Currently, I am finishing my conservatoire final grade at ‘Conservatorio Profesional de Música de San Javier’, in Spain. At the end of this academic year I’ll be doing the entry exams to music Universities all over Spain. I am working hard and putting all my efforts in order to prepare for them, given that you compete against musicians that come from all over the place. I believe that in music -as in life-, your ‘natural talent’ is insubstantial if you don’t influence it with the effort you put in. No one is born knowing how to play the piano or the violin. Now the musical education you have, the effort you put in and lastly your natural ability will determine what you become in the wide world of music. That’s why it is so important that schools introduce music in students’ life as much as they can.
Silvia de Teresa (King’s College, Murcia, 2016)
I chose to study at the University of Glasgow as it’s the one that interested me most because of its dedication to research, especially in Biochemistry, which is what I want to study. But the truth is that deciding on a university is very complicated and getting good advice is so important. For me, my tutors and teachers at King’s helped me a lot.
It’s really important to revise well for exams; the British exams aim to test a different range of learning skills to those from the Spanish system. King’s follows the British curriculum, so we finish Sixth Form well prepared for our exams and then we can attend any university in the world. I also think that the British education system has helped me to be able to hold my own at university as it has helped me to be more independent with my studies – which is a key skill at university level.”
Elisa was part of many extracurricular activities, which she realises also helped her get into such a top university.
Elisa Martin (King’s College, Murcia, 2016)
I am currently a physician, applying to work in the best hospitals around the world, including cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Navarra, London, Southampton, Bath and Essex.
Every time I have the opportunity to thank KC, I do. KC has taught me so much, not only from an academic point of view, but from a personal and social point of view. I met my best friends Enrique Martinez de Azagra Gareli and Juanmanuel Bethencourt de la Peña, also KC graduates, back in school. This friendship was forged 20 years ago, and it is still strong to this day, and I am proud to say that we have KC to thank for this.
Ali Assaf Balut (King’s College, Madrid. 2006)
I’ve been in King’s College since I can remember and I needed and wanted a change from everything that I have ever known. Hence I decided to go to the UK to continue my studies. The reason why I chose the University of Kent is because I felt attracted to it since we had our very first university speech back in year 10/11. Despite the doubt of whether or not I’d enjoy my time abroad, I was decided to take a step further and stick to my decision.
My parents and Mr Edgley (Mathematics teacher), are the most influential people in my life, they know me best and what is best for me. My parents, at first they did not agreed on me studying abroad, but then, they understood how important it was for me to learn and develop as a person by studying abroad. Whereas for Mr Edgley, he was an exemplary teacher, I can’t thank him enough for the long hours he spent with me trying to make me understand the impossible, and for the hope he had on me; he is the only teacher who actually stood up to me and command me to stop complaining, to start learning because I can do it and I am capable of doing whatever I propose myself to.
Helena Montoro Perez (King’s College, Madrid, 2014)
I graduated sometime ago… I still remember the bus journeys to Soto. At that time, Tres Cantos (a new town) did not exist. The surroundings of King’s were fields and countryside. I still remember running those “cross countrysides”, being timed for the 100 meters. The nerves of those competitions, the football games during the lunch break. Am sure you also do?
We had no mobiles, there was no “google”, no “browsers”. Years later teachers like Jonathan Gray, Nigel White, left a positive mark. Friendships from school have been so important…and we are still in touch.
In terms of my life, after A-levels I studied a degree in economics in the beautiful town of Bath. Economics was a fascinating area and subject and thought I will end up working in a bank or trading floor. Since then I travelled the world and worked in multiple countries including Japan, Brazil, Italy, Belgium, Germany; there was always one word in my mind
“learn”. What is life though but a continuous learning curve.
Billy Perez (King’s College, Madrid, 1993)
All of my childhood memories are linked to King’s. I’ve had the great pleasure of being part of the King’s family since the age of 2 all the way to the age of 18. I have this school to thank for the amazing opportunities I have been granted with ever since I left Soto de Viñuelas.
Thanks to the amazing support of my teachers I was able to attend UCL, in London. Four years later I have now graduated with a MEng in Electronic & Electrical Engineering. I have always been passionate about the physics and technology in the world and I have now managed to acquire the knowledge, skills and expertise in a wide range of electronic applications, from the present day iPhone to our orbiting GPS satellites, to start my professional life. Studying at King’s offered me the chance to start exploring the interesting world of physics and electronics and led me to where I am today.
