This content marketing series is divided into three parts under the themes of sports, leadership, and the arts. This is part three of the three-part series. In part one, we spoke to the talented art students and their insight can be found here. In part two, we spoke to the sporty students and they share their fuller school life experience here. As the graduating class of 2017 bids farewell to family and friends, they have come full circle and share their ups, downs, and advice for younger students.
Students have a greater ownership in school when their voices are heard. Dulwich College Beijing (DCB) provides numerous avenues for students to realize their full leadership potential on a small or large scale and joining the Student Leadership is one of them.
Students need to apply for the Student Leadership team and undergo several rounds of interviews, including an elevator pitch in front of the Headmaster and the school leadership team. The aim of this process is to mentally prepare the students for future application or selection process to universities and jobs. The prefects, as what the leaders are called, are comprised of a Head Boy, a Head Girl, and their Deputies, and the rest of the team with individual portfolios ( i.e. Sports, Media, Performing Arts, Sustainability Prefect etc.). The leadership team is open to Year 12 and serves a one-year term until Year 13.
We sat down with outgoing Head Girl Johanna S., who has been at the school for eight years, Deputy Head Girl Lesley Z., who has been at the school for five years, and MUN Prefect Silvia S., who has been at DCB for almost nine years.
The three young ladies share their background and motivations for wanting to take up leadership roles.
Lesley: I’m Chinese-American. I always wanted to be a prefect when I was a younger student because prefects were like role models. It seemed like it would be a nice way to give back to the school community. I really didn’t think of becoming a prefect leader until the process was announced when I got to know more about it. Then I realized that if you become a leader you could do so much more than just be a prefect.
Johanna: I’m Swedish-Chinese. I have quite a similar experience to Lesley on how I got involved in this role. I always looked up to the prefects especially the leadership team and they really encouraged me to take different pursuits. I saw how they were able to influence the school and they were almost seen as teachers more than just students, so I really admired that.
Silvia: I’m Austrian-Chinese. I was running, alongside Johanna, DIMUN (Dulwich International Model United Nations), which is the school Model United Nations. I got into that from middle school. I started participating in MUN conferences then I realized it was quite an intellectual challenge and a way to meet new people who were really smart as well. And so I decided to get into leadership in this area because I have a lot of ideas and I thought they might bring some benefits to the system as well.
These were some of the benefits they were been able to gain from their roles.
Lesley: As deputy head girl, most of my leadership experience comes from managing a portfolio. I’m in charge of the ICT [Information, Communication, and Technology] sector. One thing that I learned from this so far is probably taking initiative. It’s because when you do a lot of tasks, it’s easier to envision ideas. But to actually get down to materializing those ideas, it requires you a certain level of commitment. I learned how to tweak my approach to things to make it easier to get things done.
Johanna: It really challenged my time management skills and resilience. The IB program is quite rigorous and with a lot of other extracurricular activities. It was a bit hard to balance everything at the beginning but then it taught me to prioritize and be most efficient with the tasks I was given.
Silvia: I guess as a leader in MUN, firstly you have to be good at MUN itself to be able to organize a conference. We’re also a kind of hands-on in what’s happening.
Balancing between their academics and leadership roles did not diminish their enthusiasm for either.
Johanna: I wouldn’t say my leadership role took away anything from my academics, I would probably say the opposite. Having all these extra-curricular activities is more of like a stress reliever than something that pressures you most of the time. Also, having so many things can help you become more efficient.
Lesley: I agree. I like making a list of all the things I need to do and prioritize them.
Silvia: I just do it.
Lesley: Amherst College
Johanna: Yale University
Silvia: Oxford University
Words of advice
Lesley: Taking a leadership role can be scary! But the ultimate experience and benefits greatly outweigh the fear, so you should definitely try.
Johanna: Try to take every opportunity out there and be dedicated!
Silvia: First, know what your talents are and then be good at them.
This post is paid for by DCB.
Photos: Courtesy of DCB & Uni You