What I took with me from YCIS

Natasha Weaser, Alumna, Class of 2011, Gubei Campus

Can you tell us about your college experience in a nutshell? What degree will you be graduating with this spring from Stanford?
My major is International Relations with specialisations in East Asia and International Security. Currently, I am writing an honours thesis on China-Saudi Arabia relations. For the past two summers, I worked in both the consulting and finance sectors, and will be joining a technology company in San Francisco after graduation. 

Did your experience at YCIS influence your major and/or career path? How so?
The IB curriculum prepared me well for the rigour of college, thereby allowing me to explore classes across a range of disciplines at Stanford. Because of my international experience, I initially wanted to become a diplomat. However, having been in Silicon Valley over the last few years I have been immersed in the exciting world of technology, and that is why I decided to leverage my international and business experience to pursue a career in this field.

What was the greatest lesson or benefit that you took from YCIS to college?
Attending an international school in China gave me an invaluable international perspective that will benefit me for life. Few of my college peers had the privilege of being surrounded by classmates from dozens of different countries, or living in Shanghai during such a unique time of dynamic change in China. 

What was your favourite experience that you look back on from your time at YCIS?
I have many fond memories from my time at YCIS, but my favourite one has to be the IB Thailand trip. It was an incredible journey of personal exploration and relationship building, not to mention that it was lots of fun in general!

What advice can you give current YCIS high school students?
While living in China, my best advice is to push yourself to engage with Shanghai and China on a broader level. Step outside of your comfort zone and pursue your passions in a context which involves the local community. 

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