Attention: You are using an outdated browser, device or you do not have the latest version of JavaScript downloaded and so this website may not work as expected. Please download the latest software or switch device to avoid further issues.

News > Alumni Spotlight Series > Uma Bery (Class of 2020) - Environmental Intern

Uma Bery (Class of 2020) - Environmental Intern

Uma is a GSIS Alumni who decided to take a gap year after school due to the pandemic. She shares with us her experience and what she is looking forward to the most about joining Yale University.

Name : Uma Bery

Graduation class: 2020

Years at GSIS: 14

Future university: Yale University

Place of residence: Hong Kong

Could you briefly introduce yourself (background & profession)?

I graduated from the German Swiss International School last May, in the middle of the pandemic! I decided to postpone my enrollment at Yale University for a year because I thought COVID-19 could affect the transition and experience during the first year at the university.

You recently started an internship at ALBA Group Asia. What made you decide to apply for this internship?

I used this year to gain as much experience as possible. I've worked at a number of different environmental and financial companies to learn more about the industries and to find out what appeals to me. ALBA Group Asia is a great example of a profit-oriented environmental company that strikes a balance between business expediency and a sustainable and impact-oriented mission statement.

Can you tell us a little more about the internship?

ALBA Group Asia is a German waste management company. The Asia group currently has offices in Hong Kong, China, Singapore and Japan. I've been doing an internship for a few weeks now and I really like it there. I am currently working on the company's investment strategy and researching promising countries and markets.

What is your advice to other alumni looking for an internship?

First, you should be clear about what you want to learn about an industry or company - an internship is first and foremost a learning experience, so you should go with a specific goal in mind. You should apply to as many companies as possible (within the area you are interested in) because you never know what unexpected opportunities will arise or whether some of the companies may need interns at a later date.

What have you been doing since graduating from GSIS?

Before starting my studies, I took a year off and worked in Hong Kong. Otherwise, I explored the city and hiked a lot!

After your internship, you will begin your studies at Yale University. How did this decision come about and what will you be studying at Yale?

I loved the Yale dorm system and collaborative environment. There is also the Yale School of Environment, a globally recognized environmental graduate school! I don't have to choose a major until the end of my sophomore year, but I plan to study environmental science and economics.

What do you look forward to most in university life?

After spending 14 years at the German Swiss International School and also being in Hong Kong during COVID-19, I'm really looking forward to meeting lots of new people in a new place. I also look forward to delving into topics that interest me, because it's been a long time since I've been to a classroom!

What are your plans for the future?

I'm not sure yet, as the world will be very different after I graduate, especially when it comes to the environment. Ideally, I would like to pursue something that has to do with sustainable development in emerging countries or innovative technologies for environmentally friendly solutions.

Tell us about your time as a student at GSIS. What do you remember in particular?

I really enjoyed my time at German Swiss - some of my friends were there with me for the entire 14 years! Climbing Mount Fuji and touring Tokyo with my close friends during Discovery Week were unforgettable. The feeling of community (and the stress) when writing several university applications together in the common room was also something very special!

Which friends or teachers you met at GSIS did you keep in touch with?

I stayed in contact with many of my close friends from German Swiss, some of whom stayed in Hong Kong for a year, just as they did before studying. I also stayed in contact with Mrs. McCarroll and Mrs. Surman and I owe them a lot - both are so great and important to my experience here at German Swiss! I hope that I will soon be able to visit GSIS and exchange ideas with other teachers who were just as important during my time there.

How did your GSIS experience contribute to who you are today?

Since German Swiss is so small, I have definitely benefited a lot from the warm and close community that the school has also strongly promoted. But I was also surrounded by motivated and hardworking classmates who made me always do my best.

_______________________________________________________________

Name : Uma Bery

Graduating Year: 2020

Years at GSIS: 14 years

University College & Degree: Yale University - Undeclared

Current city of residence: Hong Kong

Could you introduce yourself a bit (background & profession)?

