Applying for top universities: What GIIS does to support secondary students

Melissa Maria
Dec 24, 2021
Secondary Students

Career guidance is essential for young people who want to be successful at University and beyond. Getting into top universities, including Ivy-league universities, requires groundwork and a solid learning foundation. Gaining a sense of direction early and making strides to meet goals from a young age can help give students the greatest chance of realising their dreams. 

That's why GIIS provides support to secondary students through its education and career guidance services. We believe that this guidance and career counselling should not involve pressure on the students but a gentle inquiry into the subjects that interest them most. By pursuing their interests in school, your child can develop goals. Here the school can act as a facilitator, guiding them throughout, and finally assisting them to apply for the best university programmes.

At GIIS, the tools we provide to students for these purposes include career profiling information, personality assessment, one-on-one counselling and more.

GIIS’ career counselling for secondary grades takes many forms. When your child joins the student body at GIIS, they too will have access to these resources.

Dedicated Education and Career Guidance (ECG) programme

GIIS employs full-time counsellors that help students understand themselves and, ultimately, their career goals. Our ECG programme helps ensure that students enter their chosen fields with their eyes open to the prospects within that field and fully prepared to meet the academic requirements for their field once they're at university. Through our ECG programme, students come to understand who they are, how their identity would fit into the career of their choice, and what educational pathway would be best for them.

In the earlier grades, GIIS students engage in self-exploration to determine which careers are most likely to suit their personalities. This is when students learn more about themselves, their interests and what subjects come most naturally to them. In Grades 6-7, we focus on the following: discovering your interests, appreciating your personal values, identifying your strengths and your learning style. Students create an individual learning plan to help them on the road to success. Following the ILP, students are able to hone their skills and determine early on which subjects should be their focus in school. In later grades, students focus more on honing their interviewing and presentation skills and make more decisions that will help them get into the college or university of their choice.

Holland Code (RIASEC) Testing & VIA 24 Character Strengths. We provide character and personality testing to our students to help them understand themselves better and how their personalities will fit into their future careers.

One-to-one counselling

For Grade 11-12 students, we also provide one-to-one counselling as they write their personal statements, craft a resume, write essays and fill out applications to get into the university of their choice. In addition, students are coached on their interviewing skills to ensure they're ready for interviews when trying to get placement into the university (and even the job) of their choice.

Webinars & information sessions

To give students the resources they need, we conduct webinars with experts in various fields. At GIIS, these experts include people who are both internal and external. Also, our Leadership Lecture Series with top leaders – former Indian president, international dignitaries, renowned sports champions, accomplished singers – to name a few, have benefitted our students to get first-hand experience over the years. GIIS’ strong alumni connection is another opportunity for current students to leverage their experience. 

Students get to explore various interest areas at GIIS that helps them to make informed decisions about career choices


GIIS has created many podcasts where experts and members of the GIIS community are interviewed, which can help students stay informed about their future careers. These are available on the school website and easy-to-use audio streaming platform.


Also read: Affordable Quality Education: How GIIS is making a positive impact

Education fairs

Our education fairs give students a hands-on environment where they can connect with various colleges, network with administrative professionals at those colleges, and learn about the programmes that would most benefit them as they move forward with their careers. For a student who has already determined what their future career will be, education fairs are an important next step toward getting into the college or university of their choice.

Counselling tools

Starting in Grade 9, GIIS uses a career profiling tool which evaluates student work styles and the natural way they approach different situations to assess the best careers for them. In grades 11 and 12, a college counselling tool is used to help students as they embark on their journey to get into college. Through the app, counsellors can send messages to the students, assign tasks, schedule meetings and suggest colleges that would be appropriate for the student. They can also use the app to send transcripts to universities. The platform uses a school match algorithm to tell students if a college is suitable for them and their future careers. In addition, it  enables students to chat with counsellors and request recommendation letters.

Alumni connections

One of our greatest assets at GIIS is our extensive list of alumni located all over the world. We leverage this asset by connecting our students to them in universities. Whenever appropriate, we bring alumni to our campus or connect with alumni through podcasts and webinars to tap into their knowledge and share it with the students who need it most.

When we connect students to alumni at universities, those alumni can act as a "buddy" to guide them as they apply to and attend their new university. This helps students develop the motivation and confidence they need to succeed in college.

We're Here to Help your Child, Now and in the Future

At GIIS, our ultimate goal is to help students identify their interest areas and skills and help them decide which careers will be most fulfilling, rewarding and successful for them. We're here to help your child get into the university of their dreams. We want them to move forward, into the future, with confidence.

Want to learn more about how GIIS can help your child? Make an appointment with us for a campus tour and find out more details.

Melissa Maria

GIIS Singapore SMART Campus principal, Ms Melissa Maria’s journey as an educator started when she was only 16 and continued in the field after she completed her Master’s degree in History and Bachelor’s degree in Education. For over 25 years now, she has been at the forefront of introducing new ideas and methodologies to education. She is also the City Coordinator for Singapore, selected by the CBSE Board for Grade 10 and 12 exams, 2021, managing two other international schools besides GIIS. With numerous achievements sprinkled across her distinguished career, Ms. Maria has been recognised for her efforts as a Mindef volunteer by the Singapore government.

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