Wellington College Shanghai Graduate Talks: Fit for environmental engineering | Spencer, Nottingham

As a top international school in Shanghai, Wellington College International Shanghai provides the pupils with a personalised, strategic and effective university and career guidance programme. As early as year 9, Wellington College International Shanghai works with them to identify their skills and interests. This Shanghai private school teaches them how to cultivate the attributes that universities and employers value. With help from its Higher Education and Careers team, Pupils from Wellington College Shanghai learn to think strategically when choosing their coursework and preparing for their admissions exams. Whether conducting mock admissions interviews or coaching on how to write an effective personal statement, the school is with its pupils every step of the way. And every year, the pupils from this private  school in Shanghai make the school proud with offers from some of the world’s most respected institutions of higher learning.

This week, Wellington College International Shanghai talks with Spencer, Class of 2024. Spencer received an offer to attend the University of Nottingham’s Ningbo campus, where he will study environmental engineering. Way to go, Spencer!

Having arrived as a year 12 pupil, Spencer’s time at Wellington has been short. But in the two years that he has pursued his IB Diploma in this Shanghai high school, he has hit his stride, learning the value of grit and discipline, two qualities that will serve him well at university and beyond. 

Why environmental engineering?

My first idea was to major in chemistry, but I think that in the future there will be a lot of need for environmental engineers, experts who can find sustainability solutions. So, I wanted to get into that early on, so I can have a good career in the future. It will still require me to learn a lot about chemistry, which I love, but I’ll have the opportunity to correct the mistakes that a lot of chemical engineers make.

Are there any particular issues in that discipline that interest you?

There are many, such as oil spills, the effect of global warming and the fact that, right now, it’s cheaper to just release toxic gases in the atmosphere rather than convert them into something that would be safe for the environment.

Where will you be studying this fall?

That’s going to be the University of Nottingham, Ningbo. I recently went there to visit the campus and it was wonderful. I met with the teachers, the professors and the students, and it was really nice.

What was the biggest challenge in the admissions process?

Writing the personal statement. Each university looks for something different. So I had to make sure my personal statement wasn’t the same for each university, especially since some universities may ask you to answer questions, some ask you to write, just explain why you wanted that degree and what you’re going to do with that degree. It was very hard to make sure I fit everything in — all my extracurricular activities, everything I do at school to stand out among other applicants. It was a challenge, but it was a fun process. I enjoy writing.

How did the Higher Education and Careers team support you during the admissions process?

They helped me a lot, especially Ms Huang. She started to recommend universities in China to me as early as year 12. She kept me informed about the schools’ requirements and what I needed to do in my coursework to meet those requirements. She was also great with my personal statement. She read each one and gave me great feedback, telling me exactly what needed tweaking.

What were your first impressions on your first day at Wellington?

I was just struck by how friendly and supportive everybody was. All the teachers were very nice, as were the other pupils. I felt comfortable.

Share a Wellington experience in which you built character.

Doing CAS for IB was a positive experience. I learned a lot about discipline and being consistent with the things you do. For the ‘Activity’ component of CAS, I was going to the gym. There were days when I just didn’t want to work out because I was tired from my studies. But I always did it, and afterwards, I was always glad I did. Looking back now, I recognise the long-term benefits of sticking to something like that. 

What do you like most about being a Wellington student?

I think it’s the community. I like the people around me, and I like how, especially being in sixth form, you create a little family. You know everyone. In previous schools I went to, I knew maybe half the people in my year group. Here I know everyone. I know all my teachers. I have a good relationship with them.

Do you have a favourite Wellington memory?

House singing. It was really fun. We never did anything like that at any of my previous schools. I’m not even a singer, but it was nice to get out of my comfort zone.

Media Contact
Company Name: Wellington College International Shanghai
Contact Person: Admission Department
Email: Send Email
Phone: +86-21 5185-3866
Address:No.1500 Yao Long Road, Pudong New District
City: Shanghai
Country: China
Website: https://shanghai.wellingtoncollege.cn/