The daily routine of regular school hours, wearing uniforms and following rules are a distant memory for our HSC and IB scholars. Instead they are faced with being independent, making their own decisions, and not having a teacher remind them of when assignments are due. For some the change is a breath of fresh air, while for others it can take a bit of getting used to.
We talk to some Trinity Grammar School scholars to find out what they are up to as they answer the question, “Where are they now?”
Victor Wu, Class of 2016
Having achieved a perfect score in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, Victor chose to study a Bachelor of Science (Advanced Mathematics)/Bachelor of Laws double degree at the University of Sydney.
“I've had some great lecturers, and thoroughly enjoy learning the content (for the most part), but I think it's the time spent with friends and making new friends which counterbalances all the study and makes university such an enjoyable experience.”
Victor says the hardest part of university is remaining accountable. “When there's no-one reminding you constantly about deadlines, or hounding you for homework, it becomes a lot harder to keep on top of everything. I've been guilty too many times of forgetting to do something.”
Michael Pahos, Class of 2016
Michael completed the HSC with an ATAR of 99.45 and has certainly kept busy since leaving Trinity. He has co-authored and edited HSC Economics textbooks and returned to school as a debating coach, in addition to maintaining sport commitments and attending the University of Sydney where he studies a combined Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws degree.
“The adjustment from school life has been quite smooth. Unfortunately, the workload is still quite intense, with vast content and research required. Needless to say, exams, presentations and assignments continue to haunt! University study brings great responsibility, however, preparation and organisational skills acquired in Senior School at Trinity have become invaluable tools.”
Sidharth Parulekar, Class of 2016
Scoring 99.85 in the IB Diploma, Sidharth had a choice of opportunities. Since leaving school, Sidharth has been undertaking a cadetship, working five days a week at UBS on the trading floor in Global Equities, with a particular focus on Equity Derivatives and Management. At the same time, he is also studying for a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Sydney.
“I didn’t realise how much I’d miss the general routine of school and seeing my friends. University has been a lot tougher than I thought it would be, but it has provided some good opportunities like I hoped it would. Work on the other hand has far exceeded what I hoped for, with particular regards to the social events and general culture of the business.”
Brian Kim, Class of 2017
A talented flautist, Brian achieved an outstanding result of 44/45 in the IB Diploma, an ATAR equivalent of 99.85.
After school, Brian completed a semester of Combined Laws at Sydney University, before moving to Paris to study flute. Brian was the first Australian flautist ever to be accepted for undergraduate study at the prestigious music school Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, and is taught by Professor Phillipe Bernold, one of the world’s top flute teachers.
“I’ve found the adjustment quite easy actually. No longer waking up at 5:45 every morning to get to school is definitely an upside. Shorter days and fewer classes make it easier for me to concentrate better and absorb more information during classes. I’ve made quite a few friends and it’s an amazing feeling to be surrounded by great musicians who all love music. It’s a supportive and friendly atmosphere. But that is not to say that it is laidback, everyone is so determined and hard-working – which is so motivating!”
“A big challenge would be this aspect of independent learning. The lecturers or tutors will not hold your hand and walk you through it all. A lot of self-commitment and patience is required.”
Elliot Ho, Class of 2017
Elliot completed the HSC with an ATAR of 99.05. He is studying the Bachelor of Biomedicine at the University of Melbourne, after which, he will undertake a postgraduate degree in Medicine.
“There are so many things clamouring for your attention at university in the way of clubs and societies both within your course and in the wider community. I have tried to be selective in my interests and pursuits, so I don’t lose myself in too many extra-curricular activities.
Elliot said that university life has helped him adapt to being on his own and he has found a good support network and made many friends. “I play a lot of college sport and there are many inter-collegial dinners that build even more connections.”
Ronak Nand, Class of 2017
With an ATAR rank of 99 in the HSC, Ronak easily got into the course of his choice and attends the University of Sydney as a Dalyell Scholar studying a Bachelor of Commerce/Advanced Studies and is a resident at Australia’s oldest college, St Paul’s College.
“What I enjoy most about college is being surrounded by very gifted and talented students and the opportunity to interact and learn from them. I enjoy university as it is a great learning environment, we have very good lecturers and tutors and I enjoy the intellectual challenges,” he said.
Ronak says a major challenge is prioritising competing deadlines whilst at the same time attending all lectures and tutorials, while studying and ensuring that all revision notes are in order. “My advice to Year 12 students would be to study hard and consistently.”
Ben Liu, Class of 2018
Having achieved an almost perfect score of 44 in the IB Diploma, it was inevitable that Ben would land on his feet. He took up an offer to study a fast-tracked two-year Medical Science Degree at Griffith University in Queensland, with provisional entry into the Doctor of Medicine (MD) starting in 2021.
One of the challenges has been adjusting to living interstate, where homesickness and maintaining friendships have been the most difficult for Ben. “The transition was very difficult at first, but because you are forced to be independent, you tend to become much more emotionally strong over time as you learn to cope and deal with problems on your own.”
“The diversity is remarkable for a course that only has 38 people. I have peers from all over Australia, and a quarter of the cohort are international students. The companionship and support of my peers makes the workload much more manageable.”
Alexander Maloof, Class of 2018
Alexander achieved a perfect IB Diploma score with an ATAR of 99.95. He is on the way to achieving his dream to be a doctor and is studying Medicine at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). As if the demands of university are not enough, Alexander has also started a business with friends.
“I am most proud of the role I have played in helping students from Years 7 to 12 with their coursework and managing the difficulties of school, with the organisation I started with a number of my friends, ‘The Seven Solution’. To date, we have helped over 100 students in the IB, HSC, as well as the years leading up to both programmes to ensure they put their best foot forward in tackling life in high school and getting the best grades.”
While rewarding, Alexander says balancing commitments and extracurricular activities with outside commitments, has been the most challenging.
Alexander Ciarroni, Class of 2018
An IB Diploma result of 44 (ATAR 99.85) has meant that Alexander was able to get into his course of choice where he is studying Law and Psychology at the University of Sydney, with plans to become a lawyer and eventually a barrister: “I haven’t yet decided which aspect of Law I would like to specialise in, however, I am very interested in Criminal Law.”
Alexander says the biggest challenge he has faced since leaving school is balancing his social life, sport, hobbies, university, work and sleep. “It is also much harder to maintain the friendships you developed at school since you have to make an effort to organise times to catch-up with people rather than being able to see your friends every day at school.”
Also an entrepreneur, Alexander is enjoying his work as the co-owner of ‘IB Solved,’ an IB tutoring service. “I have learnt so much about how to run a business and I love my tutoring work, it really is great to be able to help others get through struggles which I experienced myself.”
For over a hundred years Trinity Grammar School has educated boys from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12 in mind, body and spirit.
Fuelled by a pastorally aware culture with exceptionally high levels of individual student attention, we aim to know, understand and nurture each boy to help him realise his potential, passion and purpose in life.
To learn about the Trinity difference and to discover why we’re one of Sydney’s top boys’ schools, register for our upcoming Open Day.