from February 2023

What’s your name?

Katherine Downham

How many years did you attend ISHR?
3 years

What year did you graduate?

What are you up to now?

I have just become a mum! My beautiful daughter Kenza was born in July 2022. Before I gave birth to Kenza, I started my own vegan food business, which proved quite successful. I also obtained a first-class degree in Exercise Science with Nutrition back in 2018. I plan to continue my business in conjunction with a career in nutrition after my maternity is up!

What was your favorite subject at ISHR?

Definitely music. I felt that subject allowed me to express myself fully and let go of any stresses I felt. I was always infatuated by the music teachers and their talent as well. It was always a ‘no-judgement’ zone, where everyone enjoyed each other’s creativity.

In what ways do you feel ISHR prepared you for what came next?

ISHR definitely prepared me for University, as I felt slightly further ahead in terms of organisation and confidence when it came to meeting deadlines and presenting in front of large crowds. Additionally, the diverse friendships I made at ISHR enabled me to seamlessly slot into various social groups and adapt to new environments easily.

What was the biggest challenge you faced in adapting to life after ISHR?
Probably learning how to be a true Brit! I know it sounds strange, but as I grew up in China & Germany, I was lucky to have met so many wonderful people from all over the world, however, not many of those people were English. Therefore, I was out of touch with the slang/phrases people use and sometimes I didn’t understand what people were talking about! I felt I had to learn English all over again haha!

What advice would you give to current students or your former self?

Try not to stress about the things you can’t control, because you physically cannot control them…let them go. The things you can control, just try your best. Have faith in life and where it takes you…enjoy the process and try not to only focus on the end goal because it’s the process that takes you on the adventure. Also, treat your mental health with the same importance as your physical health…you can’t have one without the other. Please talk to people about how you feel, it really does help. Lastly, just be yourself, stay on your own path and have as much fun as you can, as life is to be lived and it all goes by so fast!

What’s your favorite memory from your time at ISHR?

All of the friendships I made so quickly…the singing performances I used to do on the stage…the fundraising bake-sales…I have so many great memories, but my favourite has to be in English class. In 12th grade, our whole class sat down before Mr. Lowe came in the room. As we got to know him over the year, we noticed he had a thing about the tables remaining straight. Therefore, before he entered the room, we moved all the tables in all sorts of different directions and turned some chairs upside down. We waited to see what he would do once he came in. As he walked around teaching and asking us questions about a poem, he was subconsciously moving all the tables back into their correct place but didn’t realise we had purposely moved them all for our own entertainment. Finally, we all burst out laughing and the penny dropped for him! Perhaps it was a little bit mean of us all, but we did have a good laugh together at the end. Thank you ISHR for being a brilliant school. I was sad to leave but look forward to returning with my little family one day. It will be amazing to show my daughter where I grew up!