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Stephanie Sippli, class of 2011

Stephanie Sippli, class of 2011

The international education has had a great impact on the Sippli family. After living abroad, the family aimed to continue fostering the kind of education they experienced overseas even in Brazil. That was how Stephanie and her brother started their educational journey at St. Paul's School. 

After evolving in so many sports and enriching activities during her school days, Stephanie spread her knowledge by studying in the United Kingdom and working in various different industries. Accumulating so many fulfilling skills, she is back in Brazil, now being part of the St. Paul's Foundation team, where she runs the fundraising strategy to support the scholarship programme.


What brought you to St. Paul’s?  
My journey to St. Paul’s started when my family relocated to NYC due to my father's work when I was nine years old. During our two-year stay there, I became fluent in English. Upon returning to São Paulo, my parents wanted to ensure that my brother and I continued to receive the best international education. That's why they chose St. Paul's for us. I joined the school in the middle of a semester and remained until my graduation in Upper 6. Afterward, I pursued my studies abroad at Goldsmiths – University of London, where I also ventured into the field of marketing. 
Throughout my career, I gained experience in various sectors including travel, fashion, and ultimately, the financial sector where I spent over five years. 
The turning point came when my brother, who has been dedicated to the third sector for years, introduced me to the scholarship programme. They were seeking a fundraiser to help expand the program and reach their goal of having 50 scholars in the senior school by the school's centenary in 2026. As I delved deeper into the Foundation's mission, I found an instant resonance with its core belief that a world-class education can transform lives. Our scholars not only impact their families and communities positively but also enrich our school's environment with diverse perspectives and remarkable achievements. 
With this profound connection to the Foundation's mission, I returned with a clear purpose: to facilitate the sustainable growth of our scholarship programme, making sure it leaves a lasting impact for generations to come. 

Tell us more about your experience as a St. Paul’s pupil.  
My years as a student at St. Paul's hold a special place in my heart, brimming with cherished memories. Overall, my journey as a St. Paul's pupil was profoundly positive and left a lasting impact. It was here that I forged deep connections with my closest friends, relationships that endure to this day. The friendships I cultivated during my time at the school are truly lifelong. 
Sports played a pivotal role throughout my schooling. From my earliest days, I have vivid recollections intertwined with various sporting activities. When I became a part of the football and volleyball teams, a sense of belonging truly took root. These experiences not only nurtured my athletic abilities but also contributed significantly to my overall sense of identity within the school community. 
Beyond sports, St. Paul's instilled in me the values of a global citizen. The curriculum and the dedicated educators collectively shaped my perspective, fostering a broader understanding of the world. While academic subjects were pivotal, the school also imparted essential soft skills alongside the core knowledge. 
In essence, my time as a St. Paul's student was a holistic journey of personal growth and development. The school didn't just equip me with academic knowledge; it equipped me with life skills that have been invaluable beyond the classroom. 

How did your studies lead you to your career choice?  
During my time in the IB program, I opted for business studies, which introduced me to the world of marketing. I found this area intriguing and even centred my extended essay around it. This experience motivated me to explore marketing more deeply, both in theory and practice. Subsequently, I pursued a degree in Media and Communications at Goldsmiths University, a step that solidified my interest in the field. 
Over the course of my career, spanning seven years with a focus on marketing in the financial sector, I continued to refine my expertise. My journey took an additional dimension with an MBA at FGV in São Paulo, where I specialised in Marketing and Digital Business Intelligence. 
Upon discovering the scholarship program, I felt a strong resonance with its mission as I mentioned before. This connection was not only due to my background but also because of the profound impact St. Paul's had on my life. It struck me as an opportunity to merge my professional skills and personal values, working towards the betterment of so many other lives. 

Do you still remain in close contact with your friends from St. Paul’s?  
Absolutely, our bond remains unbreakable. My closest friends are the ones I made at St. Paul's, and we continue to meet up almost weekly. Interestingly, my social circle consistently includes fellow Pauleans. There's a unique sense of camaraderie – it's heartening to walk into a room and instantly feel at ease upon spotting an Old Paulean, whether or not I knew them during school. The St. Paul's community exudes a distinct warmth and togetherness, making it a privilege to be a part of. 

What made St. Paul’s special? What is your fondest memory of the school?   
St. Paul's held a special place in my heart due to a combination of factors. While the friendships I formed were undoubtedly a highlight, reflecting back, I recognise that there was much more that contributed to its uniqueness. The smaller class sizes fostered a close and supportive relationship with teachers, resulting in a highly personalised learning experience tailored to individual needs. 
As for cherished memories, many of them revolve around sports. The excursions to Rancho, for instance, stand out. These trips brought us all together to engage in sports competitions. Maintaining a balance between academics and sports was crucial for me, instilling discipline and teamwork that has proven valuable in various aspects of life. 


