They found their vocation: Four high school kids speak about their chosen field of work By Dana Tudose-Tianu CIPRIAN ANGHEL, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR, LAUDE-REUT EDUCATIONAL COMPLEX IN BUCHAREST Ciprian wants to become a doctor and has no plans to work and live in a different country. He actually sees his future in Romania. DTT: What are you doing now? CA: Right now I’m studying to get into the Medical School here in Bucharest. I decided that I want to be a doctor and I will definitely try to combine Medical school with some engineering and try to create something that will help millions of people. DTT: How come you’re not considering college abroad? CA: It’s easier for me and my family to be studying here, in Bucharest. Of course, studying abroad requires one to adapt to a different langue, to different places, to different people, which eventually occurs. However, it doesn’t feel like home, being in your own country, speaking your own language. This is something that I really prize. I believe that I can evolve as much as I would in another country, if not more, here, in Romania, because I was taught, since I was a child, to love the people around me. Furthermore, the Med School here in Bucharest is quite good. But I’d definitely consider studying three months somewhere else and getting experience in the medical system over there, understanding how things are done there. DTT: How does your regular week look like? You’re now preparing for the Baccalaureate. CA: Thankfully, our school offers a lot of hours of Romanian and Math, and, of course, Physics, which is my third main subject for the Baccalaureate and I have about 20h per week, of preparation for these subjects combined. Just at school. When I get home, I prepare with extra lessons. I also study Biology, and the more “advanced” Physics that what is asked from us at the Baccalaureate. DTT: Were you somehow influenced or encouraged to choose the medical profession because it has some sort of status, or were you simply inspired by what you saw in your own family? CA: My father works in the banking industry and he did encourage me to become a doctor. My mom is a doctor and she initially told me to follow in my father’s footsteps rather than going for the medical profession. My mom has quite a stressful job and she know I, too, will have a stressful job. Saving people’s lives puts a lot of responsibility on your shoulders. ILINCA PALEA, YEAR 10, AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF BUCHAREST Ilinca wants to be a Trauma Surgeon. She plans to study abroad, both for medical school and her residency. She plans to return to Romania, which she loves “beyond words”, to help society. DTT: Have you found your vocation already? IP: I want to be a Trauma Surgeon, which is a type of critical/ER surgery that deals with patients such as car crash and gunshot victims. Another way I’d like to serve is as a war doctor, perhaps working in the military, as well as working in intensive care. DTT: Where are you thinking of going to college? IP: If I would study in England, I would definitely want to live in the suburbs. I don’t like city life, so I won’t be studying in London for six years for sure. I love hiking, I love the mountains, it’s one of my biggest passions. If I won’t go to England, I’m looking at Holland, as well as Italy. I thought further than medical school, though. For my residency, I’d like to go to the United States. My father is a doctor, as well, and he did his residency in the U.S. He told me that the residency in America is a tough experience. But I want to go through it, especially that first year of the residency when you are in the hospital almost all the time, you sleep there three days a week, you are on call most of the time. I feel I need this type of experience and it would do me tremendous good to have it. DTT: Do you plan to return to Romania, once you’ve finished your studies? IP: Yes, I definitely plan to return to Romania, because I love my country so much, with all of its problems and the political tensions. Romania is in my heart (“tara mea de suflet”). It is so beautiful…Romania needs people who want to work and want to change something. DTT: How is your school helping you prepare? IP: I came to the American School last year, from a public school. I was afraid that I don’t share the same values as the rest of the school. I ended up absolutely loving my classmates and my community. The environment helped me open up more. Both teachers and students are so outspoken here. We are not on two separate “teams”. There is mutual respect. DTT: Which, you think, are three values of your generation? IP: I think we know how to balance work and our personal life. We want to take care of our minds and souls, too. The second one is that we are very outspoken. We talk about the things that bother us. We are creative and innovative. DTT (absolutely in awe of this extraordinary young lady): What are your hobbies? IP: Definitely hiking, being in the mountains. And I absolutely love animals, especially dogs – my two dogs: Gorun & Gruia. DANIEL COSTACHE, YEAR 10, BRITISH SCHOOL OF BUCHAREST Daniel wants to work in design and engineering. He plans to study and work abroad, and return to Romania later on, to “help the country in the way that it needs”. DTT: What field would you like to specialize in? DC: I would like to specialize in a field that deals with design and engineering, but I don’t want to be limited by my pre-conceived notions on this subject, so I want to keep open career possibilities in chemistry research or biology. DTT: If you plan to study abroad, will you return to Romania, after completing your studies? DC: Ideally, after I study abroad, I will come back to Romania, but not right after finishing the studies. I would first begin my career (or business) abroad and establish myself in whatever country I choose, and only afterwards come back to Romania and apply all of the skills that I would have learned. Not because I don’t want to be a part of my country. I love my country. But I want to be sure that I can help it in the way that it needs. DTT: Did you do any extra-curricular special projects/activities that have inspired you to think about your career in a certain direction? DC: I’ve taken part in a couple of projects so far, that have been great experiences. One of them is called “Automotive design”. We have to build a car or around 200 kilograms, and every single pipe on the frame, every single screw, the entire design, is done by us. The teachers only help us with the electrical mounting. I went through this project with a team, and, honestly, that’s the project that really sparked my interest in design and engineering for me. DTT: What inspires you most in your school community? DC: The thing that inspires me most in my community, not only as a design, but as a school community, is the way it can adapt to new problems and new environments. In school, I see this especially in the innovation hub, where the automotive project takes place. Students help each other all the time. It’s something very inspiring to see – that people are not only using their knowledge for themselves – but are also helping other people through the things they’ve learned over time. MIHAIL ANDREI IOAN VOLINTIRU, YEAR 9, INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF BUCHAREST Mihail Volintiru wants to go to Harvard medical school (fingers crossed), and return to Romania to encourage other doctors to grow professionally. DTT: Did you already uncover your vocation? MV: I was always passionate about math. In fact, whenever a teacher or anyone else would ask me “what do you want to be when you grow up”, I would respond, without any hesitation: mathematician. This year, though, alongside math, mt passion for science flourished, and I began wishing to become a doctor. I want to go to Harvard Medical School, in the United States, so that I am able to increase my chances of excelling at what I love doing. DTT: Do you want to return to Romania, after graduating from Medical school abroad? MV: There is no doubt in my mind that I will come back to help people in the country I grew up in. I want to help cure the ill, plaster wounded kids, help the elderly live a longer and painless life. I would like to help make sure that viruses and illnesses have a cure and that my patients are not harmed by them. In the future, I imagine myself coming back to Romania and encouraging other young doctors to grow professionally. DTT: What special projects have you been involved in so far? MV: Within the school, I participated in the FirSTep International Science Competition. I have taken part, with my teammates, for three years, and won a gold medal each time. In 2018, I went to Yale University for the final round (Tournament of Champions) of a debate and general knowledge competition called World Scholar’s Cup. Throughout the competition, I won multiple medals. This year, for the same competition, I and my teammates qualified for the Bucharest regional round, hosted by my school, and we will participate in the Global Round in Hague. In math, my favorite subject, I took part, last year, in the International Math Competition in Bangkok, Thailand, where I won the gold medal for my age group. DTT: What other hobbies do you have, aside from math, which, obviously, you have fun doing? MV: My new passion is basketball. I train four times per week, and in the week-ends I participate in games against other teams, for the Regional tournament. DTT: Which do you think are three characteristics of your generation? MV: Curiosity, creativity and eagerness to play sports. 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