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Mimoza Aranitasi: ‘I Keep Using What I Learned at AAS in My Studies and Career’

Every time I think about how it’s already been almost 4 years since I graduated from AAS, I cannot believe how quickly the time has passed. As I look back at my time in AAS, I can’t help but think about times when alumni came to visit before I graduated, and realized how right they were about how life after AAS would be. One of the things that I recurrently thought about over the past 3 years is that alumni would say “Taking the IB at AAS prepares you for a very smooth start at university”, and I can now join them in confirming that this is true. My last two years at AAS definitely helped reduce my academic stress at university, which was a load off my shoulders, in comparison to my classmates at university who had not done programs as rigorous as the IB, and at the level of AAS education in general.

Studying at AAS gave me two very important things which have supported me in my academic development: agility and well-roundedness. Going into a liberal arts and sciences program after AAS meant that my education was perhaps not as specialized as that of my former peers. As such, the intensity and diversity of the IB program at AAS allowed me to succeed in many of my classes during my first year ranging from topics on politics and law to sustainability and health development. I even often experienced moments of deja vu, where I would be sitting in a philosophy lecture and my professor would start explaining something that I had learned in TOK, or concepts that I learned in Geography would pop up in my economics courses.

Academics aside, I believe that one of the greatest benefits of studying at an international school like AAS is the strong community, and as a result the network you develop and the friendships you make. Despite the fact that everyone goes their separate ways, and many people spread out all across the world for their next steps in life after high school, you are quite likely to find an AAS alum in most countries you visit. Random encounters with my former classmates over the past years remind me that we still share strong bonds even outside of our “home away from home.”

Now, almost 4 years after I’ve graduated from AAS, I’ve gotten a position as a commercial trainee in Mondelez International. Although it is a different line of work from what I originally had envisioned, nonetheless it has been an enriching experience so far and has given me the opportunity to develop communication and collaboration skills that will prepare me for jobs in the future. Parts of my education at AAS have helped ease my transition into my work environment, even so many years later. Concepts that I learned in English frequently come back to mind as I try to develop effective communication for campaigns and advertisements at the company. AAS also prepared me for this position by giving me the opportunity to pursue my interests and develop myself outside of the academic sphere with the clubs and activities that it offers. I am currently working in the marketing department, and the skills that I learned while being Editor in Chief of LUX magazine, relating to design, layout, production time and project management have been invaluable in my new position – skills that, although were touched upon in some of my classes, were truly cemented by these extracurricular experiences.

There are many other ways in which AAS prepared me for the past few years of my life, such as proactiveness, or by developing my critical thinking, but I can confidently say that graduating from AAS has given me a set of skills, both tangible and intangible, which I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

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