Updated: Apr 28
Interview by Esinam Esi DAGBOVIE
Esinam DAGBOVIE: How did you get to hear of BSL before you came here?
Florian PRUAL: I first heard of BSL when my family was planning on moving away from Senegal and we were looking for a new school for me.
ED: Which school did you attend before coming to BSL?
FP: International School of Dakar
ED: How many years did you spend at BSL?
FP: 4 years
ED: How was your level of English when you arrived at BSL?
ED: How was your experience with the school in general and boarding community?
FP: My experience with BSL was good overall. The boarding experience was enriching.
ED: What were your favourite courses during the IB programme?
FP: Environmental System Studies & IT
ED: Did you earn a bilingual diploma? If so, what were its benefits?
FP: Yes. It gives you the ability to master two languages, which in a world of globalization has become a must-have.
ED: How did you find after-school activities in school? Were they enriching?
FP: The only after-school activities I participated in voluntarily were sport-oriented, which was good because as a boarder it’s the only thing you can do to while away the time. I do wish there were after-school activities related to financial education as well as programming. The after-school activities were enriching in the sense that it encouraged fairness and competition between us and other schools/teams.
ED: What things did you enjoy most at school outside of the classroom?
FP: The opportunity to meet with non-boarding students outside school hours.
ED: What University did you attend after completing the IB diploma programme?
FP: I attended Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.
ED: Kindly tell us briefly what University was like and if BSL adequately prepared you for the challenge and experience?
FP: University is wild. You’re on your own; nobody is behind your back. You do your work at your own pace and you’re responsible for every single thing you say, or do. I believe the IB programme did a good job at preparing us. Some schools try to make you swallow as much information as possible, while the IB programme teaches you how to build the habits which will help you reach your goals.
ED: Do you still keep in touch with your mates from your years at BSL?
FP: Barely! It’s not that easy to keep in constant contact with everyone from your past, especially when they are in different countries and everybody is busy for different reasons.
ED: Is there anything you miss about the school?
FP: Yes, I miss Mr. Ernest!
ED: Any personal and academic accomplishments that you would like to share with us, please?
FP: B.A Urban Studies
ED: Where are you now and what do you do for work?
FP: I live in Montreal, in Canada and I’ve turned into an entrepreneur; I trade crypto currencies for profit.
Ø I own a company called Drone Solution which offers aerial imaging solutions such as mapping, 3D modeling, video production, surveying, inspections etc… https://www.dronesolution.ca/en/landing/
Ø I’m also the co-founder of Maximilian Capital, a crypto currency-oriented investment counseling company.
ED: Any words of advice you would like to give to students at BSL and especially IB students to help them out in the journey through school?
FP: Yes, one, there is one thing that 99% of schools fail to teach students and that is PERSONAL financial education. It is so important that you understand how to make proper use of money. It sounds so simple but upon arriving at university plenty of people fall into the many economic traps that are laid in front of them. Make sure you learn how to use a credit card the right way, make sure you understand taxes, and more importantly, learn how to make your money grow. Not for the sake of getting rich, or richer. But to protect yourself and your family from the adversities that the future may hold for you. Learn that you should not rely on a single job to make a living; you must have different sources of income, and a diversification of investments. I highly recommend reading Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, an easy to read book which will teach you everything you need to know before going to Uni.
Two, a diploma, a Bachelor, a Master’s degree or a PHD are not guarantees for success.
Nov.17th, we just passed 8 Billion humans on this earth and we’re going to keep growing. Diplomas have become and will become more easily accessible; this means there will be an insane amount of people with diplomas, and many with more diplomas than you. In this world of competitiveness, you have to stand-out, but how? There is one thing that we have access to, but that we all use differently; it's the internet. The internet is overwhelmed with easy access to knowledge; make sure you use it to your advantage. Many of your peers will use the internet to escape work, using it for entertainment mostly. You have to do the opposite, be curious, search for solutions, and discover ways to do things differently and better than everybody else.
And lastly... do not be afraid to take risks. This has got to be the most difficult advice to follow and you know why? Because your surroundings, teachers, professors, peers will at some point try to discourage you to follow a particular path. Only God knows how many people, friends, and family members have tried to discourage me to invest into crypto currencies, to launch my own businesses or to live the way I am living. Does it matter? No. In the end you are responsible for your own success. And if failure does make people afraid, let it not scare you. You will learn so much more from your failures - they will end up building your path to success. Don’t forget to enjoy life, after-all, it’s all we have.
ED: Thank you so much for the wise words
FP: Thank you for the opportunity.