Mr. Ruizhe Yan (Class of 2009)

1) Full Name: Ruizhe Yan

2) Current Location (Country): United Kingdom

3) Graduation class year: 2009 (Year 13)

4) What comes to your mind as soon as you hear of GIS?

The immediate thought of “My old school!” and “nostalgia” would be the best one word to sum this up

5) What is your most memorable experience in GIS?

The graduation award ceremony in Year 11 where I went up on stage a total of 3 times to collect 3 different certificates! (I was only expecting to go up once; for the certificate of Secondary School completion, which everyone receives)

6) Who was your favourite teacher and why?

I don’t think that I have any favourite teachers from GIS as they were all fantastic and have impacted me in their own ways. There is, however, one teacher that stood out for me. His name was Dr Timothy Rand. He only taught me for one semester way back in Year 8 (Science). He stood out because he was the first “Doctor” who ever taught me and secondly, because he once said during a class: “If you think too hard about the universe, you will go insane, so don’t worry too much about it!”

I think this came about because someone in our class or perhaps even myself was asking him about university, Ph.D and/or Physics (His Ph.D was in Physics), something related to one of the three. This kind of blew my mind! I still think quite a bit about what he said at that one random Science lesson way back in Year 8. Have a think about that sentence!



1) University: University of Leicester

2) Location of University (Country): United Kingdom

3) Degree / Masters / Ph.D: Degree

4) Field of study: Politics and Economics

5) Who or what inspired you to choose your selected field of study?

My experience being full-time in National Service with the Republic of Singapore Navy, where I had the extremely rare opportunity to interact with many junior Naval Officers of the United States Navy (due to my vocation), who opened my eyes to stuff like International Relations, US Foreign Policy and Security Studies, at the same time the economic ramifications that occur as well due to all of these.

6) What did you study before entering University (A-level, SAM, etc):

A-Level and a Foundation Course.

7) Where did you study for your foundation course? Were there any special subjects that you took in order to get into the Politics and Economics degree?

I studied at the University of Leicester International Study Centre. I did related subjects such as Economics, Business Studies, Business Law and Accounting as compared to what I did for A-Level back at GIS, which were all 3 Sciences and Maths. (I realised that the 3 Sciences and Maths weren’t quite for me. I also did the Foundation Course after 2 years of National Service, as my A Level grades weren’t good enough to get in to my degree. I felt that it would be beneficial to do so as a warm up to education once again after 2 years)

8) How did GIS prepare you for University?

Mixing with people from all over the world, at the same time receiving a British education allowed me to assimilate very easily into University especially since I am studying in the UK. Furthermore, having held the roles of Deputy Head Boy, House Captain, Prefect and Student Representative Council member, provided a firm foundation for interpersonal skills, teamwork, time management and most importantly confidence.

9) What’s your advice to current students who will be making the same choice as yourself?

“Listen to everyone but ultimately, trust yourself fully” and “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”



1) What are your goals and dreams?

My current goal is to maintain my 2:1 at University and graduate with this or perhaps even strive for a first! Next up would be securing an exciting job once I graduate.

My dream is to actually report back to my naval base (for my reservist military training back in Singapore should I end up living back there) in my uniform driving a super car!

2) What’s your say on life-long learning?

It is true. Learning never ends. It also doesn’t have to be academic. For example, just a few weeks ago, I learned that if you want to scroll through someone’s Snapchat story quickly, all you have to do is just tap the screen. Mind-blowing!