Conor Boardman - Kent, United Kingdom
Alumnus Conor Boardman graduated from the IB Career-related Programme (CP) in 2016 from the Dane Court Grammar School, UK. Conor tells us about his experiences in the CP.
What are your current career interests?
I am planning to study paleontology at the University of Bristol. I’ve been interested in the subject since around the age of two and have been pursuing it ever since. It's always felt right, like I knew this is what I am meant to do. After finishing my undergraduate degree, I hope to move to Tokyo or Holland for my master’s degree or PhD.
What motivated you to choose the IB Career-related Programme?
The variation in the course was very intriguing, being able to study the Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Business (as my career-related study) in addition to IB Biology and IB Social and Cultural Anthropology, allowed me to diversify my learning. The core and reflective project added a personal aspect of learning I would not have got at college or taken A Levels. The core helped me to understand the world around me in greater detail and I thoroughly enjoyed the reflective project where I explored whether it is morally right to still be whaling. I became better a collecting and assessing research materials which was a personal goal I had before going to university.
In addition to the CP career related study you selects, how did you explore career pathways in school?
We looked at our future careers in a range of ways. Finding out more about my own personal strengths and weaknesses in Personal and professional skills lessons opened my eyes to the area of business. Designing our own companies, from a web-business to an Italian pop up shop in language development gave me better understanding of planning and team work. That is an important part of the CP, using your skills in every area of the programme and thinking about your future self all the time. I now know I am equipped for possible business endeavors if I ever chose to change my career. Previously, I was always biased towards scientific research careers so it was nice to get a fresh perspective and discover new skills I have.
How would you describe the potential lifelong impact of the CP?
In the 2 years I’ve been studying the CP it has sparked a hunger for learning in me, always looking for new information and experiences. I simply would not have grown at the same rate studying another course. I definitely feel each element of the CP has given me confidence in important, complex choices I need to make, like where or when to study in the future.
What advice or tips do you have for this year’s class of graduating CP students?
It may be a hard graft but you won't get the same experience anywhere else, for the simple fact that there is not another course like it. You will come out more mature, understanding how to apply your studies to the career you want and as well as having a broader range of knowledge to take out into the world and make a difference with.