I am now moving on to pursue a Systems Engineer position at Cisco Systems after I interned with them last summer, which they granted to me after being impressed with the quality of my academic background.
Elena Berki (King’s College, Madrid. 2012 )
After graduating from King’s I moved to Scotland where I proceeded to start my studies in the University of Dundee. Currently, I’m studying to complete my BSc Degree in Business Management (Accounting and Finance) (with Hons). I can show all my gratitude to King’s College for awarding me with this incredible opportunity as it is thanks to the time and studies I took that I obtained the knowledge and expertise needed to make this dream come true.
Deciding to study a degree in finance was not a difficult decision for me as I was always fascinated with the world of finance especially when I was a kid and I would run around causing havoc around my poor father’s office. Nevertheless, I can say without doubt that it is through the dedication an enthusiasm of teachers such as Mrs. Bevins, el Señor del Puerto, Ángeles, Mr. Fischer and many others that I am now standing where I am.
I studied at King’s College for 13 years and I just finished my second year in my university. At King’s I have grown, I have learned and I have become the person that I am today, however, deep down I will always be one of El Señor del Puerto little lambs.
Ana Isabel García-Peñuela de la Calzada (King’s College, Madrid, 2014)
When thinking of those who influenced me most during my time at King’s, many names come to mind, Raquel Oliveros (great teacher, passionate for History), Antonio Ortega (brilliant scientific mind), Fernando Lage (devoted to teaching and students till the very end), Sara Fernández (I shamelessly confess to having adopted some of her teaching mannerisms), and many more. But above all one name: Gerardo “Gerry” Sanz, who taught us valuable lessons on how to be self-dependant adults and learn how to think by ourselves. A truly inspirational figure from whom today, many years later, I find myself still learning from.
I am currently an assistant professor and researcher on Biomedical Engineering at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. I cannot say that this was my dream career all along. I simply did not know it until I began teaching!
Ignacio Oropesa (King’s College, Soto de Viñuelas , 2001)
Cristina graduated from King’s College, Soto de Viñuelas in 2011. Her experience through her time at King’s College became a strong base for Cristina’s life pursuits.
“Thanks to the help from my amazing teachers at King’s College I was able to attend the Harvard Summer programme in Boston, whereby I realised I had fallen in love with the wonderful city of Boston. In 2011, when I left King’s, I went to Boston University to pursue a double degree in Economics and International Relations.”
Cristina Álvarez (King’s College, Madrid. 2011)
Laura says that she never thought leaving Kings behind would be so hard for her. She graduated from King’s College Soto de Viñuelas in 2015 and she is currently studying Economics at the University of Bath.
“Kings shaped me. Kings taught me. Kings made me who I am today. I have been part of the big family for all my life and I feel like I still am. Having the choice to study abroad is a fantastic opportunity that I had no doubt I wanted to take. I reckon that there is no ideal situation; you obviously miss your parents, your friends, your old life and getting everything done for you, and yes, it is scary, but at the same time, it is wonderful.”
Laura Closas (King’s College, Madrid. 2015)
Alba graduated from King’s College Alicante in 2014. She says that studying in a British school has enabled her to choose what and where she wanted to study.
“I joined Queen Mary University of London to study Aerospace Engineering in September 2014 and since then things are just getting better and better. Firstly I made the right choice of degree, this is probably the most important thing to be able to make the most of University, achieve your full potential, and of course enjoy yourself. It is during your A-levels that you really have to try your best and look into the different degrees and courses out there.”
Alba Espinosa Rastoll (King’s College, Alicante. 2014)
Ernesto started at King’s aged five and graduated at age 18 upon completion of his A Levels in the summer of 2014. It was always his dream to follow in the family footsteps and continue his studies in the UK, and this dream came true when he was accepted to study Physics at University College London, ranked No. 22 of the Top 200 universities in the world, according to the 2014 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
“I have always been really interested in the most basic questions that encompass our daily lives, Physics enables me to understand (almost) everything, from why an aeroplane can fly, to why our universe exists in the first place. Studying at King’s offered me engaging classes which challenged me and really opened up my mind to a lot of things. Studying at UCL is a dream, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of my teachers at King’s College, who always valued our opinions and ideas in class, and make us felt like we mattered.”
