Concordia Shanghai Jan 22 2024

Graduates Share Sage Advice with Seniors at Annual Alumni Panel

Concordia International School Shanghai recently celebrated the return of its alumni, who came to impart valuable insights from their college journeys. With eleven graduates joining in person and two connecting online, they shared a wealth of experiences, ranging from their early days as college freshmen to navigating the transition into the professional world.


Concordia-Shanghai-alumni-panel-Jan-22-2024-05-41-07-6515-AMWe were very excited to have the following Alumni Panelists on campus: 

Ziyue Qian (2018) 
Lena He (2020) 
Isabel Carter (2021) 
Rachel Diao (2021) 
Cyrus Hung (2021) 
Amy Lin (2021) 
Andrew Zhang (2021) 
David Liu (2022) 
Ryan Su (2022) 
Eden Tsao (2022) 
Issac Luo (2023) 
Nicole Qiu (2023) 
Ellie Wang (2023)


Navigating Life After High School

The panelists emphasized the importance of maintaining a balanced life in high school. Ellie Wang, a graduate, stressed the value of engaging in activities that spark joy rather than merely padding a resume. Echoing this sentiment, alumna Rachel Diao (Class of '21) highlighted that the quality of time invested in activities outweighs quantity, pointing out that college admissions officers can discern genuine interests from resume fillers.

Furthermore, the alumni reflected on the stark contrast between the intimate community at Concordia and the vast, diverse population of larger college campuses. Navigating this new environment, in some cases at institutions with over 30,000 students from varied backgrounds, can be daunting. Yet, the alumni reassured current students, they would eventually find their social network and build meaningful relationships, which are crucial for thriving in the expansive college setting.



Real-World Lessons from Concordia Graduates

Some of the recommendations for the Panelists for current students were: 

  • Take care of your mental health.  We tend to put our self-worth on one thing, specifically grades, but there is so much more to life. Concordia can be a hyper-competitive school and an echo chamber of stress. Everyone here is an amazing human. Look at what you have already done; do not just compare yourself to your fellow students. 
  • Be open and stay adaptable to the changes in life.  Things may shift and change as you go through college.  You need to be ready and able to accept that these are a normal part of learning who we are. 
  • Do not look at the rank of university and make your selections for application based solely on that. It could drop ten rankings in one night. Pick a school that best fits you, your needs, and your goals.
  • Don't be afraid to try and fail. In high school, the stakes and the cost are lower than we think. Try new things now and explore. Do not be afraid to fail at these attempts. Learn to accept and embrace failure and move forward. It will help you to deal with the challenges later in life. 

Student Perspectives on Alumni Wisdom


Following the Panel Discussion, our current students had this to say about what they heard: 

“I must admit...after the panel ended, I felt a little anxious about the many uncertainties in the coming years. But I guess that is the fun of it. To embrace the new journey and, like one of the panelists mentioned, experiment and fail. It was also inspiring to see the classmates I used to bump into every day sharing their experience from a different perspective," said one Concordia senior. 

“I found the panel to be insightful and meaningful, as it broadened my perspective and reminded me that (amazingly) there's more to high school than grades, college prep, and social status. It was fascinating to see where former students had ended up in terms of both life and maturity and it felt like a glimpse into all of our potential futures. Thank you to all the alumni for coming and offering their advice!” exclaims another senior.

“The panel was very insightful and offered good advice that I will consider. It was good hearing from alumni, as they have firsthand experience on a lot of the problems that we worry about,"  shared one soon-to-be graduate.


A heartfelt thank you to our alumni for being an integral part of the Alumni Panel. Their insights, experiences, and wisdom added immense value to the discussion and left a lasting impact on our students and fellow alumni. Their willingness to share their journey is truly appreciated, and it plays a crucial role in inspiring the next generation.