Voices (ISL Stories)

Meet Alex Moore

Learn more about Alex Moore, Alumnus (Class of 2016)

Class of (or years attended):
I arrived at ISL in 2011, and graduated as part of the class of 2016. 

Where are you living now?
I’m currently living in the (mostly) sunny seaside town of Bournemouth, in the UK.

What did you do after you left ISL?
After leaving ISL, I went on to study Media Production at Bournemouth University, in the UK. I did a year of studies there, before deciding that University wasn’t right for me and leaving at the beginning of my second year. After leaving, I kind of embarked on a weird and windy path, trying out different things to see what I enjoyed most and - most importantly - what paid the bills!

The first job I got fresh out of uni was a part-time job at a greyhound stadium as a “Tote Staff'” (basically someone who takes people’s bets). I’d always intended it to be a temporary thing, so I began reading up on marketing and sales in my free time to create a possible avenue for a better job.

The fact that I was working just 3 days a week, coupled with the sizable hole in my schedule that my departure from uni had left me with, I had time to do something that I’d always wanted to do: Write a book. And so I did. After a few months, I self-published a book called Productivity Hacker, and sent it out into the world. It wasn’t Shakespeare, but I felt proud to have ticked that ambition off my list.

Eventually, I found a new part-time job as a bartender/waiter at a local hotel.

I should say that it’s here where I discovered a newfound respect for anyone who works in the hospitality industry. It’s often a job characterized by long hours, late finishes, and lots of walking. Most customers are lovely. A surprising number aren’t (I once had an entire glass of prosecco spilled on me by a customer, only for them to tell me that it was in fact my fault for being in the way of the cascading liquid).

In the meantime, I continued to explore a few different career avenues on the days I wasn’t working. These include, but are not limited to:

  1. Public speaker
  2. Regional Manager of a community of young entrepreneurs within the UK
  3. Graphic designer/business owner/hat-wearer of a small e-commerce business that created motivational wall art

None of these really ended up working out, and I actually began feeling that I’d got myself into a bit of a rut.

But thankfully, after having worked at the hotel bar for a year and a half, I finally managed to snag a job working full-time at a digital marketing agency in my area. Even though I’d spent the past 2.5 years on a meandering path of dead ends and false starts trying to find what I enjoyed doing, I felt that it was finally starting to pay off.

After a few months of working at the marketing agency, I eventually decided to set up my own copywriting business so that I could have more flexibility over the work I did.

Two months after setting up, the Coronavirus pandemic shifted up a gear (or five), and the UK has been in and out of lockdown ever since.

At the time of writing, my copywriting business has been going for 355 days, has survived a global pandemic (so far), and is gearing up for what is looking to be a more hopeful 2021. No one is more surprised than me!

Do you think that your time at ISL helped you pursue this? If yes, how?
100%! ISL was (and continues to be, I’m sure) an incredible place that provides an abundance of opportunities for growth to its students. I never felt afraid to seek help or ask questions to help me further my learning.

I think that, by fostering this sense of curiosity, it also made me feel more at ease about tackling new challenges head-on. This definitely feeds into the work I do now, which often requires lateral thinking and a need to solve problems.

(Also, working as a copywriter now, I feel as though the IB and its monumental amount of essays might’ve lent a hand in my career choice!)

What advantages has studying at ISL given you?
These are numerous, so I’ll list the most important ones:

  1. A constant desire to know more
  2. An increased ability to a handle high workload, and the organisational skills needed to keep on top of it
  3. A better understanding about all the different cultures of the world
  4. A lot of happy memories to look back on
  5. Lifelong friendships - this one is especially important under the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, because it’s your friends who you can lean on when things get difficult.

What advice would you give students to help them make the most of their time at ISL?

  1. It’s possible to balance good grades with having fun - you don’t have to sacrifice one for the other.
  2. Make friends with your teachers. It can turn a subject you hate into a subject you love, simply because of them. (They’re also more likely to be forgiving if you’ve accidentally forgotten to do your homework!)
  3. Stay in touch with your friends. Especially for those who are currently doing the IB -  you and your friends will have been through a lot together!

(Also, ISL seems to have a talent for developing really smart high-achievers. It’s very likely that your friends from high school will become important professional connections as you enter onto the career ladder later in life.)

(Most important 👇)

Don’t stress about having everything figured out. It’s actually pretty difficult to “find your passion” and to know what you want to do in life (I still don’t!). My advice is to simply experiment and follow what you enjoy. You’ll never stop learning about your likes & dislikes either - just last month, I discovered that I like Christmas cake.

Describe some of the things that ISL does above and beyond teaching and learning:
For a lot of people you might come across, school lunches can be a topic of shared disgust in conversation. ISL’s food, on the other hand, is fantastic (I still reminisce with fellow alumni about the Bouchée à la Reine).

The cafeteria team works incredibly hard to feed the students delicious food each day, and they deserve all the praise they get.

Aside from the cafeteria, there was also one other instance that comes to mind:

There used to be a fitness room attached to the main gym that had a few bits of equipment to do weightlifting with. Although the equipment was pretty good, it was already quite old at the point and there were certain things that were noticeably missing. At the same time, the idea of weightlifting seemed to see a sudden rise in popularity amongst a few of my classmates and people from the grade below, which in turn saw more people using the fitness room.

Seeing this, the sports department then set about making improvements. They bought new equipment, added some new machines, and even had a construction team build a whole new extension onto the gym - twice the size of the old fitness room - to serve as the new-and-improved fitness space.

For me, that gesture showed that ISL and its faculty really did care about its students' development, and were committed to taking an active role in spurring that development on.

If you could thank a teacher or staff member, who would it be?
I have a list as long as my arm of teachers and faculty members who I’d like to thank for various contributions over the years, but I’d like to give a special thanks to two teachers in particular.

Mr Penn - Mr Penn is probably the hardest-working teacher I’ve ever known. He shows such an immense passion for the subject he teaches, History, and such an admirable commitment to his students. However much you think you care about your success in his class, Mr Penn probably cares more.

Mme. Lelarge - Mme. Lelarge was always so genuinely invested in the success of her students, which in turn made French actually really fun to learn. She also seemed to really enjoy the subject she taught, and I think that energy rubbed off on her students as well. Just as you could count on the sun rising in the morning, you could count on Mme. Lelarge to be happy to see you in her French class at 8:30 AM on a Monday.

Describe ISL in 5 words:
Best, years, of, your, life


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