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ALUMNI HEAD STUDENT

REFLECTIONS


Class of 2004 NABILA PIRANI Field of Study Masters of Arts in Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies (Columbia University, 2011); Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Political Science and Asian Language & Culture (UBC, 2009) Current Profession J.D. expected 2016 (University of Toronto, Faculty of Law); Indian politics and foreign policy specialist. Current Location Toronto, Ontario

Most cherished memory as Head Girl 2004 Does being the first Head Girl count? There’s something special in being the first of anything!


Message to the 2014/2015 Head Students As cliched as it may sound, don’t forget that, ultimately, you represent yourself. As Head Student, you will be placed in a distinct position, one in which you’ll be asked to represent the school at external functions, be a role model for your peers, liaise between the administration and the students, and so forth. While it’s important to represent your various constituencies to the best of your abilities, don’t forget to represent yourself and to use the opportunity to grow as a leader. Your success - however you define it - will be inextricably linked to your ability to do so.


Class of 2005 NADIM ROBERTS Field of Study BA in Political Science and Middle East Studies (McGill University) Current Profession Journalist Current Location London, United Kingdom

Message to the 2014/2015 Head Students I think the one piece of advice I would offer is that the Head Boy and Head Girl should always try to approach their responsibilities in a service-oriented fashion. Titles will fade, but a record of selfless service to your fellow students and teachers will never be forgotten. Try to put others before yourself as much as you can so that eventually it just becomes habitual.


Most cherished memory as Head Boy 2005 My greatest memory of being Head Boy was not a single event, but getting up everyday and trying to represent my school and community as best as I could. No doubt I failed a number of times, but I am grateful to the teachers who never ceased supporting and encouraging me.


Class of 2005 ALICIA CHERNESKI

Field of Study Major in Business Administration & minor in Kinesiology (SFU) Current Profession Financial Advisor at Sun Life Current Location Vancouver, BC

Most cherished memory as Head Girl 2005 I enjoyed the opportunity to organise interesting events and help shape the role of the Head Girl.

Message to the 2014/2015 Head Students Don’t take it too seriously! Have fun with the role as there is already enough stress/pressure in the last year of high school.


Class of 2006 SHAE DE JARAY Field of Study Master’s of Science in Brewing & Distilling Technologies (Heriot-Watt University); Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (Queen’s University) Current Profession Founder & President, Deep Cove Brewers & Distillers Inc. Current Location Vancouver, BC

Most cherished memory as Head Boy 2006 My most cherished times always involved a good laugh! From my friends, to my teachers – I always made time to enjoy the present. It never hurt to do a little flirting with the girls, too!


Message to the 2014/205 Head Students Have absolute, unconditional fun with your role! If you’re not enjoying yourself, then you’ll need to change it, plain and simple. It’s your job to ask the hard questions, create new opportunities for yourself and the student body you represent. Be a pain and challenge what hasn’t been challenged before. Remember, nothing great was accomplished by complacency. Every leader has a unique style – what will yours be?


Class of 2006 REBECCA CYNADER

Field of Study Law (J.D. University of Victoria); BA (Honours) History (Queen’s University) Current Profession Lawyer Current Location Vancouver, BC


Most cherished memory as Head Girl 2006 Spirit Week - organising events that brought the whole Mulgrave community together for a good cause (and a bit of fun!)

Message to the 2014/2015 Head Students Don’t get too stressed out! None of your decisions in this role will be life-ordeath ones. Just listen to what your fellow students want, and do your best to represent those interests reasonably. Oh, and enjoy your last year of high school!


Class of 2008 STEVE HUR

Field of Study Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Graduate Student (UBC); BSc. in Biochemistry (UBC) Current Position Graduate Student Current Location Vancouver, BC


Message to to 2014/2015 Head Students The one piece of advice I would give to the incoming Head Boy and Girl is that they should remember that they are representing the student body. Don’t be afraid to address the concerns and problems of the student body to the administration.

