ISR Alumni Spotlight Jonas Bruns
ISR’s Alumni Spotlight highlights the work of our amazing alumni, who now live all over the world and are accomplishing great things. Read what Jonas Bruns, Class of 2015, has been up to since graduation.
Give us an update on where you’ve been and what you’ve been up to since graduation.
Only a few days after graduation in 2015 I went on a flight to Iceland. Although I had a connecting flight from there a two weeks later, I had no flight back to Germany and it was only in January 2016 when I was hiking Larapinta Trail in the MacDonnell Ranges in Northern Territories, Australia, that I felt like going back home. In the meantime, I had been across Canada, the US, New Zealand, bits of Australia and set foot into Tijuana, Mexico for Tequila Expo. After an internship at Robert Bosch and two months in South East Asia I started studying mechanical engineering at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and against all expectations I had not forgotten everything I learnt in school. It will be hard to believe that I was burning to study, especially maths (really!). Looking back, I wonder if I would have had the same passion and endurance for my studies I have today, if I went started uni straight after IB.
Tell us something about where you live and what you are currently doing?
I’m writing these lines in Hong Kong SAR, China while I am interning at BASF management consulting for three months. I moved here three weeks ago after having studied at Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, China for one semester and will be head home to Germany in April. The reason why is that on May 26th, 2019 I am running for office in the Elections to the European Parliament for the Free Democratic Party (FDP).
How has ISR prepared you for your future? What role did the school play in shaping your future?
Being able to communicate with people in another language is more than understanding what they are saying. It is the opener to a whole new world and culture. Speaking English is the number one asset that ISR equipped me with.
As you think about your own job now, the responsibilities you have, etc. are there skills and attitudes that you gained at ISR that are helping you now in the real world?
Before one of the first lectures in university, a Mexican introduced the Model United Nations Initiative Karlsruhe (MUNIKA). While barely anyone was paying attention, I was listening carefully because I knew what Model United Nations was* after I attended BALMUN with an ISR-Delegation. I soon became Board Member of the MUNIKA and in February and March I will be chairperson of a simulation of the Economic and Financial Committee (Second Committee) of the United Nations General Assembly in the United Nations headquarters in New York, USA. Its adventures like this made possible through having done MUN before.
If you could have your time at ISR again, is there anything you'd do differently?
I would’ve loved to push harder for more ISR participation and exchange with other high schools in Neuss. I still think it is a shame that we did not participate in the Abiparade like every other Neuss high school.
What is your favorite memory from your time at ISR?
The day of graduation when everyone was in Zeughaus hours before the thing started, we were asked to attend one (or numerous?) rehearsal(s). A friend and me sneaked out to Café Extrablatt for a beer. Before we went back, friends had texted us the Ms. Lyons was standing close to the main entrance and that we better take the back door which worked just fine. The picture of us we asked the bartender to take is still his Whatsapp profile picture.
It’s been almost four years since you graduated. Where do you see yourself four years from now?
That depends how you vote. If enough people vote FDP on May 26th, I will be member of the European Parliament.
Any tips for our recent/soon-to-be graduates or current students?
Do your thing. Don’t do what is expected from you because it is expected but find your own way. And there is one more thing I learned while hitchhiking and traveling: Say yes! When someone invites you home, they say it because they mean it. Say yes! If you are not sure if you might regret something or not, chances are high you are regretting nos more than yesses.