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The Friday Interview: Sam Valles & Nabila Al Tallaj

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(Image: 'Excellence through diversity')

IEG Latest News spoke to Sam Valles and Nabila Al Tallaj this week after both of them did such a sterling job organizing the students that helped out at Gymnasiemässan and Open House.

Dr Benedikz, principal of IEG, told Latest News: "I was so impressed by both Sam and Nabilia. They took their roles very seriously and both events went smoothly because of how well they organised the students that helped out. We're very proud of them."

Sam Valles

'I was happy to see how mässan went'
'I was happy to see how mässan went'

IEG: What was your role at Gymnasiemässa and in preparing things?
Sam: My role was to get a list of students from IEG to represent us at the Gymnasiemässa and to give them all a time that they could help that fitted their schedule. Also, if people had suggestions or questions, I was happy to follow-up on them! For example, we took a camera with us to the Gymnasiemässa because of Christoffer and Filip's idea about a video.

IEG: How did you choose which students were involved?
Sam: At first, I prioritized those interested in representing IEG who're on the Student Council. Then people just come up to me every now and then who were also interested in helping. I also asked certain people who are very active in the school to get involved because I knew they would do a great job representing IEG. I didn't want to ask the entire school for help as I wanted people to take initiative to look for the information needed. If they do go those lengths, then I'm pretty sure that they're serious and not just going for other reasons. Actually, I was very impressed when someone I had never met before came up to me and introduced himself and actually stated WHY he would be good at the Gymnasiemässa. I immediately put him on the list of course! That was exactly what I was looking for :)

IEG: What was your impression of how Gymnasiemässan went?
Sam: I was very happy to see how it went! We met many interested 9th graders, and those from our school who were there really went the extra mile for our school. For example, the photos I saw were terrific, the live blogs were fantastic and of course the reactions of the 9th graders were excellent. It really went amazingly!

IEG: What kind of questions were you asked at mässan?
Sam: The 9th graders I spoke to asked loooads of interesting questions... Questions about the school environment, teachers etc., They also wanted to how many students were actually Swedish. I remember that question the most, as I really didn't know how to answer that one! However, most questions were really about how it was to be a student at IEGS.

IEG: Are you positive about next year's intake of students?
Sam: After being at Gymnasiemässa and Open House, I am very positive about next year's intake. Everyone I spoke to seemed to be very engaged in their studies and other school activities. They were careful with their questions, meaning that if they do start at IEG next year it is because they have really thought a lot about it and really decided that our school is the right one for them too.

Nabila Al Tallaj

IEG: What was it like co-ordinating the students at Open House?
Nabila: I must say that it was quite a challenge. We have so many students that are willing to help promote our school; it was quite hard to stick to only one list of students. Many students came up to me the day of Open House asking to please help. So many changes happened in the last two hours before opening, too. But I must say that I’m very happy with the students that helped. Everyone stayed in the position they were assigned to and worked really hard.

IEG: You looked a bit stressed out! Were you? Why?
Nabila: Haha, yes. Let’s just say that I like the things I do to be perfect. I’m never satisfied if I know that I haven’t done my best. That’s why I needed to check that everyone was doing what they were supposed to do. I felt that somehow what the students did reflected back on me.

IEG: Do you think you learned anything from doing this?
Nabila: Yes, that there are a lot of things behind a good school and a fantastic Open House than the eye sees. I learned that planning is not enough to manage a whole event. Making quick decisions turned out to be crucial during Open House. There were situations where thinking was not an option and I had to go with my own feeling instead.

IEG: Why get involved ?
Nabila: Why not? This has been my school for almost three years now. I have spent more time here than any other place or that's how it feels. A school that matters to me is a school that I want to see succeed and develop. Helping out during Open House is a natural thing for me.

IEG: What impression did you get of the 9th graders that came along to Open House?
Nabila: Like a rainbow. There were all kinds of students there which made me really happy. Excellence through diversity; do I need to say more?

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