Most cherished memory as Head Boy 2008 I think it was the meeting that I had with other Head Boys and Girls from different private schools. Gathering together to promote unity and collaboration in events was an interesting and memorable moment.


Class of 2009 MEI-LING LEE

Field of Study Master’s of Engineering in Electronic and Electrical Engineering with Nanotechnology Current Position Process Engineer at the Intel Corporation Current Location Ireland, UK

Message to the 2014/2015 Head Students My one piece of advice for the future Head Girl and Head Boy is to be mindful that your leadership role as a representative of Mulgrave will be identified by all students and faculty in the school. Lead by example. Other students, especially those in the younger years, will recognise you as Head Girl and Head Boy and take more notice of your attitude and behaviours and even try to emulate them. You are identified as role model and you may have more


influence on others than you are aware of. Another piece of advice that not only applies to the Head Boy and Head Girl exclusively but to all those in the graduating class is that if you have a goal, a dream or a desire, remain focused on it and be conscious of how all your actions, whether they be in daily life or big decisions, can build you up towards meeting your goal. At the same time, it is important to be open to other opportunities around you and not be so quick to dismiss them. Many of my most valuable experiences have been a product of keeping an open mind while having an ultimate goal in sight.


Class of 2010 ZAIN ALIMOHAMMED Field of Study Economics, Finance & Philosophy (McGill University) Current Position Analyst - TSS at Citi Current Location Montreal, Quebec

Most cherished memory as Head Boy 2010 The highlight of my time as Head Boy was the opportunity to attend several conferences for high school student leaders (including one where the keynote speaker was the Governor General). These events are great ways to interact with and learn from other students and were always a fun experience.


Message to the 2014/2015 Head Students Try to actively identify and articulate the lessons in leadership you will undoubtedly learn. Each challenge overcome has some wisdom to glean from it. Fight the urge to simply move on, and instead reflect and incorporate the lesson. I am sure this will pay dividends in your future.


Class of 2010 MELANIE MOLLER

Field of Study Journalism with a minor in French (linguistics) (Carleton University) Current Position Travel blogger, freelance arts reporter, gelato artist Current Location Ottawa, Ontario

Message to the 2014/2015 Head Students You’ll have lots of responsibilities, and I’m sure you’ll exceed all the expectations in fulfilling them. But don’t forget: This is your graduating year, and your biggest responsibility is to yourself. Relish your studies, appreciate your last year together with your class, and never say no to a good time.


Most cherished memory as Head Girl 2010 Zain Alimohammed and I had the opportunity to give a motivational speech at an assembly near the beginning of our grad year. We chose photos of us from when were five years old to project on a screen, and then asked kindergarteners what they wanted to be when they were older before delving into the meat of the speech. I’ll never forget the laughter at our rather unfortunate photos, and also the lovely responses we received from the kids. It was a great way to start talking about dreams and goals, and an even better way to start the year.


Class of 2011

SORAIYA SALEMOHAMED Field of Study International Development, Economics & Environmental Studies (McGill University) Current Position Summer Intern at Neuvoo in Montreal Current Location Montreal, Quebec

Most cherished memory as Head Girl 2011 My most cherished memory as Head Girl was working on the Junior School liaison programme, where the Grade 12 students took the initiative to spend time with students in Kindergarten. Mulgrave is such a unique institution in that our campus encompasses students ranging from 3 to 18 years old.


Message to the 2014/2015 Head Students The role of Head Girl and Head Boy is important not just within Mulgrave but also for the outside community at large. You are representing Mulgrave by making core decisions that impact the student body.


Class of 2012 ARMAAN ALI Field of Study Economics/Symbolic Systems Current Position Undergraduate student at Stanford University; Founder of Gossamer Global Solutions, Inc. (Financial Services) Current Location California, USA

Most cherished memory as Head Boy 2012 Enjoying the last year being at the same school with some of my most treasured friends.


