1) Hi Liam, can you tell us what you’ve been up to since graduating THINK Global School?
I decided while in my senior year at TGS that I was not going to pursue a university education right out of the gate. I couldn’t remember a time not being at school, and I wanted to experience a side of life where the schedule was completely determined by me. I went back home to Vancouver after graduating and worked for 2 months as a busser in a famous Vancouver restaurant. I changed jobs and began laboring at a construction site, later moving towards insulating specific projects around Vancouver.
After a couple months I bought a one-way ticket to Auckland, New Zealand. There I spent 7 months with former TGS global studies teacher Andrew Mclean and former TGS alum David Navarro. David and I worked at one of the local gas stations Andy owned, and I am proud to say I was manager of the site. Put simply, I was David’s boss! David and I went on to do a bit of traveling of our own in SE Asia and Europe. We parted ways and I returned home to Vancouver where I got a job in a fine-dining seafood restaurant in the heart of downtown. After two years there I realized I needed a change in my life and applied to the University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business.
Mark, David, Liam, and Willem in Bhutan
I am currently in my third year at Sauder and majoring in Finance. I do not have a clear direction as to what I want to do after graduating, but I have been researching American law schools to pursue corporate law.
2) What has been the biggest difference for you between attending THINK Global School and the Sauder School of Business?
The biggest difference is the level of responsibility. At TGS, I was really only concerned with having to get my studies in order and ensure I was prepared for my lessons. Everything else in life was, for the most part, taken care of for me. While at Sauder, I have the full weight of life to deal with while simultaneously having to be self-driven in my academic studies.
3) Do you feel that your time at THINK Global School prepared you for life post-graduation? If so, how so?
In terms of academics, I feel I had much more work to do in the IB program than in university. Perhaps it was the course load in the IB program that set me up successfully in order to handle work at university.
TGS has also shaped me into an incredibly independent and strong individual. I have a sense of calm and comfort in almost all situations I find myself. I believe this is because TGS taught me how to be a rational thinker and to approach new situations with an open mind and to attack the problem head first with humility and an openness to learn.
4) What do you see yourself doing five years from now, or what would you like to be doing?
Liam prepares to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro
I learnt a saying while at TGS and have been living my life by it ever since. Media Specialist Lindsay Clarke told me about IRL, In Real Life, a reminder to be present in the world and enjoy the experiences around you. While I try to make decisions that will have positive effects in the future, I try not to preoccupy myself with the unknowns the future holds. I like to be present in what I am doing, and fully commit myself to my current surroundings.
5) If you have any advice for current THINK Global School students as they explore the world, what would it be?
Always take advantage of an opportunity. The experiences and opportunities given to you at TGS are extremely rare. I always appreciated them while I was a student, but their value only grew more profound as more time had passed since I graduated. So my advice is even if you’re tired, overwhelmed, or just not in the mood, forget about that and go on an adventure, no matter how small it may be. There are so many beautiful things in the world to discover, and you really may never get an opportunity like this ever again.
6) Five years later, are there any TGS memories that have emerged as your most memorable?
I vividly remember one specific night during our trip to an Amazon research centre, Tiputini. After floating down a river infested with piranhas and caymans, we climbed back into a long-boat for a few more hours until the sun set entirely. Only the lights on the boat remained. When we drove significantly further upriver, the driver turned off the engine, told us all to be extremely silent, and proceeded to turn off our only source of light.
Flotada in Tiputini
We were surrounded by complete darkness, yet the Amazon began its symphonic performance. We floated peacefully down the river, trying to identify in our minds the different animals we were hearing through the soothing sound of the river. Serenity filled every part of my being, and I had a deep and profound appreciation for both my immediate surroundings and for TGS. Unfortunately, because no one could see anything, we ended up crashing quite abruptly into the bank of the river!