Alumni Spotlight: Carina Luo ‘22

Carina's time at Meadowridge School and her experiences in the International Baccalaureate (IB) were instrumental in shaping her into the successful and well-rounded individual she is today. Carina is now pursuing her studies at Western University in business, where the memories and lessons from her Meadowridge days serve as the strong foundation for her post-secondary education and beyond. 

Carina's Meadowridge journey began in Grade 8, and it wasn't without its challenges. The transition to a new environment made her initially shy and apprehensive. However, Meadowridge's well-planned WWOW, CWOW, and field trips played a significant role in breaking the ice and forging connections with her classmates. The close-knit community left an indelible mark on her, and the friendships she cultivated in Grade 8 continue to be some of her strongest today, despite the miles that now separate them. The small classroom sizes created an environment where she felt genuinely cared for by her teachers. 

Carina's joined the volleyball team in Grade 9, and this experience was far more than a sporting endeavour. It taught her invaluable life skills such as teamwork and conflict resolution. Her engagement extended beyond the court when she became part of the senior student council, where she played a crucial role in planning events for the student body. Carina's fondest Meadowridge memory is closely tied to her participation in the volleyball team. Volleyball not only ignited her passion for the game but also provided a unique opportunity to bond with some of her closest friends at school. Volleyball served as a much-needed stress-reliever during the pressures of Grade 11 and 12, marked by exams and university applications.

Beyond the physical aspects of the game, volleyball instilled in Carina the value of collaboration and teamwork. The competitive nature of the sport sharpened her skills in working harmoniously with her teammates. She particularly cherished the tradition of getting bubble tea with her friends after tournaments, a testament to the lasting bonds formed during those years. Even at university, Carina still enjoys playing volleyball intramurals with her friends when they need a break from their studies. Among all her Meadowridge memories, the Indian Arm camping trip holds a special place. Despite challenging weather conditions, Carina enjoyed bonding with her friends and getting to know her classmates and teachers outside the confines of the classroom. 

One of the defining moments of Carina’s Meadowridge journey was founding the Business Case Competition Club in Grade 11. This initiative allowed Carina to confront her fear of public speaking head-on, an area in which she had previously struggled. Meadowridge provided her with the ideal platform to take charge, take risks, and grow in an encouraging and non-judgmental environment. She credits her business teacher, Ms. Tao, and her supervisor, Ms. Bereza, for their unwavering support on her journey of personal and academic growth. 

The IB program at Meadowridge played a crucial role in Carina's development. It imparted vital skills in time management, and the requirement to choose courses from a variety of subject groups prepared her for the diverse demands of the real world. The program's focus on being an open-minded and balanced learner was especially valuable during her summer internship, where she was assigned to investment deals in industries that weren't her primary area of interest. The willingness to tackle unfamiliar tasks and subjects is a trait she attributes to her education at the school.  

When she was still a DP student at Meadowridge, Carina spoke to alumni who had offered a common piece of advice: "You are going to miss your time at Meadowridge once you get to university, so please enjoy every moment of it."

At the time, as a stressed DP student, she couldn't wait to graduate and start her university life. However, after her first year in university, she began to truly miss the support system and caring environment that Meadowridge had provided. 

Carina is now pursuing her studies at Western University in business, where the memories and lessons from her Meadowridge days serve as the strong foundation for her post-secondary education and beyond. Her transition to university life was eased by the leadership skills and sense of community she developed. Her passion for business and finance, continues to be a driving force in her academic and professional pursuits. She was particularly drawn to Western University’s Ivey Business School due to its use of a case-based teaching method, a style she had grown to appreciate at Meadowridge. Her decision to pursue a business degree was further solidified through her experience of founding the business case competition club. 

Carina's journey into finance has been enriched by the hands-on experiences she has gained beyond classroom learning. She appreciates the balanced approach that studying business provides, combining academics with extracurricular activities. Her involvement in business case competitions, stock pitches, leadership roles, and event planning has honed her skills and broadened her horizons. Her four-month internship at an investment firm during the summer break was a formative experience, and she eagerly anticipates attending a finance event in New York City this summer, a testament to her commitment to personal and academic growth. 

Meadowridge is a special place, largely due to its small community that serves as the perfect platform for personal development. Carina encourages students to take full advantage of this support system, as in university, students are largely responsible for their success and must actively seek help. The DP program, while undoubtedly challenging, is made more manageable by the teachers and counselors who are always there to support and guide students.  

Carina's story is a testament to how Meadowridge and the IB programme prepare students for the rigors of post-secondary education and the opportunities that follow. It provided the perfect foundation for her personal and academic growth, and she will always treasure the memories and lessons from those formative years.