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BBIS Alumni Story: Damian Hildebrandt

I graduated from BBIS in May 2010. I remember the graduation as being one of my most wonderful days - all my friends being around, everyone very excited for the great achievement of the IB Diploma and maybe also a bit nervous about the weeks and months to come, about the upcoming new chapter at university.Damian Hildebrandt
Tell us a bit about yourself? When did you graduate from BBIS?

I joined BPIS in 1997 in 1st Grade, back when the school was still based in Neu-Fahrland. I think it was during the summer break of Grade 3 to 4 when the school moved to Kleinmachnow and became BBIS. I still remember visiting the construction site during the summer break!

I graduated from BBIS in May 2010. I remember the graduation as being one of my most wonderful days - all my friends being around, everyone very excited for the great achievement of the IB Diploma and maybe also a bit nervous about the weeks and months to come, about the upcoming new chapter at university.

What did you do after you finished school? What are you doing at the moment?

After graduating, I decided to take a gap year. I used my time for internships in different hospitals, I worked in a café and gave sailing lessons - earning money for my very own small catamaran. It wasn’t the easiest time - all my international friends went abroad and many had already figured out their paths and started their studies.

I began my medical studies in 2011 in Riga, Latvia. I stayed for 3.5 years before transferring to the University of Tübingen to continue my studies. Parallel to my studies in Tübingen, I started my doctorate at the University of Heidelberg. In 2018 I returned to Berlin to finish up my medical studies at the Charité in Berlin. I started my residency in a smaller hospital in Brandenburg in the field of internal medicine and also worked in the intensive care unit. After completing my license as emergency physician, I returned to the Charité, where I am now based within the emergency department and cardiac intensive care unit, completing my residency and teaching medical students.

What did you enjoy the most during your time at BBIS?

For my personal development, the focus on talents was of central importance. I feel that BBIS has really tried to actively promote all interests - be it in sports, drama, arts or chess. By encouraging students to engage with their own interests, by really focusing on the personal and individual approach and allowing students to develop confidence in their areas of interest, you enable the development of character, the building of intrinsic motivation and dedication. Not only does this develop these interests further, it showed me how to learn and how important passion is in the things that you do. These basic principles allowed me to create the career I have managed so far.

BBIS offers the opportunity to pursue these personal interests through a wide range of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. During my time at BBIS, I enjoyed the sailing club (still have my small catamaran), I loved participating in drama productions, focusing on the technical side (I worked as stage and lighting designer during my studies in Tübingen) and during 1st Grade I enjoyed the pottery club (not pursuing that anymore though).

Apart from this personal approach, I enjoyed the friendly and courteous atmosphere at BBIS. I had very supportive teachers that took extra time off of their break to give me those extra 5 minutes tutoring in mathematics or chemistry that I needed. I felt that the focus didn’t lie on grades. The focus lied on understanding and the teachers and staff went the extra 500 miles needed until I understood, and they were always very patient.

To put it simply: I enjoyed the dedication, the individual attention to my personal interests and talents, and the variety of extra-curricular and co-curricular programmes.

Did you pursue any of your passions while attending BBIS?

I joined BBIS at a very early age. I think my interests and passions developed together with BBIS and with the hobbies and interests that I got introduced to through the extra-curricular activities. At the moment, my passion lies within other areas. Thinking back, I would agree that the seeds of my current passion for medicine have been planted early during my biology classes at BBIS.

What would you say to students considering joining BBIS? Why should they choose the school?

I would recommend joining the BBIS community. Students are the centre of attention. Already in 2010, the facilities offered by BBIS were excellent. It is a respectful, dedicated and passionate international community that works as an enabler of your talents and interests. I look back with fond memories and can recommend BBIS without any reservation.