Meet Armelle Duvieusart
Learn more about Armelle Duvieusart, Alumni (Class of 2013)
Where are you living now?
Currently in Luxembourg, but on my way to Amsterdam to start an MSc in Entrepreneurship whilst also enrolling in an Urban Development qualification.
What did you do after you left ISL?
I moved to Scotland, and after a year at the University of Aberdeen I permanently transferred to the University of St Andrews.
What did you study at University?
An MA Joint Honors in Geography and International Relations
Do you feel your ISL education prepared you well for University?
Absolutely – to be completely honest, the first year of university was a surprisingly relaxed compared to the level of IB preparation. ISL has a great philosophy that prepares students to be rigorous, independent and critical. Those are skills usually thought to be developed at university, so my time at ISL gave me a serious head start to perform to the expectations of a top university.
What are you doing now?
I have just finished a mission as a project manager at IMS Luxembourg, Luxembourg’s leading Corporate Social Responsibility network. I worked with a convention from the Ministry for Sustainable Development and Infrastructures to accompany and sensitize major Luxembourg corporation to the sustainability challenges and opportunities they are facing.
Do you think that your time at ISL helped you pursue this? If yes, how?
ISL shaped me to be a fast-learning, quick-thinking and professional individual with the ability to assess and handle a wide range of information, regardless of its nature. This rigorous methodology and critical appraisal of the work at hand has, I believe, influenced my confidence, ease in formal and informal settings and the quality of my work. Moreover, the themes I am so passionate to work on, sustainable and international development, are fields I got to know and love during my time at ISL. The IB curriculum, in all of its breadth, raises students’ awareness to global challenges, pushes us to question the links between them and to see ourselves as partially responsible for bringing solutions. Opportunities like MUN, trips to the United Nations, Merite Jeunesse, Global Issues and so many more are invaluable for the development of students as active shapers of their future. This sense of responsibility as a global citizen has underpinned most of my work experiences, internships and extra-curricular activities and led me where I am today.
This combination of knowledge, soft skills and personal development also fostered a deep sense of opportunity seeking – I don’t think I would have been such a ‘go-getter’, stopping at nothing to open doors and look for new challenges had it not been for the empowerment taught and lived up at ISL.
What advantages has studying at ISL given you?
A lot of them were already mentioned, but I would probably add an obvious one: the international environment both in students and faculty. Not only does this expose students to different cultures, thinking and teaching styles, but it forces us to be tolerant, learn to communicate effectively and to take into account different perspectives and backgrounds.
Also – now I have friends all over the world, which I great for travel-plans!
What advice would you give students to help them make the most of their time at ISL?
ENGAGE. We are privileged and need to acknowledge that. We live in one of the safest and nicest and wealthiest countries in the world and attend a top school. The opportunities are there for us to grasp and we need to be careful not to take them for granted. Engaging with clubs, activities, sports, teachers and other students will open so many doors, not just for your future endeavors, but also to better know and develop yourself!
Academics are vital, and a program like the IB is really great. But don’t forget about the rest, the activities and passions that truly define and make you an outstanding person, not just student.
And trust me – once you’ve survived IB, the rest is easy!
Were you involved in any clubs/activities at ISL? What did you enjoy about them and what benefit do you think they have for students?
Again, I’ve mentioned a lot of it above already. I was heavily active in sports and charity, and wish I would have done more, such as MUN and Global Issues. I had the chance to speak at this year’s GIN Conference and was amazed by the level of the topics, organization and follow up of this event – the quality aligned with many university or professional events I attended.
So I would say that these clubs bring a lot in terms of personal development, soft skills and professionals. Whether through team sports, artistic expression or international debates, those are all experiences that will qualify you as a capable and potent citizen, future student and active member of the workforce.
Describe some of the things that ISL does above and beyond teaching and learning?
Empowering is the first word that comes to mind. Creating a sense of community where each and every student can bloom and find his/her place, whilst reaching his/her true potential. Back when I was there, our grade had 63 students – that meant you knew everyone, your teachers knew you, the support staff knew you. It didn’t matter whether you were sciency or artsy; how you dressed; what you liked. We were all there together, often struggling through work and deadlines but always in an environment where you felt you could reach your objectives – and get the support you needed to do so.
I still maintain great relationships with friends and teachers, who I try to visit regularly or keep in touch with over email. And I’ve recently had great opportunities through these relationships again – it’s a lifelong network.
Describe ISL in 5 words
Empowering; Diverse; Community; Challenging; Leaders