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Advice from alumni: Luis Fernando Hernandez Magro Quiroz

This week’s post is written by EF Academy Oxford A-Levels 2 student, Nisrina Lum’ah Salsabila, from Indonesia. Nisrina will pursue her marketing studies at a UK university and dreams about working in Public Relations in the future. She sat down with our Mexican alumni, Luis Fernando Hernandez Magro Quiroz, who graduated from EF Academy Oxford in 2015 and is now studying Economics and Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania in USA. Read more about our featured alum below:

What university are you studying at right now? What do you study and why?

Currently, I am doing my double major – Economics and Psychology – at the University of Pennsylvania.

How are the U.S. and UK university application processes different?

They are very different! For U.S. universities, I could choose what subjects I liked the most. I had to write a more personal and specific essay than the common personal statement. In that essay, I wrote about my personal interest and experiences which were linked to my target university – in this case, Pennsylvania! I had to promote myself and what I am good at and this essay was for the University of Pennsylvania itself. Also, more work was required for things like the SAT test and essay practices to ensure my essay was focused.

What did you think of the whole application process?  

It was tough.  Cy and Mark [my University Guidance Counselors] helped me a lot since I was also applying to the U.S. Writing good essays can be quite challenging, especially when it comes to finding creative ideas that can make you stand out from other candidates.

What are your thoughts about the IB exams?

Some are harder than others, so your results might be predictable. Generally, I found the exams to be on the harder side. The IB exams were really relaxing as university offers had increased my confidence. But you still need to study in a few weeks rather than days ahead of time.

Whats your favorite EF Academy memory?

Well, I remember before summer vacation, my friends and I went out and spent a lot of time together. Another nice memory I have is the trip to Alton Towers. We spent two days and one night – paid by the school – and it was really fun because almost everyone was there except for those who still had exams.

What do you miss the most?

Just the people in general actually, like my teachers and friends. The various cultures I encountered at EF Academy broadened my knowledge of other cultures and allowed me to see different perspectives. The teachers and counselors were super easy going as well – whenever I need them, they were always there for me, giving solutions to my problems and basically just helping me through a lot.

What is one thing that you learned from EF Academy that you found valuable for university, work and personal life?

Keep all your friends close and they will really help you in the present and future. Everyone is different and we all make mistakes but it benefits us when understand each other better and it helps us improve our social skills and make even more friends.

Do you keep in touch with your EF Academy classmates?

Yeah, I talk to people in my group of friends every once in a while. I meet a couple of my Mexican mates in Mexico sometimes as well.

How would you describe university life?

I really like the classes and the degree I am doing. I’m enjoying university life so far, being productive most of the time and learning important information. University has more people, so you have greater connectivity and a larger social network. Frankly, it is easier to talk to friends in high school because you have many more things in common while in university, you come across various people with various interests and you can’t see them all the time. But on the other hand, more people means more skills you can learn.

What tips do you have for current students at EF Academy?

Pay attention in class! Don’t skip classes unless it is a must, receiving instruction directly from your teachers is always better than revising for exams alone a few days before. Knowing what you have learned by heart as soon as you learn it will make it easier for you when you revise for exams. Eat healthy, rest well and just be fully prepared before entering the exam room. These all will really help you function better in general. Don’t forget to always be nice to the teachers and host parents! Don’t procrastinate – it makes your life easier and gives you extra time without having to worry about deadlines!

Any final advice to fellow alumni at universities and starting their careers?

Networking is really important! Keep in touch with your friends, meet new people and build good relationships with others. Opportunities can come easily to you through connections. Don’t study too hard, try to find a balance between working and having a social life.

“The experience that I got from EF Academy is one of the most useful things I’ve had so far.”

Short questions:

Name: Luis Fernando Hernandez Magro Quiroz

Age: 20

Nationality: Mexican

How many languages do you speak?  English – Spanish (little bit of French and Japanese)

EF Academy campus: Oxford

Graduation year: 2015

Program: IB Diploma

Residence or host family: Host Family and residence in my 2nd year

Favorite subject: Economics and Business Management

Favorite teacher: Lydia Hemming and Amy Webber, my physics teacher

Favorite club / society: MUN Club, Rugby, Investor Challenge, Environmental Club, Boundary Brook – maintenance to the park – and Gardening Nature Club.

Which is the next country you want to visit? Italy because it’s a European country I did not have the chance to visit while in the UK.

Who to interview next: Diego and Reid from last year.

Shouts out to: All the teachers, especially Cy and Mark.

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