I graduated from German Swiss International School last May, amidst the pandemic! I decided to defer my enrollment at Yale University for a year because of Covid-19, and how I thought it might affect the transition and experience of my first year at university.

You recently joined ALBA Group Asia as an intern. What made you apply for this internship?

I have been taking advantage of this year off by gaining as much experience as I can in the real world. In doing so, I have worked at a few different kinds of environmental and finance companies to learn more about the industries and what appeals to me. ALBA Group Asia is a great example of a for-profit environmental company, which balances business-minded practicality with a sustainable and impact-driven mission.

Can you tell us a bit more about the internship?

ALBA Group Asia is a German waste management company. The Asia group currently has operations in Hong Kong, China, Singapore and Japan. I am a couple of weeks into the internship, and loving it. I am currently working on their investment strategy and researching the best countries and markets to look into next.

What is your advice for any alumni looking to find an internship?

Firstly, know what you want to learn about an industry or business - an internship is first and foremost a learning experience, so go in with a purpose. Also, apply to as many companies as possible (within what you find relevant), because you never know what unexpected opportunities may arise, or whether they will need an intern down the line.

As a recent GSIS alumni, what have you been up to since leaving GSIS?

I have been on a gap year and working in Hong Kong. Otherwise, I have been exploring the city and hiking a lot!

After your internship, you will start your studies at Yale University. Tell us about how you decided on Yale University and what you will be studying?

Yale's residential college system and collaborative environment really resonated with me. The Yale School of Environment, a world-renowned environmental graduate school, will also be a great resource! I don't have to declare my major until the end of my second year, but I plan on studying Environmental Studies and Economics.

What are you looking forward to the most about University life?

After spending 14 years at German Swiss International School, and then staying in Hong Kong during Covid-19, I am really looking forward to meeting a lot of new people in a new place. I am also excited to delve deeper into topics that interest me, as it's been a long time since I was in a classroom!

What are your plans for the future?

I'm not sure yet, as the world will be a very different place when I graduate, especially in the environmental field. Ideally I would love to pursue something related to sustainable development in emerging economies or innovative technologies for environmentally-friendly solutions.

Tell us about your time as a student at GSIS. What was your most memorable GSIS moment?

I really enjoyed my time at German Swiss - some of my friends were there with me for the full 14 years! Climbing Mount Fuji and exploring Tokyo with my close friends during Discovery Week was unforgettable. Similarly, the comradery (and stress) of jamming out college application essay after essay together in the common room was just as special!

Which friends or teacher that you met at GSIS have you stayed in touch with?

I have stayed in touch with a lot of my close friends from German Swiss, some of whom are on a gap year in Hong Kong as well. I have also stayed in touch with and owe a lot to Mrs. McCarroll and Mrs. Surman - both of whom are so amazing and important to my German Swiss experience! I hope to visit soon and catch up with some other teachers who were just as instrumental during my time there.

How did your GSIS experience contribute to who you are today?


Owing to the small size of German Swiss, I definitely benefited a lot from the warm and tight-knit community that the school fostered. Yet, I was also surrounded by motivated and hardworking students that pushed me to be the best version of myself.

Similar stories

Dr Dirk Bennhardt joined GSIS as the Principal in August. He shares with us his plans for GSIS this year, his previous experience and what he is looking forward to the most about j… More...

Ruth is a writer and illustrator of children's picture books, graphic novels, and comics. She shares with us how her pas… More...

Herr Weghoff has been the Principal of GSIS for the last 3 years and will be leaving at the end of the school year to mo… More...

Shelley Ho has been a teacher at GSIS for 22 years and will be leaving at the end of the school year. She shares with us… More...

Most read

Gianni shares with us how his passion for health and wellness developed, his advice on starting your own business and his most memorable GSIS moment. More...

Miss Stevie has been a teacher at GSIS for 22 years. She shares with us her experience growing up in Hong Kong and why she enjoys teaching. More...

Share your news with us!

 
This website is powered by
ToucanTech