By Reina Fukushima, WISS class of 2012
Reina Fukushima is the pioneering WISS graduate of 2012. She is currently working as a financial consultant based in Tokyo, Japan. Her journey, during and after her time at WISS is marked with achievement and creative expression. We are thrilled to have Reina give us her reflection and share with us how her time at WISS has shaped her into who she is now.
I graduated WISS in 2012, as the first graduate. Although it has been five years since the graduation ceremony, I can still clearly remember every second of that day, from the moment I walked up to the stage to receive my certificate and to give a speech, and to the moment I conducted the school song for the very last time. After I graduated from WISS, I attended the University of Georgia (UGA) in the United States, and studied at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom for half a year, and graduated from UGA in December 2015.
By taking the IB program at WISS, the most important thing I learned was how to study and how to be dedicated. These life skills definitely helped me through my university life, as learning something new stopped being a pain but a joy. The IB program was not easy, and since I didn’t have any seniors at school to seek advice, there were times that I was not sure what I was doing. However, the teachers were very dedicated and they spent extra time making sure I was feeling secure and confident, and always willing to hear what I had to say. To this day, I cannot thank them enough for their support. The teachers always challenged me to be innovative, focused, and to aim for higher goals. When I was a student, just like any other student, sometimes I would wonder why I had to study materials or do things that I would probably not care in the future. Yet, I learned that every second I spent working hard made me who I am today. I continue to value hard work and qualities I gained from WISS, and continue to choose challenging path, while enjoying my growth as a person. What I learned from WISS didn’t just help me academically, but also helped shape me as a person who is not afraid to leave my comfort zone to explore what the world has to offer.
One of the most fond memories at WISS was composing music. I had the honor of composing the school song, which I hope students are still singing now… Until I met my high school music teacher at WISS, I never imagined that I would be composing a song. I still remember how excited I was when I first heard other students and teachers singing something I wrote with the help of my music teacher. It was an experience that taught me to not assume failure and give up before even trying. Unfortunately, I am not a composer now but I am always proud of my experience that I had, and it has helped to me express myself artistically and musically. Music would always be a part of my life one way or the other, and WISS opened the door to it.
Currently, I am a financial consultant working as a certified anti-money laundering specialist. I had no clue that I was going to become a consultant when I was at WISS, but I know that I loved the international environment that WISS provided and I chose this job as I will be traveling around the world. I wish I could visit WISS soon and meet the current students and teachers, and see how WISS has changed. I am very confident that it has changed for the better, and sending out dedicated students to different parts of the world.