Meet Cobham student Simon Ogundare - Class of 2020

Meet Cobham student Simon Ogundare


What did you enjoy the most about attending ACS Cobham?

A large part of having an international education is the opportunity to learn from the people you meet. At ACS, I learned more from the lives of my teachers and fellow students than I could from simply an academic curriculum. Beyond academics, the opportunities ACS gave me to pursue both my athletic and musical passions were incredibly diverse. One of the experiences I’ve treasured the most was the opportunity to be a part of the ACS Jazz Messengers, an extracurricular jazz group I performed with over a few of my years in High School. Being able to collaborate with others not only academically (between fellow students in classes), but also between grade levels (through both musical and athletic outlets, among many) enhanced the learning experience I received at ACS Cobham.


What particular subjects and courses did you enjoy?

Over both my pre-IB years as well as my 2 years taking IB, I really enjoyed taking Biology, Chemistry, and English. Even before I took the IB equivalents of the three courses, they managed to combine my interests in a way I’ve never thought about before. While the three courses, individually, was great preparation for the IB, I enjoyed these classes because they introduced me a true interdisciplinary reflection of the world that we were to soon be a part of. In Biology, I not only learned about the specifics of glycolysis or the Krebs cycle, but was also introduced to the chemical processes involved. All the while, I learned to perfect the scientific writing form - from lab papers, to simply recording down observations.

While I loved taking the IB equivalents of the above courses at Higher Level, I particularly enjoyed TOK, a branch course of the IB Core. Thanks to an incredible TOK teacher, the discussions made the class - I learned much more about the mechanisms by which we learn and think. The opportunity had never arisen to assess my life and my education through an epistemological lens, but taking the course at ACS opened my eyes to significant perspectives that I hope to carry with me for life.

On a less academic side, one of my favourite courses was Jazz Band, a class I took from 9th to 11th grade. The class taught me that the discipline I developed in practicing an instrument is transferable on almost every front, especially in maintaining an academic work ethic. More importantly, I loved working with the other members of the band to create some original arrangements and medleys. The future is in collaboration, and taking the class was one of the most incredible, motivating and rewarding choices I’ve made during my time at ACS.

Being able to collaborate with others not only academically (between fellow students in classes), but also between grade levels (through both musical and athletic outlets, among many) enhanced the learning experience I received at ACS Cobham.

Simon Ogundare, Class of ACS Cobham 2020 

How did you feel ACS prepares you for your onward education and your life in general?

While I’ll address how academics shaped my path for my continuing education, I’d like to primarily mention how the sports program at ACS prepared me for the future. More than tournaments, meets, or even competitions abroad, there’s something to be said for the discipline I gained during practices. Cliché as it sounds, every practice — whether in volleyball or track and field — was a chance to be better, perform better, or learn more than I knew before. “Perfect practice makes perfect,” my teacher, Mr. Bainbridge, once emphasized in our 10th grade Chemistry class. Academically speaking, every test, quiz, or presentation I’ve ever taken was simply a reflection of the hard work we put in. I’ve been lucky to have a perfect support system of my very best friends and inspiring teachers — a perfect model with which to set the goals and ambitions I have. ACS prepared me for my future education, as well as my adult life, because ACS brings people together. As such, I’ve learned the importance of collaboration in a world of such interconnectedness. As we will soon enter the workforce in the future, ACS taught me that we need to rely on each other.


What are your future career aspirations?

At the moment, I’m hoping to study neuroscience at Columbia University, in Manhattan. While my career plans may change a few years down the road, my long-term goal is to study medicine. On a more short-term scale, however, I’m hoping to conduct research in two different fields of interest — prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, and alternative solutions to combat the current climate crisis. In terms of musical hobbies specifically, I hope I’ll be able to continue playing the piano, saxophone, ukulele, and marimba, and potentially pick up a few more instruments along the way! Although I’ll be in the city, I’m still hoping to remain active through both track and field and volleyball.