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School News > Alumni News > Alumni Spotlight: Sithara Theis Alumna '15

Alumni Spotlight: Sithara Theis Alumna '15

Thank you alumna '15, Sithara Theis for sharing her story with St Catherine's community and for being the pioneer of our new Alumni Spotlight Series. Read on to learn more about Sithara's journey!

28 Apr 2021
Alumni News

Year you graduated high school? 2015

What years were you at St Catherine's? only for IB (2013-2015)

What activities (clubs, sports, music, theatre etc) did you participate in as a student at St Catherine's ?

Music (choir, clarinet), dance, a little theatre, helping with extracurricular German in primary school

What did you do after St Catherine's? Where did you go to university, and what are you/did you study? Have you had any interesting internships or work experiences?

Right after St. Catherine's I went to Durham University studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics for 3 years. During my time there I discovered my love for competitive cheerleading, so I was part of the college and university teams for all three years. Additionally I was active at Nightline, a phone and chat service being available at night, when it might be hard for students to reach anyone else, when they are not feeling well or just need to talk. After graduating I went on to graduate studies in Konstanz (Germany) for economics and did a 5 month internship with EY in the 2nd Semester. Then I decided to transfer to Leipzig University (no major change), where I am currently finishing my Master's thesis. For the past 1 1/2 years I have been part of a student consultancy and taking on different resposibilities within the organisation. I have received an offer for a PhD place at the IWH (Halle, Germany), where I have worked as a research assistant for a year.

How do you feel your education and time at St Catherine's helped shape your life-choices, your career, and the decisions you have taken?

I never would have gone to study in England, if it wasn't for St. Catherine's. The place of study might seem arbitrary, but it differs a lot from the German educational system and I believe I would not have developed so much personally if it wasn't for St.Catherine's and the option to study abroad. It helped me master challenges I never would have encountered at home and I got to meet so many great people and learnt so many new things

What gives you passion or motivation in your current profession, or main hobby? How did you end up in this particular field?

This is a bit of a longer story. Since 5th grade I wanted to study physics, however due to the frequent moves and school changes I never spent more than 2 years at a single school. This comes with a whole set of challenges one being some gaps in my maths knowledge, which meant my maths grades were not quite good enough to get into the universities I wanted to go to. When I started taking economics at St.Catherine's I loved it immediately - eventhough I had some starting difficulties understanding the underlying logic. I am generally very interested in how the world works and while physics explained the natural world, economics explained the social and human world to me. So it wasn't a difficult choice to switch to applying for economics. Not wanting to restrict my options on what to do after I went for PPE. I could have gone to Germany to study Physics, but since I really wanted to study in England I changed the subject I studied. Economics is such a broad field and you can apply so many different skills and are constantly challenged - that's what I love about it. Hobby-wise I have tried several things (as mentioned), but a constant has probably been my love for travelling.

Any advice for current St Cats students? Or young alums as they begin to make their way in the world about how to take advantage of opportunities, connections, mentors?

Do not be afraid to contact people. I think I participated in several networking events but never stayed in touch or never sent yet ANOTHER email, because I was afraid to be a nuisance. For some people you might be, but then those are the wrong people to talk to. 99% of people I have met would have loved to answer questions or help me with a problem/applications etc. and since I have realised that many have told me to let them know when I know what I am doing next, have asked if they should read over applications or offered to write recommendations.

Any other comments?

I love the alumni programme - such a good idea!

Thank Sithara for sharing your journey so far!   

Share your story today!

 

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