Ernesto Zoffmann Rodriguez (King’s College, Alicante. 2014)
Kelsey was a resident during her time at King’s College Madrid, living in the school’s boarding residence; Tenbury House. She graduated in the summer of 2014, to study Applied Mathematics at Harvard University in America. During her time at King’s she became passionate about economics and has continued to pursue this interest at university.
“After leaving King’s College last summer I went back to Houston, Texas, in order to transition into my new College. Now I am currently hoping to study Applied Mathematics, which I will be able to declare next year.
Coming to Spain for the first time, to study at King’s, at the height of the Spanish crisis piqued my interest in economics. At university, I have realised how analytical skills in Maths, compliment this economic context. I hope to pursue my passion for both by studying Applied Mathematics.
During my time at King’s College, Mr. McNally was an enormous help in guiding me through the application process, and being a wonderful sounding board along the way. I wouldn’t be where I am today without him.
I’m currently living in Cambridge Massachusetts, attending Harvard University. I really enjoy being in different groups on campus, particularly the women’s varsity crew team, and working as an Assistant Director for “Harvard Model Congress and Model United Nations”. Both have offered me great exposure to the types of government positions that would allow me to exercise my analytical skills, and my passion for more qualitative analysis.”
Kelsey Young (King’s College, Madrid. 2014)
Verena graduated from King’s College, Alicante in the Summer of 2013. Her time at the school saw her undertake many curricular and extra-curricular activities, one of which was her responsibility as Head Girl in her final year.
“I am currently in my second year at the University of Warwick studying Electrical Engineering, as well as being secretary of the executive committee of the Warwick Engineering Society and on the organising team for the Warwick Energy Conference and the Warwick Technology Conference.
Being head girl at KCA made me want to have a position of responsibility at the university and contribute to changing something for the benefit of my peers. Thanks to the teachers at King’s I pushed myself to the limits and I continue to do so.
Mr Wicks, former Director of Studies, current Head of Secondary and KCA, always took his time to help me and encouraged me to push myself and aim for the best, despite his own very busy agenda. Mrs Fisher, former Careers Advisor, helped me find out what I actually wanted to do and advised me on the application process – thanks to her I was able to secure a place at the university of my choosing.
Mr Pemberton, my former Maths teacher and my tutor in year 12, made me question things around me and encouraged me to be more curious. He also inspired me to be interested in things outside my subject that I would usually not have considered.
It’s thanks to the dedication of my teachers that I was able to – and continue to – recognise the importance of working hard to get where you want to be.”
Verena Oetzmann (King’s College, Alicante. 2013)
Joined King’s College Soto de Viñuelas’ boarding residence in 2008 where he began his final four years of study towards IGCSE’s and A Levels. In the summer of 2012, Alex graduated from King’s but not before being enthused by having the opportunity to both live and study with other young people from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds. He soon discovered a passion for travel, which he has now been able to tie into his current studies at the world’s best hospitality management school.
“Once I graduated King’s, I decided to take some time out before continuing with my studies at university. I planned a trip around Europe with my friends, taking trains and visiting Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and the Czech Republic. We had a great time, meeting various people and exploring places that we’d never been to and with such different languages.
Upon my return home, I worked in a local hotel, gaining experience and learning about the hospitality industry. This was my passion.
In February 2013 I gained a place to study a Bachelor of Science degree in International Hospitality Management at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland, which is named the world’s top hospitality management school.”
Alex Murphy (King’s College Madrid. 2012)
At King’s College we strive to support all our pupils achieve their dreams, no matter what that might be or where it might lead them. This was something that encouraged and drove Nicky to achieve his and today he is one of London’s finest Golf PRO’s.
“When I left King’s College I took a gap year. I did this because my passion is Golf and I felt that I needed to dedicate a year to see if my progress was good enough to fulfil my dream of turning pro. After a year, I was on the boundary of being at the level I needed to be at in order to achieve my dream, and my parents allowed me to take another gap year to see what I could make of myself.
It turned out to be rewarding. In March 2014 I was offered a job in London at a golf course called Langley Park, but before I could start I had to pass “playing exams” and also coaching exams to be able to be offered a full time contract, which was due to start in October 2014.
