Meet Iris Gramegna
Learn more about Iris Gramegna, Alumni (Class of 2012)
Where are you living now?
I currently live in London.
What did you do after you left ISL?
After ISL I went to university in London. Between my bachelor and master’s in architecture I worked a year in practice in Los Angeles, California. Since graduating, I have been working at Arup for the past two years.
What did you study at University?
I studied Architecture at the Architectural Association in London and completed my RIBA Part 1 and 2 there.
Do you feel your ISL education prepared you well for University?
Definitely. ISL coupled with the International Baccalaureate (IB) were a great preparation. ISL and all the extra-curricular activities it offered made me well-rounded while the IB taught me hard-work and perseverance.
What are you doing now?
I work in Arup’s R&D Foresight team as a consultant on trends shaping the future of our built environment to help us plan more resilient and sustainable cities. This involves skills ranging from mapping out strategies, conducting research and using design to story tell.
Do you think that your time at ISL helped you pursue this? If yes, how?
It certainly has. Above all ISL taught me to be curious, hard-working and to keep challenging myself. These are the qualities that have made me stronger, kept me daring and helped me accept uncertainty in my pursuit for a professional career – as people often don’t tell you that you won’t ever have it all figured out.
What advantages has studying at ISL given you?
- Helped me explore various interests
- Taught me a range of different skills
- Made me feel a part of an international community (a network of friends not only from ISL but also from other international schools)
- Made me perseverant
- Kept me curious
- Guided me through applying for universities
What advice would you give students to help them make the most of their time at ISL?
- Enjoy it and have fun!
- Appreciate and learn from every individual around you (teachers, friends and acquaintances). They are the ones who will help you through tough times and push you at others but more importantly the different personalities and characters you will meet during your time at ISL are the people you will often think back to and realise in certain situations that they taught you something invaluable. (even the smallest of things)
- Challenge yourself - don’t be afraid to try something you don’t know. Whether it be a sport, being part of the school play or competing in the physics Olympiad (looking back I wasn’t any good at some of those things, but I tried anyway)
- Pick up a new language that the school offers or make sure you study hard to keep developing your mother tongue (that isn’t English). Luxembourg is a country where the average person speaks three languages – it’s a skill that will help you in your professional career and lives. Learning another language isn’t just about studying the vocabulary or grammar, it is also a way to learn a different humour, understand a new culture and above all gives you a chance to communicate with new people. You never know when it will be useful!
- Be grateful for the opportunity to be in an international school.
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 was very involved in extra-curricular activities at ISL to ensure a healthy balance between studying, exercising and learning something different. I played a number of different sports ranging from volleyball through to tennis. I also played the flute in the band, sung in the choir, and was heavily involved in Global Issues. Through these activities I met students from grades above and below me, built relationships with people from other schools, and most importantly learned the value of being a team. The coaches across these activities became mentors – not just for sports or music but equally for academia.
Describe some of the things that ISL does above and beyond teaching and learning?
The school offers a safe space for individuals to build on their strengths and work on their weaknesses. ISL recognises that there is no one size fits all – so the staff go the extra mile for each student to ensure they reach their full potential however works or suits them best.
What do you think is unique about ISL?
- Diversity of community
- Quality of teaching
- Breadth of extracurricular activities
- Location (a country that sits on the border with three others)
Describe ISL in 5 words
Open-minded, inviting, encouraging, inclusive, forward-thinking