Alumni Profile: James Guo

Alumni Profile: James Guo

When did you graduate from WAB?

I graduated from WAB in 2013.

Where are you from?

I was born in Sydney, and moved to Shanghai when I was 9. I lived there for 5 years, before moving to WAB in grade 8 until graduation in 2013.

What are you studying/working on?

I'm currently enrolled in my second year of a 4-year Commerce Liberal Studies degree, which allows me to study up to 3 majors with greater flexibility in humanities and sciences, compared to a typical 3 year Commerce degree. At this point in time I'm looking to major in Economics, Finance and Business Analytics (but things may change!).

Outside of my University studies, I studied and recieved a Violin Performance diploma in October 2014. Since completing the diploma, I have been employed at the Australian Violin Academy, specializing in teaching beginner level violin. In addition, I work as the treasurer of the Sydney University Symphony Orchestra, a student-run society within the University of Sydney Union. My responsibilities as treasurer include maintaining the orchestra's finances, preparing appropriate financial statements and holding executive powers for decision-making such as repertoire selection.

What are your best memories of WAB? How did WAB impact your life and career choices?

My best memories of WAB have been from the China Studies trips every year, and in particular, the overnight train journeys! The accommodation wasn't so glamorous, but having 100 of your friends with you totally makes up for it! A lot of crazy stuff happened on those trips, which I'll remember for quite some time. Final day of grade 12 classes (senior prank day!) and graduation day were also some unforgettable memories of WAB that our class still reminisces about every now and then.

APAC and MUN trips and conferences around the world were also my most anticipated events of each year. It was great making friends from all over the world from different schools who share common interests. In particular, my four years in APAC Orchestra were an eye-opening experience that has led me to my new position in the Sydney University Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Violin Academy today.

My interest in IB Economics during my time at WAB is a factor in choosing to study Business at University. IB Economics gave me a nice head start for my first year core units in University, which was certainly helpful.

Tips for current students

My biggest tip for anyone in the High School is to be involved in WABx sports and activities as much as possible, even when homework, assignments and applications take over in grade 11 and 12. While extra-curricular activities hold little academic merit for University, they honestly gave me far more joy than the long hours of schoolwork everyday, and were a great way to relieve stress. The privilege to go on APAC and ACAMIS trips is extremely unique to international schools such as WAB, and in my view, are essential to the overall WAB experience.

In terms of study and work, my suggestion is to work with a partner or groups on assignments and exam-revision. It might not be everyone's thing to do, but it certainly helped me during the course of the IB. Try to break things down into smaller, more manageable tasks. It'll keep you more motivated to complete large assignments, and encourages you to not procrastinate. Also, take advantage of the amazing teachers at WAB, who are always there to answer your questions. In University, you probably won't get teachers or lecturers who are as attentive to your questions because of the sheer number of students they are responsible for.