Message to the 2014/2015 Head Students I only graduated two years ago, so it’s a little odd being solicited for advice, considering I usually ask for it, but here’s my attempt: You are in a position of privilege and responsibility, which often leads to feeling stressed or pressured. I would like to remind you that you were chosen for this position because people believe in you, people trust you, and people understand that you are promising, yet still young. You will (probably) make mistakes. It’s okay. Tackle tasks with seriousness, a sense of humor, and ask for help.


Class of 2012 CLAUDIA LINAKSITA Field of Study Biology Current Position Undergraduate Student at UBC Current Location Vancouver, BC

Most cherished memory as Head Girl 2012 I think just having fellow students come up to me in the halls and entrusting me with their concerns made my time as Head Girl the most memorable. The connections and bonds that I formed during my year as a Head Student has positively impacted my development over the past few years.


Message to the 2014/2015 Head Students The advice I would give to the incoming Head Students is to be bold and to not be afraid of voicing your opinions and seeking advice from peers. Also remember that you act as the key liaison between the students and the administration and must lead by example as role models of the student body.


Class of 2013 TOBY ROPER

Field of Study Currently undeclared, but interested in studying within the field of International Relations Current Position Undergraduate Student at Harvard University Current Location Cambridge, MA, USA

Most cherished memory as Head Boy 2013 My most cherished memory of being Head Boy would probably be the first day of term in Grade 12, where I spoke at and MC’ed a full school assembly with Flo. I was ridiculously nervous and relied exclusively on adrenaline to get me through the ordeal. It was quite surreal to have the opportunity to address the entire Mulgrave community, from the parents to the Kindergarteners, all in one place at one time. At the beginning of the end of my time at Mulgrave, this was a pretty special experience.


Message to the 2014/2015 Head Students The Head Boy and Girl have several standard duties, from speaking at assemblies, to representing the student body in community functions. However, this is not, and should not be, the limit to your contribution. My advice is to consider an aspect of Mulgrave life that you feel could be improved, and establish a plan of action to improve it. As IB students who are likely to also have several other large commitments, you will be incredibly busy anyway, so don’t go overboard with whatever it is you do. Look to make a small yet important positive impact on the school. For example, when I became Head Boy, I decided I wanted to improve the IB course selection advising for G10s. I established that while G10s might receive a lot of teacher input, the best advice often comes from students who have actually taken the course themselves. To this end, I set up peer-advising sessions on Tuesday mornings as an open forum for G12s to share their experiences and G10s to air any concerns or questions they might have. These sessions were not always excellently attended, but I know that for those who did attend, these sessions were instrumental in allowing them to choose their courses. While I may not have reached a huge number of people, I was glad to have made a small contribution to the school experiences of at least a few students. I challenge you guys to do better!


Class of 2013 FLO BELANGER-JONES Field of Study Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (York University) Current Position Undergraduate Student at York University Current Location Toronto, Canada

Most cherished memory as Head Girl 2013 The end-of-year assembly, where the Grade 12s get to say their formal goodbyes to the entire school.


The assembly was held in the gym, and all the students and quite a few parents attended. We were not informed until the night before that we would be speaking, so we crammed a speech and learned it 10 minutes prior. Toby and I had gotten used to speaking in front of a lot of people at that point, so it was not as stressful as it could have been. We thanked everyone for all their help, said goodbye to Mulgrave, and introduced the incoming Head Boy and Girl. It was a special occasion, being our last assembly ever, and it summed up the year quite nicely.

Message to the 2014/2015 Head Students Being Head Boy or Girl makes you a representative of your grade. You will have opportunities to voice your opinion throughout the year that others will not. Take advantage of these situations. Make sure you vocalise any ideas or changes your grade wishes to make both for their last year at Mulgrave as well as for the years to come. You may not be able to do everything you set out to do because Grade 12 is a crazy year, but get as much done as possible so that in the end, you will be sure you did everything you could. Focus on the fact that being Head Boy or Girl is an opportunity, not a job, and you will find the task much easier and much more rewarding.


Mulgrave Alumni Head Student Reflections