|16 Sep 2021|
|Old Boy News|
|Class of 2015|
In 2017, Zeki Son (2015) received the Overseas Study Scholarship for Old Boys (managed by Churchie Foundation) and has clearly made the most of this wonderful opportunity. Having now completed his Bachelor of Science degree at King's College London (KCL), Zeki has accepted an offer to University of Oxford’s Masters of Science degree in Mathematical and Computational Finance, for a September 2021 start. Zeki has penned the following recollections of his experience.
Studying mathematics and statistics at KCL for past three years, was arguably the most challenging experience of my life so far, but also the most exciting and rewarding. Teaching was rigorous and examinations were almost always held to an extremely high expectation in its standard of achievement. Extra-curricular opportunities were also a very big part of my university experience. Attending Churchie and being encouraged to try different sports and find one that fits me best, has benefitted me massively in this sense as I had the pleasure of being the captain of KCL's First VI volleyball team in my second year. This was more than just a chance to demonstrate the high-end coaching I received at Churchie, it was an opportunity to meet wider groups of people, often from all around Europe and make invaluable connections across the globe.
University aside, being a student in central London was truly exciting. My first year accommodation was based in Waterloo, 3 minutes’ walk away from the Waterloo bridge, where you have a magnificent view of the Thames and its landmarks, such as the London Eye and the Big Ben. London is a city that you can never find the end of - parks, museums, historical sites, entertainment avenues and more. Even in the rare case that you do indeed find its end, other major cities such as Paris, Edinburgh, Amsterdam and Berlin are often a short flight or a train ride away.
This same connectivity aspect doesn't limit itself to geography, it also ranges to the people that you can find. I once caught the last tube ride home from the university library and found myself sitting across a board member of a very well renowned pharmaceutical company. Interestingly, he recognised the Churchie cap that I was wearing and struck a conversation with me. He revealed that he actually played cricket with a Churchie Old Boy in his university years and that he even remembers being told what 'Alis Aquilae' meant. I still find it quite unbelievable that two people in a city of 9 million, one who is returning home from a library and another who is on their way to a conference in Germany, can be briefly connected by a school in Australia.
I vividly remember fellow Old Boy Joshua Ivanhoe (2013) coming back to Morris Hall one year, talking about how Churchie has benefitted him and how it has the resources to support its students to go "anywhere in the world". I also vividly remember not really believing this as it didn't sound realistic. Fast forward seven years and I have now completed my undergraduate education in London, having gained work experience at the HQ of HSBC, the UK and Europe's biggest bank. Through its fundamental philosophy, 'Making of Men', I believe that Churchie certainly shapes its students to be young men with globally desirable qualities such as discipline, confidence and well-roundedness. Churchie has prepared me very well for all that I have encountered since graduating, and I thank the staff collectively for this. I hope that all my previous teachers understand that I am immensely grateful for the education and excellent guidance that they and other mentor figures at Churchie provided me.