Alumni Story: From Game Master to Oxford Scholar

There are two versions of Ivan Kuang's story.

One version is that he is a chemistry prodigy who won several international chemistry competitions, got into Oxford University, and interned at Imperial College in his first year.
The other version is that he loves games, especially Monster Hunter, and almost made a career in eSports.

Ivan Kuang
DHZH Class of 2022
Currently a second year student at the University of Oxford

Ivan has never shied away from the academic pressure he encountered at Oxford. "Only when I got here did I realise that getting in was the easiest part. Our usual grades in chemistry have a very low weight, while the final exam results are very important. It determines whether we can graduate with a degree or not.” He shook his head at the mention of his last final exam.
Although there are challenges, Ivan continues to face them in his own way. In his first-year final exam, he shot up into the top 6% in his major. However, he was not very satisfied and felt he was "not even close".

At the beginning of the second semester of his first year, Ivan started to submit his CV for internship opportunities. In fact, it is not easy for even postgraduate students to find a laboratory internship in the UK, and the competition is fierce.
In the end, he received an offer from Imperial College of Science and Technology to work as an assistant in the university's laboratories. Ivan packed his bags and travelled alone to London to start his first internship.

Ivan says that facing pressure is like facing a difficult level in a game. It is a source of joy to him.

He is grateful when he remembers how his parents treated him when he played games as a child. They didn't intervene "roughly", they just observed quietly: does this "hobby" of their children delay their studies? Does it interfere with their daily routine? The answer was no. Ivan was not forbidden to play. Instead, he was happy to be trusted.

Ivan once thought about becoming a professional eSports player. He's also played on a few professional teams. "When you turn a hobby into a career, the fun of playing can disappear". For Ivan, the world is a wide ocean, not a narrow track. He would rather explore the world beyond the gaming screen.
Ivan found his passion in the world of chemistry. During his high school years, he won several awards, including the Global Excellence Award at the 2021 Canadian Chemistry Competition and the Gold Medal at the 2021 British Chemistry Olympiad. Exploring chemistry is exploring the world, he says. "Everything we hear, see, smell, taste and touch is related to chemistry. The more you understand chemistry, the more you can feel our world."

Looking ahead, Ivan would like to complete his undergraduate degree at Oxford University and then move to North America to pursue his PhD and continue his research career. Life doesn't have to be just one version. As in Dulwich's educational philosophy, children are free to explore and do not have to give up hobbies for schoolwork. They are encouraged to find the best-fit way to interpret their own lives.