IB Tutor Interviews: Michael

Timothy Hoffmann

In our Tutor Interview series we put the spotlight on members of our outstanding tutoring team. From IB graduates to teachers and Examiners, we share their stories and their advice about the International Baccalaureate to help you make your own IB a success.

Tutor: Michael
IBDP score: 41
University: Environmental Technology (2016), Imperial College London
Subjects: Business Management, Maths, Physics

EIB: Why did you choose to do the IB?

Michael: I chose to do the IB because it was, and still is, the most comprehensive and rigorous pre-university course available for high school students. I was also attracted to the IB because of its credibility and recognition among the universities globally.

What did you enjoy about the IB?

I enjoyed the breadth and depth of the IB, as I was able to study a wide range of subjects, from Physics to Psychology and Business Management, and even French (as a complete beginner!)

What was the most challenging part of the IB?

Similarly, the breadth and depth of the IB proved to be a challenge at times, especially with fulfilling the CAS requirements over the two years. However, I did appreciate the challenging aspects of the IB, as it prepared me for the even more challenging life of a university undergraduate and graduate student abroad.

What did you do for your CAS/TOK/EE?

For the CAS component, I acted as President of my school’s Green Team (which involved organising fund-raising bake sales, mangrove reforestation trips, and environmental awareness campaigns), played in the school’s volleyball team, and volunteered for Gawad Kalinga in building and painting homes for the urban poor.

For the TOK component, I presented on the knowledge issue of: To what extent can art be influenced by religious beliefs? I focused on a local art exhibit in which the artist showcased Catholic figures with various pop culture and adulterated ornaments. It was quite a controversial event locally, but I was awarded the highest score. I also wrote my TOK essay on the topic prompt of: “Knowledge is generated through the interaction of critical and creative thinking. Evaluate this statement in two areas of knowledge”. I examined the relevance of this topic prompt in natural sciences and the arts and achieved top marks.

For the EE component, I wrote my essay within the Psychology topic of: “To what extent is memory decline a natural product of ageing?” This was the first piece of writing over 1,000 words that I had written and served as a good introduction to academic writing.

What are you currently studying?

I recently graduated with my Master’s of Science in Environmental Technology from Imperial College London in September. Before that, I finished my Bachelor’s of Engineering in Environmental Engineering from UCL in 2015.