Guest blog: How the IB helped Paul Wernicke engineer his future

As part of our ‘30 Years of IB’ celebrations, we are exploring the impact of studying the International Baccalaureate (IB) as a young adult. Paul Wernicke studied with us from 2017 to 2019, achieved a point score of 43, and is now an Engineering undergraduate at The University of Cambridge. Read on to find out why he chose to study the IB, how it helped prepare him for university and why he would recommend the IB:


Why did you decide to study the IB?

When I was considering where I wanted to study at sixth form, the IB caught my eye and was of particular interest to me; discovering the wide range of IB courses offered at IIC solidified my decision to apply to study at the College. Opting to do the Diploma Programme (DP) allowed me to study my stronger subjects in depth, while also developing my knowledge and skills in other areas, such as languages and literature.


Which subjects did you study?

For my DP, I studied Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Economics at a Higher Level and English and German at Standard Level. Through the College, I was also able to study an additional course in Further Mathematics, which gave me a strong foundation in the subject and helped me enormously when progressing to study engineering at the University of Cambridge.


Tell us about the key highlight of your IB experience?

One of the main highlights of my time at IIC were the amazing people that I met there. I made some of my closest friends during my two years, and several of the teachers left a strong impression on me too. I loved the direct, effective style of teaching, and I got the sense that they all worked above and beyond what was expected of them to help us achieve our best.


How prepared did you feel to transition from Impington International College to The University of Cambridge? 

I am currently on a one-year software-engineering placement between the third and fourth-year of my degree with the Scuderia AlphaTauri Formula 1 team. When I look back at the application process, the staff at IIC were brilliant and incredibly helpful. They all ensured that I was not only ready to move on and study, but that I achieved my goal of studying at Cambridge. My transition to university was easy, especially in my first year. The content from my Higher Level IB subjects aligned with my university course. It was valuable to have that strong start which gave me the flexibility in the first year to get well settled into the university environment.


How would you describe your experience at Impington International College in three words?

Independence, growth, community.


What advice do you have for current students?

 Jump at any interesting opportunity that comes your way – it makes life much more exciting!