If you were to go back in time, what advice would you give to your teenage self?  

If I were to go back in time, I would advise my teenage self to focus more on embracing new experiences and stepping out of my comfort zone more often. It's easy to get caught up in worrying about what others think or trying to fit into a certain mould during your teens. Instead, I would encourage myself to explore different interests, take risks, and not be afraid of making mistakes. Embracing failures as opportunities for growth and learning is something I've come to value, and I believe it would have been a valuable mindset to adopt earlier in life.   

How would you describe your cultural identity and what role did St. Paul’s play in developing it?  
Growing up in a multicultural family, I was exposed to a range of cultural perspectives from an early age. With my mother being Peruvian and my father's side of the family having German roots, diversity was already a significant part of my upbringing. 
As a Brazilian, my cultural identity evolved through various international experiences. When my family relocated to NYC for a couple of years when I was 9, I faced the challenge of blending into a new environment. Language barriers and unfamiliar customs were hurdles I overcame by connecting with others through our shared passion for playing football. This episode underscored the importance of common interests in fostering understanding. 
Upon returning to Brazil and enrolling at St. Paul's, I navigated yet another cultural transition. Although St. Paul's didn't exhibit significant diversity during my time as a student, it was during these years that I honed my ability to appreciate various cultural nuances. My experiences at the school taught me to value different perspectives and recognise the richness that diversity brings to any community. 
Engaging in sports from a young age, including gymnastics, football, and swimming, instilled values like teamwork and discipline. St. Paul's reinforced these traits, promoting character development through its emphasis on sports and extracurricular activities. 
St. Paul's also played a crucial role in shaping my academic journey. The school's support enabled me to pursue higher education in London, a city known for its multiculturalism. Studying in such a diverse environment further broadened my cultural horizons. Despite this exposure, my heart and family ties remained in Brazil, leading me to return after my studies. 
Through my journey, St. Paul's instilled in me the importance of embracing diversity, empathy, and the spirit of giving back. These values continue to guide my personal and professional choices, as I work to contribute positively to my community and bridge cultural gaps. 


What is your proudest professional moment?  
Throughout my career, I feel like I've had several proud moments where outcomes exceeded expectations. From orchestrating successful events with hundreds in attendance to leading impactful marketing campaigns, I've had the privilege of contributing to projects that left a positive mark. 
In the realm of event management, I've strived to ensure every detail aligns to create memorable experiences. These events not only met but often exceeded expectations, showcasing my commitment to delivering excellence. 
Moreover, my role in marketing has allowed me to drive campaigns that resonated with audiences and delivered tangible results. From product launches to strategic promotions, I've applied industry best practices to drive engagement and conversions. 
However, my proudest moment shines within the context of the St. Paul's Foundation. There, I've had the honour of connecting donors with a cause that truly resonates with them. Witnessing the impact of scholarships and the positive change it fosters in scholars' lives is immeasurably gratifying. It's a reminder of the transformative power of philanthropy and my role in facilitating these meaningful connections. 


What advice would you give to St. Paul’s students?  
To the St. Paul's students, my advice would be to seize the educational opportunities before you with enthusiasm and dedication. Cherish the support and guidance offered by the school. Embrace challenges as opportunities to learn and grow, and never underestimate the value of hard work and perseverance. Your journey here will lay the foundation for a bright and successful future. The school is wonderful, and you will make friends for life. 

What are some skills you learned at St. Paul’s that apply to your professional life?  

  • Critical Thinking: The school's focus on critical thinking has enabled me to analyze complex situations, make informed decisions, and solve problems creatively in my professional endeavours.  

  • Time Management: Balancing rigorous academics and extracurricular activities at St. Paul's taught me how to manage my time efficiently, meet deadlines, and prioritize tasks in my professional career. 

  • Resilience: Navigating challenges and setbacks at St. Paul's taught me resilience, enabling me to adapt to changes, overcome obstacles, and maintain a positive attitude in my professional journey. 

  • Ethical Values: The emphasis on integrity and ethical behaviour at St. Paul's has instilled a strong sense of moral compass that guides my actions and decisions in the professional realm. 

  • Adaptability: St. Paul's dynamic and ever-evolving environment taught me to be adaptable and open to change, a crucial skill in today's fast-paced and constantly changing professional landscape.