As the final session of the Career Day, this talk about how to become a professional artist may also serve to answer the classic question among students at any age: “What’s the point of learning all the dull subjects while what we are learning now may well be outdated in this fast-changing era?” First you learn all the rules, and then you’ve got to break them or adapt them into your own needs. To achieve that, one need to have a strong will and a clear self-identity at an early age, both are which BISS has been eager to plant into their students.
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Established in 1994, Beijing BISS International School was the first International school in Chaoyang District, and was one of the first to be authorized to offer the three IB programmes. BISS is a small school with a big spirit and excellent academic results. BISS graduates are widely accepted by top universities around the world, including Harvard University, Stanford University, Columbia University, The Juilliard School, the National University of Singapore and Peking University among others.
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