With more hard work I managed to pass all the exams and I am pleased to report that I have now turned PRO and am member of the PGA (Professional Golfers Association). I have also started doing a university course about Professional Golf Studies which involves, marketing, business management, sports science and bio mechanics.
This was and will always be my dream job, but I knew in order to achieve it, that I was going to have to work hard and motivate myself to become the professional that I am now. My parents, teachers and coaches all contributed to this attitude and ensured that I always kept focused and gave it my all.
My teachers at King’s College were a particular and constant source of support and encouragement, special mention must go to Mr Simon Wicks and Danny Esteban, who always wanted to know about my progress and the tournaments that were happening. Knowing that I had their support meant a lot to me and really spurred me on. For me though, the person that stood out the most was the headteacher Mr Derek Laidlaw, who not only motivated me, but he kept me focused and thinking positively, even through the hardest of times. Even when I might not have believed in myself, my teachers at King’s College always believed in me and for that I can’t thank them enough.”
Nicky Stewart (King’s College, Alicante. 2011)
Guillermo graduated from King’s College in Soto de Viñuelas in 2011 to head to Scotland and undertake a degree in Chemistry. He tells us that King’s taught him to keep focused and above all to keep doing stuff, and that is something he has certainly achieved!
“In the summer of 2011, upon completing my studies at King’s and before university, I went on a volunteering trip to Belize before starting university at Heriot Watt that same September. I possess a deep interest in research and a desire to help others through science. So I was extremely happy when I earned a place to study Chemistry with Pharmaceutical Chemistry BSc(Hons) as it offered me the chance to study a subject that has deeply entranced me ever since I can remember. I am now currently in my fourth year of my studies, with the prospect of furthering my first degree with a PhD or a MSc in Biotechnology.
When I was at King’s my teachers Samia Amriou and Paula Fitzgerald showed me the realms of Chemistry and pushed me to succeed in my A-levels. This love for the sciences was then further developed by my Biology teachers Mr and Ms Oxford who always had an interesting approach to the subject, which kept me engaged.
Outside of Science, my other passions lie on the battlefield! And on the hobbies front I am a Battle of the Nations competitor (Competitive Medieval Full contact combat) and since July 2014 I am 18th in the World in the 1 on 1 category. I am also a Blue belt in TKD, President of Heriot watt Medieval Society and currently organising a paintball tournament involving many societies within Heriot Watt University. I balance my extra-curricular activities of course with my university studies – because there was something very important I learnt during my time at King’s, that it’s important to keep focused and above all to keep doing stuff.”
Guillermo Luque Consuegra (King’s College Madrid. 2011)
Krisha graduated from King’s College Alicante in 2010, when her gap year in China provided her with a love of travel, culture and language, and lead her to undertake her university degree in Chinese and History at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. Her teachers embedded her with a love of learning, even for the subjects she was less confident about. Now, with her graduation on the horizon, her future looks set to hold many exciting things and countries!
“After King’s I went on to spend a year working at the British School of Beijing – where one of our Alicante school’s previous head teachers had also begun working. I was so grateful for this opportunity as it completely changed my future plans for studying, and generally my outlook on life.
I had always been interested in taking a gap year, but until I saw the advert for the job in Beijing, the right thing had never really come along. I had signed up to attend a university in the UK , but when I was presented with the idea of going away for a year, to a new country, experiencing a new culture, learning a new language, and of course earning some money … I jumped at the chance!
I studied hard and did really well in my A Levels, mainly thanks to my outstanding teachers, without whom I wouldn’t be where I am today. I actually performed better than expected and was able to re-apply to my dream university and this is really because of the hard work my English teacher Sophie Welsh and my History teacher, Graham Birrell, who both dedicated so much of their time to making sure we knew how to pass our exams and do so with confidence. Sophie completely revolutionised the subject of English for me, I had been really dejected about the subject but she made me see the life in each play script we read, despite our classes dreadful acting abilities, and we began acting out our plays, so that we ourselves could feel the emotions of the literature we were working with . With Sophie’s help I ended up writing coursework that I became really passionate about and that new found interest in the subject was a massive element to mine and our whole class’s success.
I am currently living in London and studying Chinese (Mandarin Modern, Classical and Cantonese) with History at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. In the past four years, I have spent two here in the English capital and two in the Chinese capital Beijing. Both cities now feel like home to me and once graduated I hope to find away where I can visit both on an annual basis!
