WE ARE PROUD TO SHARE STORIES OF OUR GHS IB ALUMNI.
Jaywin Malhi comments on our IB Program.
(1) How did you reach where you are today?
I am wherever I am today because of an incredibly supportive network of family, friends, and teachers who have continued to motivate, guide, and prod me throughout my life. After graduating with my IB diploma from Garland High School, I attended Southern Methodist University as a President’s Scholar. There, I double-majored in business management and political science and immersed myself in campus life, eventually serving as student body vice president. While at SMU, I closely studied the civil rights movement and developed a deep appreciation for how the law can be used as a tool for social change. Setting my mind to do the same, I attended Harvard Law School upon graduating summa cum laude from SMU. At HLS, I continued exploring civil rights issues—as an intern for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, an editor for the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, a research assistant for Professor Randall Kennedy, and a legal fellow for the Sikh Coalition. After graduating cum laude from HLS last year, I now serve as a law clerk to a federal judge in Dallas. As I embark on my career, I hope to continue working on important, challenging issues that push forward causes in which I believe.
(2) Why did you originally decide to pursue an IB diploma?
As the son of an engineer and a nurse—both Indian immigrants—and the younger sibling of a (now) doctor, I often joke that my career options growing up were limited to becoming either an engineer or a doctor. Though perhaps disappointing to my family, my academic interests were never confined to the STEM fields. Instead, I was intrigued by various subjects and simply did not know which I wanted to pursue. The IB program was thus particularly attractive to me, someone not married to any single discipline, because it allowed me the opportunity to critically explore a vast array of subjects. From psychology and chemistry to history and theory of knowledge, I knew that as an IB student I would be able to thoroughly examine many of my academic interests. It was this breadth and depth of learning that most attracted me to the IB program.
(3) How did your IB learning impact your learning later on?
I unequivocally believe that my experience in the IB program is the chief reason I was able to successfully complete other levels of rigorous education later. One of the principal benefits of participating in the IB program is learning time-management skills at a comparatively young age. The IB program is designed to mimic the real world: by and large, teachers treat students as young adults and charge them with planning their own learning. Whereas students outside of the IB program are often spoon-fed learning with bite-size assignments on easygoing schedules, IB students have to independently plan how to complete long-term projects and study for down-the-line exams. By constantly juggling academic projects, like writing my IB extended essay, and extracurricular activities, such as serving as class president, I naturally learned how manage my time most efficiently. When I got to college, I thus found my first couple of years to be easier than the IB program. Now, years later, I realize how invaluable it was to learn time-management skills at that age.
(4) Which of your IB teachers inspired you most?
My teachers in the IB program were among the best I have encountered in my schooling: knowledgeable, passionate, engaging, caring, and reflective. Among this superstar cast of teachers, Ms. Anna Sifford—my mentor in writing my IB extended essay—stood out. An expert on all things history, politics, and international affairs, what separated Ms. Sifford was her magical ability to connect with students from all backgrounds. Students of all walks of life would squeeze into her classroom between classes and after school to engage with her on a variety of subjects—current events, career advice, and even pop culture, among so many other things. Ms. Sifford deeply cared about and respected her students and their opinions; classes with her were not merely one-sided lectures but rich conversations between all, in which she treated what any student said to be as important as what she said. In doing so, Ms. Sifford taught students how to proactively approach global problems, confidently articulate their thoughts, and constantly reassess them. Though Ms. Sifford has moved onto other pursuits after spending several years teaching at GHS, I am unceasingly inspired by her and thankful to her for the role she played in my development.
Posted February 1, 2018.