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Monday Memory: 'A great academic advisor'

By Nick Yates, ISB Communications

The International School of Beijing’s (ISB) counselors have helped countless thousands of young people manage the social-emotional and academic demands inherent in schooling.

Over ISB’s 40 years, the counselors have played a vital role alongside the school’s conventional teachers.

Mike Joonyoung Park, the founder of an ISB Korean alumni society, puts much of his contentment and success in life down to High School counseling. He said, “I had a great academic advisor, and she started to straighten me out – [told me] maybe you should start thinking about your life, and your choices, starting with what school you want to go to.”

Mike now works in the TV industry, a job blending creativity, marketing, and technical skills.

He explained how conversations with his career advisor set him off on this path. “She started with a simple, key question: ‘What do you like to do? And what would you like to do?’

“I was very much into drawing characters and comics, and she said, ‘Why aren’t you taking art classes?’ That was a good question – she kind of pushed me into doing that. I also told her I liked computers. And she said, ‘Would you like to make something of your own on the computer, using software, or maybe creating your own software?’ I said, ‘Yes... that sounds awesome!’

“So I kind of had two paths there – art, or computer engineering. And I actually applied to schools for both and got into good schools for both.”

ISB’s counselors have always helped students find their place in the world.

This record over four decades is just one of many reasons why ISB is celebrating this year. In 2020-2021, everyone is invited to help mark the school’s 40th anniversary through a range of events. Check out the Celebrating 40 web page for more details. Thank you to everyone who has submitted photos and memories of ISB and made this series of articles possible. Look out for some of the photos and memories being included in the upcoming Celebrating 40 Exhibition.


ISB is an extraordinary school, made so by a tradition of educational excellence spanning 40 years. Establishing, nurturing, and growing such an exceptional learning community has been and remains intentional; we work hard to build strong relationships so our learning is at its best.

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Academics Community Experiential Learning