I have excitingly signed up to a graduate programme with the charity TeachFirst who’s mission it is to fight educational inequality. I don’t know what my long-term plans are after that, but I am definitely excited about what the future holds…”
Krisha Ghandi (King’s College, Alicante. 2010)
Neha graduated from King’s College Soto de Viñuelas in 2010, and although she deems herself a shy little girl whilst she was at school, the multicultural environment that King’s offered, combined with her passionate teachers who encouraged her, she has gone on to do great things.
“The most influential people whilst I was at King’s were without doubt Mr McNally, Mr Gray and Mr O´Connor. Their passion for what they did towards their respective subjects, the students and moreover the Sixth Form in general, is extremely inspiring and touching. Not only did these three individuals constantly motivate and encourage us, but they also showed their support and have guided students to the right path.
I have always been a very career focused individual and upon completing my studies at King’s , I moved to Bournemouth in the United Kingdom to start my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Marketing at Bournemouth University. It was a four year degree, with the third year being a placement year (work experience).
When I first arrived in the UK, I realised how little working experience I held. I had worked part time as a tutor on my free evenings at King’s College, however it was miles away from what some of my peers had done. In order to catch up with them, I was determined to get involved in all sorts of activities and opportunities that would flourish my CV as well as my skill set. So once at university, and during my third year placement, I worked as a Junior Account Executive at Wunderman in Madrid as part of the Erasmus programme. It was an amazing opportunity, offering me the chance to work with many world-reknown clients such as Microsoft, Accenture, Nokia and Heineken to name but a few.
After finishing my final year at Bournemouth University in June 2014 and Graduating with a 2:1 in Marketing, I started working as an Operations and Back Office Sales Assistant for El RHEY. This was an Internship scheme by Bournemouth University and Santander. The company is an upcoming children’s rainwear brand focusing on quality and design. Our first product is ColourMe Wellies and we have various other products in the pipeline. Upon the end of my internship scheme, my hardwork paid off, and I was lucky enough to be offered a position as a permanent employee at El RHEY and they have also agreed to sponsor my visa allowing me to stay and work in the UK.
Lately work has become a large part of my life, but I am looking into ways of getting more involved within the local community still too. I have always enjoyed travelling, however, that is going to have to wait a couple of years until I settle down and earn it!
King’s College has made me a much more open person, I used to be a shy little girl back in school however I feel that with every experience and situation, I keep building my confidence and when I look at how far I have come and what I have built on since my school days, I’m really amazed and grateful for such an education.”
Neha Chetnani (King’s College Madrid. 2010)
Max graduated from King’s College Alicante in 2008 after leading the school as their very first Head Boy. In September 2008, he gained a place at the University of the West of England in Bristol.
“Initially I enrolled at the university to study Digital Media and Computing, making these life-changing choices though is not easy and after about 18 months in I realised that my passion lie in Law, so I was fortunate enough to be able to change courses and went on to study Law, eventually graduating in 2013. It was a steep learning curve for me and one which demanded a lot of time and effort on my part.
At university I took full advantage of the extra-curricular offerings and joined a number of different societies and teams, notably the UWE Bullets American Football team that won the Division title in my first year. This passion was sparked in me during my time at King’s where I often got involved in sports and activities outside of the standard classes.
During my time at the school I think the most influential person for me was Simon Wicks (now Head of Secondary at the school) He went above and beyond what any other teacher would do to make sure we were able to effectively complete the tasks at hand.
Since graduating from university, I now work in international business development for Capita in the UK as well as continuing with my sporting passions by teaching kickboxing at the weekends, the youngest member of my class being just four years old.”
Max Glover (King’s College, Alicante. 2008)
Diana finished her GCSEs at King’s Saint Michael’s and went on to study Law. She looks back on her time at King’s with fondness and happy memories; thankful to both her teachers and fellow students.
“After finishing my GCSEs at King’College Saint Michael’s, I continued my education (A-Levels) in another city and later on graduated in Law LLB.
I love and cherish dearly the 2 years I spent in Saint Michael’s and consider my tutors as my adoptive parents. Saint Michael’s helped me in becoming who I am and I will forever be thankful for the most amazing memories and for the values that it taught me.
