Spotlight on Student Leaders, Steffen & Rakhshanda

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Neil Bunting, Head of Secondary, Steffen Gutermann, Head Boy, Rukhshanda Huda, Head Girl, Sinead Kehoe, Deputy Head of Secondary

This week we met with the current heads of our Student Leadership Team, Steffen Gutermann and Rakhshanda Huda, to learn a bit more about them and why they chose Greenfield Community School. Both students are currently seniors in Grade 12 and they took a moment out of their busy schedules to give us a glimpse into student life here at GCS! Here is what they had to say.

steffen

Steffen Gutermann, Grade 12

  1. Where are you from and can you tell me a little about yourself? 

I am from Frankfurt, Germany and moved here August 2015. My situation is a little different than most people because my parents are still in Germany! Last year my uncle, who has been living here since 2010, invited me to come study in GCS for a year to gain international experience and to live with him. He has two kids in GCS in Grades 2 & 4.  I liked the school and the IB system so much that I decided to stay and graduate and get my diploma from this school.

  1. What did your friends/family back home think when you decided to move to Dubai? 

Most of my friends are really supportive! They knew it would be hard to leave since I’ve lived in Germany my whole life and I’ve been friends with them since I was a child. But we Skype and they keep me updated. During my breaks I go back and visit. My parents are so supportive financially and emotionally! They see this as a great opportunity for me to develop myself and have been really pleased with my results in this school.

  1. Will you tell me about your studies and which is your favorite subject? 

I am in the DP program. My subjects include:  English, Physics, Business, Math, French and Geography. My favorite is Business though because I think it is really related to real life, practical examples. Also, I want to do something related to business later in my life.

  1. What is your plan for after you graduate? 

For the next 3-4 years it is pretty determined already. I am going to do a dual programme, meaning I will work for 3 months then attend university for 3 months. I will work for a German  company that will highlight my international relations skills and then I will study international business.

  1. Are you involved in any ECA’s at GCS?

Yes, I am a member of our football team and also MUN (Model United Nations).

  1. What surprised you the most about Dubai?

I had visited Dubai before and it really fascinated me. There are so many different layers to the city and there are so many nationalities living here! I was really positively surprised about my first day in the school. In Germany we have a problem with immigration issues and it is so impressive to see how all the different nationalities of students welcomed me into the school, even though I didn’t speak very much English!

  1. Anything else you’d like to share?

I just really like this school! That is why I decided to stay here away from my friends and family. Two years here has really helped me develop my personality. I grew to be more independent because of my experience with the IB curriculum but also because I moved away from home.

 

rakhshanda

Rakhshanda Huda, Grade 12

  1. Where are you from?

I am from Bangladesh and I moved to Dubai in 2011 from Saudi Arabia where I lived for a little less than 2 years. I joined Greenfield Community School when I moved to Dubai and have been here ever since.

2. What is your favorite subject?

I am in the Diploma Program. I take a lot of science and math based classes but my favorite is probably literature. I am planning on studying engineering in the future. I think for me one of the main things I’m doing outside the class room is Model United Nations. I am really passionate about politics and issues in general. I have helped trained probably a couple hundred students for MUN over the last 4 years. And its been amazing watching kids who could barely speak English when they joined grow and become MUN ambassadors! All our trips we take are student led so I am responsible for helping book and organize logistics of all the trips. Everything I’ve learned through MUN has been invaluable and I’ve learned things I wouldn’t have been able to in class.

3. What activities are you involved in at GCS? Can you tell me a little about them?

I’ve done a lot of activities during my time here. For example, debate teams, Rotary club, etc. but currently I am focusing on my studies and doing MUN. It’s really cool to see how much GCS has changed. We have lots of ECA’s now and have a lot of students wanting to get involved! People are excited to do things after school now! Working as Head Girl has been one of the most rewarding positions I’ve held at GCS since I first arrived here in Grade 7. At the time, I could never have imagine myself holding any kind of leadership position, but now it’s become one of the most integral parts of my senior experience. Although it can get quite demanding at times, it remains a great honor that I was chosen to represent our student body. I’m grateful for having been granted this opportunity to work and collaborate as a leader and as a member of a team. It gives you a very different perspective on how to get things done efficiently alongside both the students, staff, and senior management.

4. What are your plans for after you graduate? 

I hope to take the skills and experiences I’ve earned and utilise them in university. Although I’m currently applying to various majors, I do hope to have earned a bachelor’s degree within the next 4 years of graduation. Right now, however, my primary focus is to perform as well in the IB Diploma as I possibly can while balancing all my other roles and duties within the school.

5. What are you really proud of? What accomplishment or achievement stands out most in your mind?

I have received a lot of academic awards but that isn’t what I’m most proud of. I guess what I’m really proud of is when I went on a MUN trip to Rome and I was the only high school student. Everyone else was a university student. We were presented with a situation and asked to come up with a solution. The situation was about how to help farmers in southern Africa solve a problem they faced; I didn’t really think much about my resolution for their problem because I was going up against all university students. Well, my resolution won and is currently  being reviewed at the UN headquarters in New York! It might even go to publication! Even if it doesn’t go to publication it is still so cool that I was even considered.

6. What surprised you the most about Dubai and/or GCS?

The diversity surprised me! Everyone talks about the diversity here but it still takes you aback when you first move to Dubai. You always hear stories about high school about people being bullied but I haven’t experienced that at GCS. Right now I’m getting a lot of college essay questions asking me about a time I felt out of place but I’m having a hard time answering them because I have never felt out of place here! I always felt welcomed by the students at GCS and I guess that’s why I love this school.

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