School Advisor Articles

From GIS to Bank of America: How Eisha Izaddeen’s Education Prepared Her for Success

Published by SchoolAdvisor | Apr 02, 2024

“GIS has undeniably played a pivotal role in shaping my formative years, leaving an indelible positive impact on my personal and academic growth,” Eisha Izaddeen says. 

Eisha’s story is a testament to the transformative power of education, particularly within an international school environment.  Her eight years at Garden International School (GIS) not only nurtured her academic potential but also played a pivotal role in shaping her into the well-rounded individual she is today.

A Supportive Learning Environment

Eisha’s journey at GIS began at the age of 12. Coming from a different school system, Eisha found the shift towards a more holistic approach refreshing.  The focus here wasn’t just on rote learning, but on fostering individuality, creativity and critical thinking skills.  Lectures were replaced with methods that encouraged self-directed learning, allowing students to explore concepts and draw their own conclusions. This is exemplified in activities like explaining concepts in Economics to classmates or participating in group games in Psychology that reinforce principles taught within the week.

The teachers go beyond simply delivering information; they cater to individual learning styles by offering personalised feedback that is both constructive and encouraging. This allows students to reach their full potential and develop a deep understanding of the subject matter — something Eisha can attest to. 

“Teachers created an engaging and supportive learning environment by incorporating interactive activities, discussions and group work into their lessons. They strive to make their materials enjoyable and relevant to students’ interests and experiences.”

Eisha also benefited from dedicated teachers and a stimulating learning style, which provided her with the tools and support needed to flourish. “I’m incredibly grateful for the support I received from my teachers at GIS. Whenever I needed help or had questions on the topics or past papers, they welcomed me into their offices, even if it meant sacrificing their lunch breaks to accommodate my schedule.”

That’s not all. One time, following a particularly stressful mock exam, Eisha confided in a friend about her revision struggles. Unbeknownst to her, a nearby teacher overheard the conversation. The next day, this teacher, who wasn’t even Eisha’s instructor, took the initiative to find her and generously share effective revision techniques. This act of kindness exemplifies the GIS staff’s unwavering dedication to each student’s holistic development.

Eisha’s high school years were defined by her participation in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DOE), where training and mountain hikes honed her skills and broadened her horizons.

Leadership and Growth Through CCAs

Beyond academics, Eisha participated in many co-curricular activities (CCAs) to explore her interests. While missing out on a leadership position in Years 10 and 11 initially frustrated her, it sparked an innovative solution. Eisha proposed and led the ‘Focus Group’, a student-run initiative contributing to the school and community through fundraisers and service projects. This experience outside her comfort zone instilled leadership, initiative and the ability to create positive change — qualities that later became invaluable assets for Eisha. Due to Eisha starting her own ‘Focus Group’, she was awarded the ‘Head of School Award’ by the end of Year 11. 

In Year 12, she was the Finance Lead for a student-initiated CCA, managing budgets and creating engaging fundraising strategies. “This role required me to operate within a budget that I had meticulously created, showcasing my ability to manage financial resources effectively.” Without realizing it, this CCA was one of the reasons why she leaned more towards studying Finance in university. 

Another transformative experience was the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DOE). Through challenging training and hikes over 3 years that included international expeditions, Eisha honed her resilience, determination and motivation. These were instrumental during her university application process and continued to shape how she tackles obstacles. Despite her initial reservations due to limited hand-eye coordination, Eisha enjoyed sports and the camaraderie that came with team participation. “This unexpected avenue not only enhanced my physical well-being but also taught me the importance of teamwork, perseverance and the joy of pushing personal boundaries.”

GIS’s global focus and holistic education empowered Eisha to spark her curiosity and fueled a passion for lifelong learning, empowering her to adapt and approach challenges positively.

Navigating University Applications

Eisha achieved straight A’s in her A-Levels, which included Psychology, Mathematics, Further Mathematics and Economics. 

The Higher Education (HE) team at GIS played a crucial role in Eisha’s university application process. Their guidance helped her navigate the complexities of choosing between finance and psychology, ultimately encouraging her to craft personal statements for both options.  This exercise proved invaluable in clarifying her own interests, leading her to discover a natural inclination towards finance.  

Although Eisha was in between two courses when applying to university, crafting personal statements for both finance and psychology allowed her to delve into the essence of each field and reflect on her genuine interests and strengths. “Surprisingly, the process made it evident that articulating my passion for finance came much more naturally, even though psychology had been a favourite subject during my A-levels.”

What’s more, the HE team offered immense support to students applying to universities in different parts of the world. Whether it was for the UK, US or Australia, specialised teams were in place to provide tailored assistance. This approach streamlined the application process and ensured that students received guidance specific to the requirements and nuances of their chosen destination.

Ultimately, Eisha pursued a BSc in Finance at City, University of London’s Bayes Business School in 2020 and graduated in 2023. During that period, she also served as the President of the Malaysian Society,  successfully managing large-scale projects like directing a play and organising a charity auction. 

“For the Charity Auction, we gathered a group of artists to auction off some of their art and gave most of the proceeds to charities helping underprivileged individuals during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Becoming the MSOC president was something I yearned for, especially after becoming comfortable with taking the lead on massive projects from GIS.” 

Eisha graduated with a BSc in Finance from Bayes Business School.

The Lasting Impact of an International Education

Eisha’s journey began as a reserved child, hesitant to step outside her comfort zone. However, enrolling in the GIS proved to be a turning point. The school’s holistic approach, fostering academic excellence and CCAs, nurtured Eisha into a well-managed individual.

More importantly, the diverse student body at GIS played a crucial role in shaping who Eisha is today. Collaborating with classmates from varied backgrounds honed her communication skills, empathy and adaptability. Navigating these interactions not only enriched her social life but also built resilience, essential for overcoming challenges

From Intern to Analyst at Bank of America

Eisha faced a demanding final semester at university. Not only was she juggling exams, but she was also diligently submitting job applications for positions in both London and Malaysia while simultaneously exploring postgraduate programmes.  The job search, however, proved difficult. Interview outcomes were either delayed or tedious, with some processes dragging on for extended periods.

“A notable experience was my application to Bank of America Malaysia (BAMB) in November 2022, where I anxiously awaited a response until January for an interview.”

However, her perseverance paid off, when she landed a coveted internship at Bank of America Malaysia (BAMB) after a rigorous six-round interview process. This internship ultimately led to a full-time position as a FICC Analyst.

“I was over the moon to have the chance to work at one of the world's largest banks and immediately told my family that I would be taking this offer.”

Eisha Izaddeen's story exemplifies the transformative power of education, particularly within an international school environment. Her eight years at Garden International School (GIS) not only nurtured her academic potential but also played a pivotal role in shaping her into the well-rounded individual she is today.