During my time at King’s, my Business Studies teacher Beverley Waite was the one whom I’d go to if I had any difficulty or just for a contagious laugh. Another teacher I will always remember is the Principal, Mr. Higgins, for his great memory with all the students’ names and mostly for always having the time for each single one of us.
I am now the Director of the legal and marketing department in a furniture and constructions business in Italy.”
Diana Gafiatullina (King’s College Saint Michael’s. 2006)
Mariana thanks her teachers during her time at King’s who instilled in her the core values which serve her so well today. She is passionate about her studies and her career, and since leaving school has made sure she gives something back to the country she calls “home”.
“After completing my studies at King’s College I took a gap year, as I wanted to travel the world. My initial plan was to work 6 months and travel 6 months, but I ended up working the full 12 months. After my gap year, I moved back to my home country: Mexico, to study Economics as a major in Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City.
I felt like I had to give something back to Mexico, where opportunities are not the same for everyone, and I wanted to work to make it a better country.
The values instilled in me during my time at King’s played a crucial role in my thinking today. My teachers, such as Ms Baines, taught me the importance of economics, she showed what a powerful tool it was and she is the reason I studied the subject at university.
All of our teachers at school, pushed our limits, Mr. Grey, pushed me particularly to think harder, to keep a broad perspective and that there is no right or wrong in politics; the truth is generally more than meets the eye.
After completing my degree in Economics, I worked for 3 years at the Central Bank of Mexico and I am now studying an MBA at The University of Chicago, Booth School of Business. I have only recently started my MBA and plan to graduate in June 2016, until then I plan to continue to do the things I love and love what I do, this was the passion that I learned from Ms. Coppola. Thanks to all my teachers for making my time at King’s so enthusing.”
Mariana Castillo Lopez (King’s College Madrid. 2006)
Alberto developed a love of the Sciences during his studies at King’s, coupled with his passion for the outdoors and a love of languages – it’s no surprise that he ended up in another country and able to embrace all three of his passions.
“After leaving King’s I studied an Erasmus Double Degree exchange program with the UPM: Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (2011-2013) and the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Sweden, Stockholm. This gave me access to a Swedish engineering degree in IT plus gave me the opportunity to learn Swedish, which was a mandatory element of my course. I also obtained an M.Sc in the same period in Software Engineering of Distributed Systems.
I always wanted to do an engineering degree, but I was never sure what element I liked. Luckily I landed in Telecommunications at the UPM where I was inspired by the activities on IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). These were organised by students which increased my desire to love my studies, and primarily engineering, from other similar students working on activities and workshops related to the field of study. I learned a lot, improved myself as a professional and at the same time developed the skill to be able to take the initiative on situations.
During my time at King’s there were a lot of influential people that I interacted with. The teachers that really gave me a great time where Paul McNally, Mr O’Connor and teachers from the Spanish Bachillerato like Angeles, Raquel, Pablo and Mr Ortega. All of them gave a lot of support and passion to see their students succeed in their future career.
A special mention to Jerry which passed away long time ago, I would say he was a very special teacher and exceptional in that sense. I did not understand his way of teaching at that time, but after years now, I understand what he was really trying to teach us. He tried to show us the importance of thinking for ourselves and reach our own conclusions in order to develop yourself wisely on what you want to become.
I am now living and working in Stockholm, Sweden. I did one year of R+D in the Swedish Institute of Computer Science and switched to a company called ComeOn! which focuses on offering Odds, Casino and Poker playing online where I am working as a Software Engineer. Sweden is definitely one of the greatest cities I have ever seen so far and I really love the environment and life the swedes have which is very positive. The weather might be tough in winter; but still you can cope with it with so many great things on offer in Stockholm.
I am still part of the IEEE in the Swedish region where I am now the Interim Chair of the Young Professionals Affinity Group, coordinating and managing the activities of this chapter. I also quite recently became a judge of a 24 hour worldwide programming competition: IEEExtreme 8.0, which was held in October and as part of the organising team, we supervised and prepared programming challenges for around 6000+ participants.”
Alberto Lorente Leal (King’s College Madrid. 2005)
Gloria studied at King’s College Soto de Viñuelas and graduated in 2003. Her time at King’s made her into a well-rounded individual, passionate for helping others. After graduating from university in the UK, she was able to realise her dream and now works for an International NGO offering support and assistance for the promotion of children’s rights in over 50 countries.
