Hannah Liddell completed her IB diploma at Queen Margaret College, New Zealand. She received her BEng(Hons) in Civil Engineering from the University of Canterbury, graduating first in her class. She specializes in project management, airport planning and design at an engineering consultancy and hopes to foster sustainable thinking in the industry.
Why did you originally decide to pursue an IB diploma?
I opted for the IB Diploma Programme (DP) because I could see both the challenge it posed and the freedom it offered. It requires you to take your learning into your own hands, allows you to select paths or topics of study which interest you most, and promotes reason and logic over preconceptions and stereotypes. In requiring you to take ownership of your education, the DP helps you to grow skills which make the transition to university study very easy. I found that the critical thinking aspect of the diploma is particularly unique as it really encourages you to step out of your own shoes and to challenge the status quo.
"In requiring you to take ownership of your education, the DP helps you to grow skills which make the transition to university study very easy."
Which of your IB teachers inspired you most?
I am extremely grateful to all the teachers who supported and inspired me over the course of the DP. Special mentions and a huge thank you go to Dr. Susan Watterson and Laura Davison.
Dr. Watterson, my English teacher, was the first to acknowledge the potential I couldn’t yet see in myself. She challenged me to set very ambitious goals and her continuing vote of confidence throughout my schooling helped me to achieve them.
Ms. Davison, my French teacher, remains one of the most compassionate and empathetic people I know to this day. She passed on many valuable life lessons in the French classes, predominantly with regards to challenging social and cultural norms and cherishing the good in one another.
What advice do you have for current students?
The first and perhaps most difficult challenge that faces most of us on the way to success is self-belief. You must have confidence in your determination and tenacity to see things through to your satisfaction. I would also add that no matter how brainy you may be, it’s the softer skills such as teamwork and communication that will really see you to success in your life and career.
"You must have confidence in your determination and tenacity to see things through to your satisfaction."