Class of 2024 Alumni Spotlight: Mika Goldman Shayman

In this Senior Spotlight interview, we had the pleasure of speaking with Mika Goldman Shayman, who shared some of her proudest accomplishments, challenges faced, and memories made during her time at AISG. She also offered some valuable advice for current students and discussed her future career goals. During her time at AISG, Mika has experienced personal growth, leadership opportunities, and unforgettable moments.

What are some of your proudest accomplishments at AISG?

I think some of my proudest accomplishments have arisen from being a leader of many clubs. For instance, I am very proud of having organized the 2024 Pi Day with my co-president, Elsie Zhang, and the other National Honor Society (NHS) members. In the previous year this event did not happen, and I was so glad to see all the students have the chance to celebrate Pi day. Similarly, I am proud of having played a role in organizing the 3rd iteration of RAMSMUN and more importantly, seeing the growth of the delegates that I helped train. It was so exciting seeing a delegate who in the first meetings had been scared of speaking, develop their confidence and improve.

Who influenced you the most during your time at AISG and why?

I think my math teacher had a huge influence on my time at AISG. In the beginning of grade 11, after I moved from a very different school, I was struggling in math class and very worried about whether I was a strong enough student to do Math Analysis and Approaches HL. But Mr. Gomes believed in me and gave me the confidence to continue to work hard and improve in math. I think that from this experience, I really learned the importance of believing in yourself and giving yourself the time to process the move. After all, in my case, I freaked out over the new challenges brought by the drastic move from Belarus to China, instead of actually giving myself the time to adapt. Once I had adapted though, I was able to succeed.

(back row, third from the right)

Share your favorite AISG memory.

My favorite memory at AISG is winning the Battle of the Books in 2023. I recall the excitement of preparing for the competition, including putting on our costumes and adding black paint under our eyes like football players to intimidate the other teams. I remember sitting together with my team, trying to figure out the answers to the questions, and feeling anxious when the winners were announced. When we were declared the first-place winners, I was both thrilled and proud of our team. This memory will stay with me for a long time.

(fourth from the left)

What challenges have you faced during Upper Secondary, and how have you overcome them?

I moved to AISG in my junior year from an international school in Belarus, which presented me with many challenges that I had to overcome. Firstly, there were significant cultural differences between the two schools, which made it difficult to adjust. However, I found that by focusing on finding my community and making new friends, I was able to adapt to the new culture of AISG. Another challenge was the higher academic expectations and difficulty at AISG compared to my old school. My previous school was less rigorous, which made the academic transition challenging, especially in the first few months. I overcame these challenges by seeking help from my teachers, spending more time on each subject, and reminding myself to take my time during tests.

What was the most important thing you learned while you were at AISG?

The most important thing I learned in AISG was to pace myself and not overwork. In the past two years, I kept taking on more leadership positions, joining even more clubs, and stressing out over every single exam. In the end, I was overly stretched from all directions that I wasn't able to invest as much time in each activity as I would have liked. From this experience, I learned that it is important to say no to certain opportunities, even when it is hard, to allow yourself to do the best job possible.

(back row center)

What advice do you have for current students to make the most of their experience at AISG?

I would recommend learning how to prioritize so that one can truly pursue their favorite activities, experiences, and so on to the greatest extent. AISG has so many opportunities, so while it is important to pursue your interests, it is also important to prioritize the opportunities that you do want to act on. This is to prevent burnout and make the overall experience at AISG less stressful and more enjoyable.

What are your future career goals, and how have your AISG experiences influenced them?

In the future, I would like to work in the humanitarian field, either as an international law lawyer or as an economist (I still haven’t decided). However, AISG’s focus on volunteering really helped solidify that career goal. For a long time, I knew that I wanted to have a positive impact on others around me, but I was (and still am) unsure how to do that. However, AISG’s Global Citizenship Education (GCED) program really helped me understand that humanitarian aid and a focus on long term solutions is essential in creating long-lasting change.

Mika's extracurriculars/activities/awards/etc. from her time at AISG:

  • MUN, 2022-2024, Student Officer

  • GIN, 2022-2024, Student Coordinator

  • NHS (President), 2022-2024 years

  • Battle of the Books, 2022-2024

  • Peer Tutoring, 2022-2024

  • Roots and Shoots People, 2022-2023

  • Quiz Bowl, 2023-2024

  • Student of the Year in Mathematics, English, and Social Studies, 2023

  • Most Valuable Player for MUN, 2024

  • Director’s Choice for MUN, 2023

  • Global Citizenship Award, 2023

  • Best Chair at SEOMUN, 2023

  • Highest Honor Roll, 2022-2024

AISG's emphasis on volunteering and creating long-term change has influenced Mika's aspirations to pursue a career in the humanitarian field. We wish Mika all the best in her future endeavors, confident that she will continue to make a positive difference in the world.

The AISG Upper Secondary program is designed to provide a broad exposure to a balance of academic disciplines and co-curricular activities to facilitate the development of well-rounded, self-directed, and enthusiastic learners. Click here to learn more about the Upper Secondary at AISG.

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