“I am very passionate about justice, equality and respect for human rights, particularly combining this justice for people from other cultures and backgrounds. I feel very frustrated by inequality and lack of respect of international law, either human rights or humanitarian law. I try to transform this negative energy into positive action and working along others to promote change in people’s lives.
During my time at King’s College, I always felt supported and empowered by most of my teachers to do whatever I wanted and to fight for what I believed in. Particularly though, I would have to point out three, which had the most influence on me. Those were my History and English teachers (Mr. Anderson, Mr Grey and Mr McNally). Classes with them were not about memorising or completing assignments, it was about analysing concepts, arguments, statements, debating theories and having an opinion of my own. Those three stand out of the crowd because they would question you, they would push you to your limits but at the same time, they were always there for you after hours, to talk not only about school, but home and the future. Having teachers that make you think, question the traditional thinking and bring to the classroom current affairs topics, was inspirational.
After I left Kings, I went to study my BA in International History and International Politics at Keele University (UK) and straight after, my MA in Human Rights from UCL (UK). I discovered during my uni years my passion for development and humanitarian assistance, always through a human rights approach, so I decided to leave the UK to work in Jordan and Palestine, and then I went on to the Caribbean (Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, etc.) to practice as an aid worker and I have also worked for international NGOs (Progressio, ACTED and now Plan) and for governmental institutions ( European Union) in Latin America and the Middle East.
After four and a half years working in the Caribbean for the Department of Humanitarian Affairs of the European Union, I decided to move back to London to be closer to the family and friends. I am now working for Plan, an international NGO that works for the respect and promotion of children rights in over 50 countries around the world. I am the manager for our humanitarian projects in Asia and East Africa, which is a 15 million USD portfolio. I am fortunate enough that while being based in London, I still get to travel to these countries, which has always been a part of my job which I love!”
Gloria Donate Ribagorda (King’s College Madrid. 2003)
Mireya graduated from King’s College, Soto de Viñuelas in 2001 after the school awakened her passion for languages, not only English either, with over 44 nationalities of students at the school, the international array of pupils offered an ideal setting for Mireya’s language love.
“After leaving King’s College, I gained a place at Lancaster University to study for a BBA in European Management. The course and the university offered me an ideal setting to combine a Management degree with languages abroad.
I don’t think I ever thanked my teachers enough though at King’s College, for the support and passion that they offered me during my time at the school. This is not an exhaustive list, but special thanks to Mrs Coppolla for supporting my (sometimes very slow) French learning and also to Mr Gibbons for awakening in me an unexpected love for Maths. Our teachers were always there for us, even when we were no longer their students, particularly Mr Grey: Thank you.
I am now back in Madrid after 6+ years living in beautiful Dublin, which I called home after graduating from university. Throughout this time I have held different roles within Google, the specialists in Internet-related services, but who are probably most famous as being the world’s largest search engine. Balancing work with play, I’m also passionate about yoga and am currently writing and reading about this to enhance lifestyle.”
Mireya Semelas (King’s College Madrid. 2001)
From entrepreneur to politician, Lucas finished his studies at King’s College in Madrid to go on to take a plethora of higher education courses and has since gone on to enter the world of politics and is even a well-versed Spanish entrepreneur.
“After I left King’s College I studied a BBA in Business Administration with a year in industry at the University of Kent. After this I came back to Spain and was awarded the ICEX scholarship, which allowed me to study an MBA in International Commerce. A couple of years later I studied another Master’s Degree, this time in Marketing. In January 2011 I read my PhD in Historical and Legal Sciences at the University Rey Juan Carlos.
My biggest inspiration actually came in one of the worst days I remember at school. That day, I was told “the biggest regret you will always have, is not having tried and not giving your best every single time” ever since then I’ve tried again and again. I’m not always successful, but the fear of failing doesn’t stop me from working hard to achieve my goals. If you fail, you can always try again; but if you never try, you’ll always regret it. That was the lesson I learned that day and I will never forget it.
I had a lot of influential people during my time at King’s College: Mr. McNally, Mr. Howard, Mr Gray, Mr. Elliot, Mr McLaughlan, Sara, Ángeles. I’m pretty sure I’m leaving out a few names here! They all taught me the one thing that has made me who I am right now: the importance of hard work, sacrifice and overcoming difficulties to achieve your goals.
