ISBasel News

Thomas Washuus - The Road to Becoming a First Class Honours Undergraduate

Currently predicted as an undergraduate with a First Class Honours, school was not always easy for Thomas Washuus ('16). After receiving his not so stellar IB exam results, Thomas was unsure about his future studies. Fast forward to 2020 and not only did Thomas complete his bachelor's degree in Computer Science, he is predicted to achieve First Class Honours and discovered his possible career paths. He tells us about his journey from high school to university and what he has learned along the way.

What did you focus on for your studies at ISB?

I was focusing on sciences during my time at ISB, taking both physics and chemistry.

What were some of your favorite subjects? Were you particularly inspired by any staff members?

I really enjoyed the hands-on subjects like chemistry, where you get to test various hypotheses through different experimentation. My geography tutor, Mr. Bosman, is the teacher who stood out to me. His ability to care and motivate me was overwhelmingly inspirational and definitely helped me through the IB Diploma.

What are some of your best memories from ISB?

I had my best memories when I was doing what I enjoyed, like playing sports, whether it was in recess, PE classes, or after-school activities. The friendships which I have made and kept, and even the ones I have lost long after graduation, made the stay at ISB much more enjoyable.

What challenges did you face during your high school years and when deciding what to do after graduation?

I was not a straight 7 student. In fact, I performed worse than my predicted grades. I have always hated examinations and I knew that if I chose to continue my education beyond high school, I would need to find an area of study that requires as few exams as possible. I barely scraped by the IB, which did cause demotivation in my abilities to continue further education. Nonetheless, with my final grades, I was able to go through UCAS clearing which is a system in the UK where university applicants are matched to university places that haven't been filled.

What did you go on to do after graduation from ISB?

Straight after ISB, I had to make sure that I knew what I wanted to do. So I decided to take a gap year. However, I did not want to have a long holiday, which some may choose to do, and traveled the world. I decided to be productive and attend the Danish military as part of my voluntary service. Danish citizens are not mandated to attend military service, but I thought that could give me a different perspective on life that I have not experienced before. Upon the completion of the military service, I moved to the UK to pursue an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from UCAS clearing, taking courses from York St. John University.

What are you doing now?

I recently completed my undergraduate degree in Computer Science and should be part of the graduating class of 2020. I am beyond proud to be predicted as an undergraduate with a First Class Honours, especially since the IB was very challenging for me. While waiting for my final results, I have received multiple postgraduate offers from various universities in multiple fields including Cyber Security, Forensic Computing & Advanced Computer Science. So I am currently weighing my options to decide on what I wish to pursue.

What are your future career plans?

Ideally, I wish to complete my Master's degree successfully and after that, I would like to gain some work experience with computing, as I have dedicated my studies in this area. It is possible that the career path is not suited for me, but, if that is the case, I will look into becoming an entrepreneur by starting my own business.

What are some of the lessons you have learned from your experiences at ISB and university that you can pass on to our current Senior School students?

The world is massive. The IB program only touches a fraction of what you can do. It can be difficult to grasp the idea that there are various degrees and job opportunities currently out there, waiting for you to discover. Therefore, it is important to think outside the box if you think your chosen subjects are dull and uninteresting.

Anything else you would like to share?

You must chase after something you enjoy doing. For me, it was vital to play and compete in sports while studying at university. Badminton is definitely my go-to sport. I have competed in BUCS Badminton, a national-level badminton tournament for all UK university students. Join a social society or sports club as soon as you arrive at your university. That is how you get the best university experience.

What have you learned from ISB that has been valuable at university?

As a student from ISB, I am no stranger to the lessons spent on learning how to conduct non-biased research and create a bibliography. Being equipped with high-quality research skills and the ability to include proper references and citations were of great help to me. Most people had no clue how to cite and do proper research, which meant they had to put in a lot of extra time and effort to learn and get used to this. This gives us IB students, especially ISB students, a great starting advantage. In conclusion, ISB gives you a different level of work ethic.