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A visit by William W., AIS Class of 2017

William Wong, Class of 2017 alumnus, recently visited AIS the first week of January 2023 and spent time with our High School Principal, Mr. Mike Wing. William has been with the AIS family since Grade 4 and we’re so happy that he came back for a visit!

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

I graduated from the Class of 2017. I’ve studied at AIS since I was in Grade 4! 

What is your favorite memory of AIS?

There are too many to choose from. But if I have to pick one from the top of my head, it has to be the drama production during my senior year. As the director of the show, I learned the leader’s responsibilities and had a lot of fun working with my peers in the process

Who was your favorite teacher, and why?

If I had to pick one, Mr. Christiaan Dodemont has to be my top choice. I took his class every year during high school. His classes really helped contribute to my interest in History. I never stopped studying it on my own after graduation. I struggled in his class for personal reasons, but he was always supportive, and I made sure not to let him down in the end.

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

I was in the U20 Boys Basketball team, U20 Boys Badminton team, the Fitness Club and The Jordan Leadership Club. I only did those extracurriculars one at a time, so balancing those with my studies wasn’t a great challenge. That said, time management is of the essence. By the time I got home, it’s usually after 7 pm, so I had to ensure I got my assignments done before I head to bed.

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

I graduated from the University of Illinois with degrees in Management and Criminology, Law, & Justice. I’m currently based in Hong Kong and working as a Paralegal at a law firm as I prepare to enter law school soon. I aspire to become a lawyer and one day serve this city.

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

Failure. The greatest lesson I learned here is failure. It’s not easy to accept it, and it’s not easy to overcome it. I learned from AIS, and I’m still learning today, that failure is the greatest teacher. Accepting failure helps you be humble and know that you always have room for improvement. Understanding why you failed, so you can identify your weaknesses and work to improve on them. At this stage of my life, I’ve learned far more from my failures than I did from my successes.
Our lives are not long enough to experience it all, so don’t just learn from your own failures and successes. Take a look at others, people around you, throughout history, or in social media. Absorb what they did right when they’re successful, and keep in mind not repeating their mistakes.

“One final note for senior students, figuring out your potential careers will put you at a great advantage, as I’ve seen many of my peers in college graduate without knowing what they want to do with their majors.”

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

It’s important to have motivation, specific goals you want to work towards, and the destination you want to reach is what I learned the hard way from AIS. I didn’t have those for most of my years in high school, and I struggled because I didn’t know what I was working towards and what I want to do as a career.
I’ve been through the same thing, so I understand the difficulties you all face in adolescence. Sometimes it might seem like the end of the world to us when we hit a roadblock but believe it when I say you’ll be fine if you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve and work towards. If you don’t know, there’s no reason to be concerned; there are plenty of opportunities to explore your options in AIS and college. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try different extracurricular activities; you might find some answers.
One final note for senior students, figuring out your potential careers will put you at a great advantage, as I’ve seen many of my peers in college graduate without knowing what they want to do with their majors. If you start exploring early, you can choose the schools and courses that can best provide you with the skills for your potential careers. Post-graduate schools and your employers greatly appreciate people who are prepared to take their opportunities. Colleges, especially in the U.S., value your work experiences and extracurricular activities. Take the liberty to explore those in your free time outside of class.

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

I’d like to gain/contribute the following to the network:
– Taking part in our Career Day, where we invite alumni to speak to current AIS students about life outside school
– To reconnect with old classmates or teachers
– To share interests or skills with other alumni


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!