Voices (ISL Stories)

Meet Dimitri

Learn more about Dimitri Hadjichristou, Alumnus (Class of 2011)

Where are you living now?

What did you do after you left ISL?
I did an art foundation at Central Saint Martins as I knew I wanted to study product design there. Saint Martins doesn’t tend to allow students straight onto their BA without a foundation, so I took this as an opportunity to try product and a bunch of other disciplines to make sure that specialism was right for me. 

After the foundation, I chose to do my degree at the Edinburgh College of Art, as the classes were smaller and I wanted to study in a different city to London. 

I did a string of internships in London and Hong Kong and then landed my first job at an Ed-tech startup. I worked there for two and a half years before I decided to look for something new and noticed the job landscape had massively changed and the role of a product designer was transitioning more into the digital realm with skill expectations I didn’t have.

I ended up doing a 3 month UX/UI Boot Camp to upskill, landed my first digital product job designing a money management app for 6-10-year-olds and have been working in the digital product industry for the last 4 years. 

What did you study at University?
I studied Product Design

What are you doing now?
I recently started as a senior digital product designer at Manual, a health tech for men’s wellbeing, before that I worked at GoHenry for 2 years; a fintech for kids between 6-18. 

Do you think that your time at ISL helped you pursue this? If yes, how?
I think ISL helped me in a bunch of ways, I learnt how to lead and collaborate through school projects and playing sports. My time at ISL also taught me how to be curious about things, cultures and people; something that’s a big part of being a product designer. 

What advantages has studying at ISL given you?
I think it definitely preps you well for Uni and being able to manage lots of assignment work all at once. I think also, most importantly, ISL teaches you how to be confident and collaborative. 

I remember at Uni, whenever a project required us to present I was really surprised to see how uncomfortable it made my classmates, however having presented plenty at ISL, it didn’t scare me in the slightest. 

Sports and the classes where we’d work in groups together definitely taught me how to collaborate with others which is really important to my job as well as I need to be able to work with all the stakeholders on my team. 

What advice would you give students to help them make the most of their time at ISL?
Enjoy yourselves, try everything, and most importantly dig deeper into things you’ve a curiosity for, whether it’s part of the IB curriculum or not, nurture the things you’re passionate about! 

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?
I played basketball my whole way through ISL and had an absolute blast, I made some great friends during my time on the team and had the privilege of playing for Mr. Tuffel’s varsity team for 3 years, which again, taught me how to collaborate and lead.

Getting involved in extracurricular activities is great for making new friends, and trying different things outside of academics, I’d definitely encourage it! 

Describe some of the things that ISL does above and beyond teaching and learning:
I think the school does an excellent job in making sure there’s something for everyone, the staff are lovely, facilities are excellent and I genuinely believe the school creates confident people that go on to do great stuff they’re passionate about! 

How did your time at ISL help shape you as a person?
I think my time there shaped me into a kind, thoughtful person that loves to learn. It helped build leadership skills that have been invaluable to me allowing my me to take ownership of whatever I work on. 

What do you think is unique about ISL?
I think a lot of it has to do with the staff, every teacher is unique, and brings their own spin into learning.

When I reminisce of my time at ISL, there’s a lot of fond memories of the teachers that injected passion into their disciplines and made it fun and easy to learn the subjects they taught! 

Mr. Graham in particular was one of my favourites. I seldom read, but he made it fun in English class and knew how to encourage us to engage. The Twix quizzes in particular were a favourite of mine.

If you could thank a teacher or staff member, who would it be?
I could never thank just one, that’s impossible! But first and foremost it would have to be Mr. Tuffel; I learnt so many things from him playing basketball; not just about the sport I still love to this day, but also about the elements that transcend from it into all parts of life. He was a great teacher that always made time for students. I’ll never forget all the times I’d stop by the gym office either during lunch or after school to catch up with him and have conversations about life, music, my love for sportswear.

Other great teachers include Ms. Cutshall for making maths (a subject I often struggled with) a joy to learn; Mr. Graham for his eccentric English classes, and sparking the fun in learning with the aforementioned Twix quizzes; and finally Mr. O’Brien who helped nurture my love for art and ultimately played a huge part in me ending up as a designer. The list goes on but I’m incredibly grateful for each and every teacher that played a part in my education! 

Describe ISL in 5 words:
Nurturing, Community, Fun, Hard Working, Loving



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