When Josh Arnold enrolled at ACG Senior College in 2015, his dream was to study at an American university. With a fascination with companies like Tesla, Space X and Google, he wanted to be part of a culture passionate about technology, but didn’t know which university or degree – and he wasn’t getting the strongest grades. In fact, he was failing in a couple of subjects.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) student met with the school’s university placement adviser Guy Mills who explained what would be required: clarify his vision, decide on a degree and a university, then get stronger marks.
Josh listened to the advice and worked hard with his teachers. He discovered a passion for the intersection of technology, computers and biology, and realised he wanted to work in Artificial Intelligence and gene editing one day. He applied to universities and was thrilled when one of the world’s leading cross-disciplinary research and teaching institutions, The University of California Davis, came back with a conditional offer.
Results are now out and Josh’s marks are enough not only to make his acceptance unconditional, but also to gain university credits in his chosen course – Computer Engineering with a double major in Genetics. It’s a significant achievement for a student who not long before risked failing.
He said he would not have gained his score without the help of his teachers.
“When I started, I cared little for education and I was getting a failing grade in Spanish and Math. But because students here are given the opportunity to manage their own time, I managed to find my passion and realise what I wanted to do in the future. I don’t think I would have achieved that if I was at another school where there is less freedom and independence.”
So where does Josh see himself in the future? Exploring how AI and technology can merge with humans, he says, and hopefully using this knowledge to help eradicate disease, improve human memory and increase the average life span of humans.
Meantime, he has a personal message for his University Placements Adviser, Mr Mills:
“Thank you for spending so much time helping me over the past few years of IB, I have truly gotten far more out of my education just as you said I would.”