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A Conversation with John L., AIS Class of 2011

John Li, Class of 2011 alumnus, came to visit our campus recently with a few other alumni. A well-rounded student, John participated in several extra-curricular activities and was a avid sportsman involved in several varsity teams. We’re glad he took the time out of his busy schedule to take a tour, reminisce old memories, and say hello to old teachers.

What year did you graduate from AIS? And how long did you study at AIS?

I am from the Class of 2011, I have spent 6 wonderful years at AIS when I joined in Grade 7 (which, if I am not wrong, is 2005).

What is your favorite memory of AIS?

There were countless moments in AIS that still holds a deep place in my heart as of today. However, if I were to pick my favourite, it would have to be the moment when our U-20 Boys Volleyball Team won the ISSFHK Championship back in 2010.
Our team had one purpose in our mind, which was to win a championship for our friend Jeffrey Town, who unfortunately passed away a year prior to my senior season.

Who was your favorite teacher, and why?

Rather than one, I would like to give a shout out to three of my teachers: Mr. Andrew McLeod, who was my science teacher throughout the 4 years of my high school, was more than a teacher but also a friend. He taught me many life lessons that are still applicable to this day.
Ms. Salma Ben Letaief, who was my French teacher and my supervisor at the Community Service Club. It was because of Ms. Salma’s recommendation that I entered into HKUST’s Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department. She was the most caring teacher that I have had, and it was a great pleasure being her student.
Last but not least, the legendary Mr. Georges Raybaud. I had the honour to be Mr. Raybaud’s student from Algebra 2 until AP Calculus. He has always pushed his students, especially me, to higher standards than what was required. When it came to our AP examinations, we were more than prepared to obtain an excellent score in our exams.

What extracurriculars were you involved in? And how did you balance your time between your studies and play?

I was involved in all sorts of extracurricular activities from sports (basketball, volleyball, and badminton), performance art (drama production), and more academically oriented activities (Model United Nations, Debate, I.T. Club, Student Council, Community Service, Yearbook, and etc.)
It was not too difficult to balance out my hours as the AIS community provides a lot of support, both students and faculty, to help me catch up on my school work whilst allowing me to pursue different achievements in various areas.

What are you currently working as of now? And where are you based?

I am currently in the wealth management industry but I will be attempting my qualification as a Barrister of the HKSAR High Court this coming year at HKU. I hope to finish my studies in 2022-2023 and be qualified in 2024 in Hong Kong.

What lessons did you take away from AIS that helped guide you through your journey?

The greatest lesson AIS has taught me is the ESLR principles that are embedded deep into my life. AIS has given me so many different opportunities to explore my interests and to develop my talent.
I strongly echo the concept that a person should be a well-rounded individual and take their chance to try different things during their time in AIS. Speaking from personal experience, trying something new has often given me positive surprises and opened a new door for me once I enter the society as an adult.

“I urge all students to enjoy every last minute of their time in AIS before they depart or graduate. AIS is one of the best safety nets for you to fall back on. Try different things in school. Learn about yourself.”

What advice can you give to our current students at AIS, especially during these unique times?

Despite the constraints and uncertainty during this unfortunate pandemic, I urge all students to enjoy every last minute of their time in AIS before they depart or graduate. AIS is one of the best safety nets for you to fall back on. Try different things in school. Learn about yourself. And most importantly, form strong bonds with your friends, peers, and teachers in school. These bonds will get you far in life.

As you know, we’ve started this outreach to AIS alumni recently. What are you hoping to gain (or contribute) to the network?

I am more than happy to give back to AIS after all the great things it has done for me.


We’re always aiming to reconnect with our strong alumni community. Please stay tuned for more alumni stories and events. If you are interested in visiting us on campus, or to participate in our Alumni Outreach blog, feel free to email us!