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Petros Minas Petrides, Alumnus 2012

07 October 2016

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Personal Life

I am half Greek and half Syrian but due to my father’s work I never settled in one country. I moved from Kenya to Syria to Serbia and eventually ended up back in Greece where I spent the final four years of school studying in Campion, graduating in 2012. I then proceeded to study Molecular Cell Biology at the University of York and I am now going into my second year of Medicine in Kings College London. In other words, I am approaching my fifth year of being Vitamin D deficient.

Work Experience

As I am still a full time student and probably will be even after all my friends get married, I do not exactly have a vast amount of work experience. Other than a couple of medical shadowing experiences in Syria and Greece, I focused a lot on fundraising. This included organising a PlayStation FIFA tournament in school, climbing mount Kilimanjaro, but mostly harassing friends and family to donate. Most recently, I volunteered with a group called ‘Samos Volunteers’ for seven weeks this summer in the ‘hot spot’ in Samos. This group is responsible for clothes and hygiene distribution for over 1,000 refugees in the camp, along with organising educational and recreational activities for the refugees. If you are planning on taking a gap year, have some spare time from work, or know someone who does, it is certainly a place where you can make a difference. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions regarding volunteering.

What were some lasting highlights from your experience at Campion?

Football was definitely the highlight of my Campion experience. Our class played football whenever we got the chance. Be it at lunch break, in PE class, or after school. We were a very competitive grade and so football did not always end up with handshakes, which made it all the more special. Four years later, whenever I am in Greece, I try meet up with my old classmates and organise a football match, and occasionally go back to school to play with the teachers in the annual alumni tournament!

Tips for students

Cheesy as it may sound: never give up on your goals. I applied for Medicine in the UK straight after school, but received four straight-out rejections without even making it to a single interview. Instead of taking a gap year or pursuing a different career path as suggested by several people and teachers, I accepted an alternative offer by the University of York to read Molecular Cell Biology. There, I worked harder to make myself a more competitive applicant, later reapplied for med school, and I am now going into my second year of Medicine at Kings College London (KCL). My personal experience thus suggests that if you truly think you are capable of achieving something then you should relentlessly go for it, even if some people might discourage you at times. It is also extremely important to have a plan B to get where or what you want because sometimes things just do not go the way you want them to and you definitely don’t want to be stressing out during your summer holidays as to what you are going to be doing with your life in a few weeks time whilst your friends are partying in Paros and Ios.

What makes Campion special?

Your time at Campion does not end when you graduate. After my first year of university studying Biology I applied to other universities across Europe and got accepted into several schools. I discussed it with my parents and decided that I was going to go through with it; all that was left was to go get some documents signed by Campion. In the process of doing so I ran into Mr Scarr at school, and after an hour-long discussion in his office he convinced me that I should finish my degree and then re-apply to the UK. I truly believe that if it wasn’t for Mr Scarr I would not be here studying medicine at KCL. So I am certain that if you ever need advice from any of your teachers they would be more than glad to help you to their best of their abilities.

Having been to five different schools when I was younger I can confidently say that the teachers in Campion were some of the best I ever had. I never really got along with chemistry; even after four years of university I still cannot calculate moles. So, the fact that I got a 6 in HL Chemistry speaks volumes about Ms Tambaki. I would also just like to thank the rest of my teachers for being patient with me, as I am sure I wasn’t the easiest of students, and Mr Pasios can vouch for that.

Rania Vassiliou

Alumna 1987

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