The world of work; A Student’s Journey – Parent Workshop!

Three of our alumni recently shared their career tips, experiences of working life, and general life lessons during an online parent workshop entitled ‘The World of Work; A Student’s Journey.’

During the workshop, hosted by Mr David Whitney (Head of Social Sciences) & Mr Samuel Wickham (Higher Education Advisor), Ian Ze-Yan Lai (Class ‘14), Joyie Chooi (Class ‘15) and Henrietta Teh (Class ‘16) all shared their experiences of the transition from GIS through Higher Education and into the world of work. 

Here we hear a little more of the pearls of wisdom offered during this workshop:


Ian Ze-Yan Lai, Class of 2014

B.A. Philosophy, Politics and Economics – The Queens’ College, Oxford (2015-2018)

Associate at the Boston Consulting Group

“I was approached by the GIS alumni office to speak about my experience pursuing a humanities-focused degree at university. While it is still early days in my own journey post-uni, it was a privilege to be able to share with parents some of my thoughts regarding what I learned studying Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, and how it has contributed to my current career pathway.

As rightly pointed out by the GIS teachers in the event, the skills we are expected to deploy in work and life after university often go far beyond the confines of what we study at an academic level – whether that be humanities-based degree or otherwise. Employers are looking for people who can exhibit the right working skills, attitude, and drive; this fact is made even more salient by the rise of automation and computerisation at work. Our academic journey, then, is about more than just the subject we study, but more about the skills and experiences we exercise and develop throughout our time in these institutions. Given this, what could be a more fruitful environment to nurture these skills and grow personally than an environment where one is studying the subject that genuinely interests them?”


Joyie Chooi, Class of 2015

B.A. (Hons) Philosophy, Politics & Economics – Durham University

Senior Consultant at Ernst & Young

“The GIS Alumni team reached out, asking me to share my experience of reading a humanities subject at university, namely Philosophy, Politics and Economics. It was my pleasure to speak to parents and share how the skills built from my university degree have opened many doors and stood me in good stead for the working world. Looking back six years ago, I remember how daunting it was to choose a field of study, knowing that it could potentially impact my subsequent life choices. However, if there’s one thing I would say to students, it would be to choose something that they enjoy and believe they have the potential to excel in. I wish students all the best in their future endeavours!”


Henrietta Teh, Class of 2016

Specialist B.A. International Development & Geography – University of Toronto 

HBA Candidate | Specialist International Development Studies Co-op, Human Geography

“I was very happy to meet with fellow alumni Joyie and Ian, as well as Mr Whitney, to discuss our experiences and the important skills we have gained at GIS, university and in our careers. I am very grateful that GIS supports students to branch out to pursue alternative and more comprehensive higher education and career pathways through the social sciences. I had a very supportive circle of teachers who helped me decide on which subjects to take and what to study at university. 

Sharing my experiences and perspectives was rewarding as hopefully it can help GIS students who are interested in similar degrees and careers. I loved my time at GIS and am always so excited to support the students and staff!” 


A huge ‘Thank You’ to these inspiring alumni who generously shared their time and experiences with our parents virtually, despite their busy daily schedules. If you are interested in sharing your journey post-GIS, then please get in touch with us at

We are always updating our page with news from the Alumni community across the continents, and would love to hear from you and share your stories. Please get in touch via Facebook, LinkedIn or simply send an email to  We can’t wait to hear from you!