Saul and Sofia are two of our Upper 6th pupils, and, as any pupil heading to the latter half of their IB Diploma journey, they were hoping to gain invaluable professional experience to enhance their curriculum. With the support of the University and Careers Guidance team, they were able to benefit from a newly created Work Shadowing programme by connecting to the wider Paulean community through www.oldpauleans.com. After an initial application form and an intense selection process, they both received offers to shadow Adèle Abdalla, Growth Specialist, and Alex Cominos, Founders Intelligence’s LATAM CEO.
The shadowing took place in July 2021, for one week, remotely, and consisted of video conference meetings with the LATAM team, training in marketing and understanding FI’s client projects. Saul and Sofia were assigned research and marketing tasks to experience the real business world. He was responsible for searching for startups and testing some of their solutions as well as searching for news in the tech ecosystem to share through social networks. Sofia was responsible for searching for PR agencies, helping review the Portuguese website, proofreading interviews with entrepreneurs and helping with translation.
During this period, both pupils showed commitment and interest in learning and self-development.” Saul and Sofia brought tremendous enthusiasm and energy to our team, and we’re looking forward to staying in touch as they continue to fulfil their limitless potential.” Said Alex Comninos.
“This experience gave me insight into what it is like to work in the business field, which further convinced me that a Business Management university degree is a suitable fit for me. It also motivated me to research more about entrepreneurship, which led me to reintroduce the TED club at my school”, said Sofia.
“This experience showed me the amount of preparation and studying that goes in before contacting these companies. This internship was a great opportunity to see what work is like within a real company and for me to see what practices work. Having more companies offer internships for students would allow us to learn what life is like working within the industries we’re more likely to apply to”, said Saul
Adèle Abdalla is the Old Paulean behind these opportunities. Class of 1996 and a current parent at St. Paul’s, Adele advertised an internship opportunity on the Old Paulean portal. The University and Career Guidance team reached out to her to see if this could be a fit for our pupils. Adèle saw the synergy for both sides, company, and pupils. FI adapted the opportunity to be a work shadowing placement and Saul and Sofia passed through the process.
“As an Old Paulean, I truly valued this work shadowing opportunity which was an enriching experience. I am proud of having launched this initiative as an innovation for both St. Paul’s School and Founders Intelligence LATAM. Exchanging ideas and interacting with the new generation – inquisitive minds full of insights – brought new perspectives to our discussions”, said Adèle.
The power of the Paulean community
This is not the first time that an Old Paulean gives our pupils and young professionals a chance to enhance their curriculum. Our St. Paul’s community has an incredible number of successful professionals in a myriad of fields, parents and Old Pauleans, in Brazil and overseas. It is only natural that our pupils and young professionals should take advantage and benefit from this qualified network to help them with mentorship and work shadowing experiences before applying to colleges and universities.
One of the aims of the IB programme is to have pupils exposed to professional opportunities in areas they might have interest in before applying to colleges or universities. The mentorship scheme also provides ample opportunity to collect primary data in real working environments, to inform the Extended Essay, a crucial element of the IB programme. For mentors, this programme is a chance to inspire our young Pauleans with transferable skills and knowledge, and to “give back”, by deepening their connections with the school community.
With the launching and growth of the Paulean community at www.oldpauleans.com, more pupils and young professionals can have the chance to connect with members of the community searching for opportunities.
If you are a member of the Paulean community, whether a parent or a former pupil, click here to read more about how you can help and benefit from this programme