Eileen Chen

Eileen Chen

Eileen Chen

Class of 2019

Cultural Background: 3/4 Taiwanese and 1/4 Japanese


How many years did you attend YIS? 14

Where are you currently based, and what is your occupation/what are you studying?
I am currently in Japan for the summer, working three part-time jobs as a waitress at a diner, a receptionist at a medical clinic, and as part of the IT team at YIS so that I can build work experience.

What is your most memorable moment from your time at YIS?

When Ms. Harding told me I needed to improve my math to reach IB Standard Level Math, so she sent me to IB Math Studies.

What type of sports or non-academic activities were you involved with at YIS?

I was on the field hockey team for four years in high school, although I didn’t make the first team every game. I also tried other sports like tennis. Honestly, sports was not really my thing, but I did like the Chowa yearbook committee. I felt a sense of acceptance there.

Which grade-level or class at YIS would you want to relive, and why? Would you do anything differently?

I would re-do tenth grade to make up for my math tests and assignments in Ms. Harding's class and get accepted into IB SL Math. That probably would have made a huge difference in my university choices and my plans. In addition to this, I probably would have taken HL Visual Arts and Music so that I could have pursued the Arts more.  I think taking science courses like chemistry and physics would have probably changed how I see the world.

Which aspects of your YIS education helped prepare you the most for your current professional and personal life?

One of the most helpful things was the MYP Personal Project and the IB TOK Final Essay and Extended Essay. These big projects helped me become more of an independent learner.  For instance, they expanded my curiosity about a specific subject, encouraged me to research a lot about that topic, and allowed me to reflect upon it. 

Given your experience with living abroad and switching your majors, what sort of advice would you give to current YIS students?

When I was 80% sure that I was going to change my major I asked myself three questions; Is it personal? Do you think it's practical? Is it professional? 

However, when people do change their major, people might doubt them and say that they are not ready for it, or say things that will make them feel insecure about their choices.  In those moments, it's up to the person to accept that opinion and take it personally, or just let those words go through one ear and out of the other and focus on moving forward.

The best version of yourself is your current self because you can judge from your past mistakes and learn from those things. What I learned from going through a dark time was that you have to love and accept yourself for all the good and bad things you did to be able to live and look toward your own future.