We were pleased to welcome Marius back to campus for an impromptu visit yesterday! One of our most memorable international students in recent years, Marius is from Germany and, upon graduation, he returned to his home country. So, our happiness to see him was compounded by more than a little surprise.
I took the opportunity to catch up with Marius as we toured campus – we have several new buildings and features on campus that I wanted to show him. He says he is jealous of the current students.
Catch us up on what you’ve been doing since graduation from The Hill.
The first thing I did after graduation was go on an awesome hike in the Alps from Austria down into Italy. My parents felt I earned an adventure and so did I. After that trip, I enrolled and began working at Karlsruhe Institute for Technology in Germany which led to a 3 1/2 year apprenticeship as an electrician specializing in devices and systems. This is the equivalent of earning a degree in electrical science in the U.S. I’ve recently become a nationally certified electrician which was my goal coming out of high school!
Has it been all work?
Well, this is interesting. My best friend at Oak Hill, Kyler Reed, had introduced me to some music production programs and French House Music, so since then, music has been a big interest of mine. I’ve been making music all through school and I’ve actually been able to be signed to several small labels around the world! (He’s very big in Croatia and Serbia). I record under the name Maiga and my music can be found on iTunes and Spotify. That’s been really exciting!
What do you look back on most from your time at Oak Hill Academy?
Of course I still keep in touch with several of my friends from OHA, so the close relationships developed there is a big memory. I also look back at how much I grew up here. The structure was something I needed – I became a lot more responsible and the dorm life gave me great habits I still keep today. Academically, my grade improvement opened the door for my acceptance to the program at Karlsruhe – it’s pretty prestigious in Germany, sort of like a version of MIT in the States. My love of history from Mr. Hebold’s class is still a hobby of mine, too!
In your opinion, what makes Oak Hill special?
Well, it’s not an easy trip for me to come back to visit, but the close relationships I made compelled me to come back. The teachers are especially personal and the small classes helped me become more confident and motivated.
As we went around today, did you notice changes at Oak Hill Academy?
Yes and No. The feeling of closeness among the faculty and kids is the same as I remember. Physically, the campus has changed for the better. The new amphitheater makes me jealous – firepit socials? Man, that would have been fun. I’m also jealous that the kids get their cellphones on weekends now – that would have been great. Several new dorms have been a big upgrade. I never did get to live in the brand new senior dorm because I was proctor of the 8th and 9th dorm my senior year and lived with them. But, I’m really glad the feeling on campus hasn’t changed because it works! The caring atmosphere is the same as I remember.
What’s next for you, Marius?
I have options. That’s sort of the purpose of this trip – to sort out the next step. My music is taking off to a degree and I have this awesome certification and educational background that is opening up job opportunities too. We’ll see, but I’m excited!