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School News > Alumni Spotlight > Alumni Spotlight: Kimon Alexander Pantelides

Alumni Spotlight: Kimon Alexander Pantelides

Thank you Kimon for sharing your story with the St Cats community. Read about his amazing journey that led him to be the Fire Chief in the Volunteer Firefighters Team OEDD.

Year you graduated high school? 1998

What years were you at St Catherine's? 1992 - 1994

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

I acted in a few plays and did a couple of musical perfomances at St Catherine's events. 

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

I finished year 8 of St Cathrine's in 1994 and then moved onto to Campion from where I graduated in 1998. In 1999, I did my foundation year and then worked as a musician. It was at this point that I discovered volunteering in the fire service which eventually became such a fundemental part of my life. In 2002, I went to university in the UK to study a BSc (Hons) in Policing and Community Safety which was a little ironic seeing as I was quite naughty as a young child - as many of my teacher's will remember. I then went on to do an MSc at the London School of Economics and Political Science in Criminology and finshed in 2006. I returned to Greece after my post-graduate studies with the hope of finding work as a Criminolgist. However, it turned out that there were not many opportunities or a variety of applications in this field.

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 was very young when I finished St Catherine's and at that time did not have a direction which came much later on in life. However, I have life-long firends with whom we grew up with and, most importantly, I think that the culture of the school was that which shaped my decision to go to univesity, to strive to achieve things in my life, to be good at what I do, to be selective about the quality I should be looking for in my life, even on a daily basis. I think that this culture is commensurate and indeed representative of most of my peers.

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

My hobby has immense ethical rewards and volunteer fire firefighters provide an invaluable emergency service to their community, bringing down average response times and assisting the fire service. The magical part of volunteering is that we work with people from all walks of life, people that have different beliefs, opinions, motivations and capabilites that when brought together in an emegency will work as part of a tighly knit team, giving 150% of to bring the incident to a successful close. When you leave the incident knowing that you have really helped someone in distress, there is nothing more rewarding. Volunteering in such a field can teach all sorts of vocations. People establish themselves with numerous skills such as being able to work as part of a team, management skills, as well as numerous technical skills related to the tools we use and the incidents we attend that require a high level of specialisation. This environment offers many people (especially young people) these grerat opportunites. Watching people develop is surely enough motivation.

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?

Take advantage of the opportunities the school is offering you and try to look beyond just the academic spectrum. Absorb the culture and strive to be good at whatever you do and makes you happy. Think about what you might like to do in University and later life and don't be afraid if you change your mind - even at the last minute. To be good at what you do you also need to be happy. Ensure you establish a good network of friends as life can be tough sometimes and you'll need someone to talk to. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Be proud that you are going or went to St Cats and I promise you that you will most likely look back on your school years 10 - 20 years from now and have very fond and nostalgic memories, even if things were not always great. Trust me, I am living proof - just ask around :-P.

 

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