After having done my placement year at the European Parliament, I came back to Spain and worked for five years as an economic and parliamentary advisor in the Spanish parliament. A couple of months ago I started working at Kreab Gavin Anderson, a Swedish Public Affairs and Communication agency. I currently give advice to banks and financial corporations on how to improve their relations with the government and other public and political bodies as well as analysing how the different laws that are under debate affect their business. I also give external economic advice to a political party, for which I was also candidate in the last European elections. In 2011, I founded Matute 11, a small business in Madrid which exploits tourist apartments in the city centre. I am also helping with the start-up osoigo.com and currently working in a few other entrepreneurial projects.”
Lucas Calvo Pérez (King’s College Madrid. 2001)
Upon completing her studies at King’s College, Soto de Viñuelas in the Year 2000, Carmen went on to study Medicine at a Spanish university and finished her specialisation in Intensive Care Medicine in 2013.
“During my time at King’s it was the teachers who inspired me and helped open my eyes to the world.
My Maths teacher at the time, taught me more than just Maths and Chemistry, he showed me how important the people are around you. It was this which inspired me in my current career, where I now work as an Intensive Care Doctor in a private hospital in Madrid and in another private hospital in Barcelona.”
Carmen Gijon Moreno (King’s College Madrid. 2000)
Sydney graduated from King’s College Soto de Viñuelas in 1985 and was accepted to the Conservatories of Utrecht and Amsterdam where he studied piano as a major and graduated in 1997.
“I was awarded with the ‘Kunstanjer’ prize for music. I gave concerts in the Netherlands, Indonesia and Poland amongst others. I also became an autodidactic painter and artist. I taught music at a high school in the Hague for some years and continued to explore the field of electronic music as well.
Being in the arts seemed natural to me, I then thought, and still do now, that it is one of the best ways I could somehow express my fascination for many things and perhaps even inspire others too. I am fascinated by science, mathematics and philosophy and how certain minds are capable of understanding the sheer impossible. My time at King’s College enhanced this and inspired my love of learning through the creative arts.”
Sydney Sitters (King’s College Madrid. 1985)
Tony was one of the first students to study at King’s College, the Britsh School of Madrid. All but his final year, from Junior 5 to Upper Sixth Form, were studied at King’s College in Calle Maria Magdalena and Calle Manuel Montilla, the original birthplace of the school. Since then, he has gone on to a whole host of great things and is a regular at the school alumni reunions.
“After leaving King’s College I spent a couple of years working at Radio Television Española as a production assistant on the programme “625 lineas” with José Antonio Plaza and Mayra Gomez Kemp. I was responsible for coordinating interviews with actors on US television shows being shown in Spain.
In 1980 I moved to Toronto, Canada and attended Seneca College’s Radio & Television Broadcasting programme, and worked for a television news channel as an editorial assistant. My King’s education made College much easier for me; I was much farther ahead than most of my classmates thanks to the diligent work of my teachers at King’s, despite any resistance to learn on my part!
After a couple of years in television news, I decided to continue my post-secondary education and attended Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, where I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, followed by a degree in Law.
After practicing law for a couple of years, I joined the Government of Canada as a manager at Parks Canada. In 1998 I took a contract with Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and worked in the Palestinian West Bank, coordinating development and trade projects.
Two years later, I moved to the newly-created territory of Nunavut in Canada’s Arctic, and assisted the Inuit to establish their new government. By the time I left in 2005 I was the territory’s Deputy Minister of Justice.
Exposure to students from so many different countries at King’s College stirred a curiosity in me about how people live in different parts of the world. In the days before the internet, the best place to find information about those countries was at their embassies. As a result, I visited every embassy in Madrid and covered my walls with maps and photos.
Byssche Scott-Taylor was my English Language and Literature teacher. Through her I discovered the joys of reading, from Shakespeare to Dickens to Hemmingway. She was also King’s College’s “director-in-residence”, and directed the school play each year. Participating in those plays gave me the confidence to speak in public, which led to student jobs as a tour guide at Toronto’s CN Tower and with Parks Canada.
I am currently the Executive Director of an organisation within Canada’s Department of Veterans Affairs called the Bureau of Pensions Advocates. Through 14 offices across the country, we provide legal representation to Veterans who want to appeal their pension and disability awards before a quasi-judicial tribunal.”
Tony Saez (King’s College Madrid. 1980)