“Look Beyond University Rankings”: Meet Class of 2024 Nathan C

Dulwich College Beijing

This article is part of a series featuring our outgoing Year 13 students, sharing their experiences at DCB and offering advice to younger generations.

“If you told me four years ago that I would get into NYU, I probably wouldn’t have believed you.”

Having spent the last 13 years of his life at Dulwich College Beijing, one could say that Nathan C practically grew up in DCB. The Year 3 boy who once walked around campus with a basketball tucked in the fold of his arm would grow to develop his love for sports while also embracing entrepreneurship, learning the ins and outs of a small business firsthand at 11 years old by reselling sneakers and later on investing in stocks at 13 years old – all this before even considering university. Soon he will be off to the Big Apple, as part of New York University’s Class of 2028 cohort hailing from 103 countries. Founded in 1831, NYU (New York University) is one of the world’s foremost research universities, ranked seventh among private research universities, with an 8% acceptance rate intake for the Class of 2028.

Before we give Class of 2024 Nathan C and our other graduates a send-off on graduation day, we invited the former Sports Prefect to take a stroll down memory lane by reflecting on his years here at DCB, sharing what he’ll miss and some sage advice to those still in their journey to university. 

Class of 2024 Graduation Day photoshoot at the Temple of Heaven, 11 April 2024 Class of 2024 Graduation Day photoshoot at the Temple of Heaven, 11 April 2024

Nathan C: Community and Entrepreneurship 

Beyond his passion for basketball and academic pursuits, Nathan also finds a thrill in hitting the slopes come wintertime and indulging in photography during his downtime. 

First Small Jump of the 2022 Skiing Season First Small Jump of the 2022 Skiing Season
Skiing in January of 2023 Skiing in January of 2023
Skiing in December of 2022 Skiing in December of 2022

His love for shoes (and his parents’ increasing concerns about footing the bill) later sparked his entrepreneurial flair, leading him to venture into reselling and self-sufficiently finance his growing shoe collection. Eventually, he transitioned and began investing in stocks, ETFs, mutual funds and even options. This entrepreneurial spirit flourished alongside his leadership roles, from serving on the Student Council to co-founding Project Nautilus, dedicated to raising awareness about shark conservation.  

ACAMIS Varsity Boys Basketball Finals ACAMIS Varsity Boys Basketball Finals

Nathan attributes his diverse skill set and commitment to social causes to DCB’s encouragement of students to explore a wide range of subjects, with the Dulwich Values adorning classrooms serving as constant reminders. “We were taught the values in Junior School, but even more so in Senior School.”

First Place in Social Entrepreneurship Competition First Place in Social Entrepreneurship Competition

Journey to University

“I started my university research at the start of Year 10, and since then, I always had my heart set on New York University.”

Renowned for being a leader in global education and its diverse student body, with more international students than any other American university, New York offers a multicultural environment that offers varied perspectives on academic discourse. “I love NYU’s seamless integration with the city, allowing me to immerse myself in the vibrant diversity of New York. The international acceptances at NYU span across Asia, Europe, Australia and Africa too – and that's what makes it so exciting.”

Nathan also shared how he’s looking forward to the discussion-based learning community in his program offered by NYU, which he says fits him better. “The best way to learn is to learn from your peers and professors, not just from your textbook.”

IB CAS Week (Group 4 Projects) IB CAS Week (Group 4 Projects)

“Especially for someone going into business, it’s so important to gather more knowledge, understand, and respect the perspectives, cultures, and backgrounds of where people come from.”

Friend’s Birthday Party on January 4th 2024 Friend’s Birthday Party on January 4th 2024

It was love at first sight for Nathan, who couldn’t forget the strong impression New York left on him on his first visit there in 2016. “I love the city and there's no better place to be to study business than New York City itself. It has some of the largest finance, marketing, and consulting firms – Blackrock, Accenture, McKinsey, BCG – and has everything you would want – Broadway, sports, a mix of metropolitan areas and parks, and even more upstate.”

Nathan C in New York City

Follow your passion, not just the goal

As a child, Nathan harboured dreams of becoming an entrepreneur. While preparing for his university applications, his University College Counsellor reminded him that not all founders and entrepreneurs major in Business. “The support here was phenomenal – From the individual subject teachers themselves and from the counselling group. They gave me their perspectives on what I could choose for university because it might not just be limited to business.”

IB CAS Week (Group 4 Projects) IB CAS Week (Group 4 Projects)

Nathan underscores the importance of exploring diverse academic disciplines, drawing inspiration from the unconventional paths taken by many successful entrepreneurs. "I’m always excited to learn from others’ experiences and chat with peers from diverse fields like engineering, medicine, or philosophy—it’s just so interesting, the insights that go beyond the usual classwork.”


Advice to Younger Students: Look Beyond University Rankings

For students embarking on their university journey, Nathan advises against fixating solely on rankings. “University rankings take into account different factors that might not resonate with your own personal goals or values,” he noted. He instead advocates for reaching out to students already there, visiting the universities, watching virtual campus tours to gain a holistic understanding of the university experience and, most importantly, finding the correct fit. “I have a few friends there, and the best way to learn about a school is to just reach out to people. They'll provide you with feedback and comments about the school, including its pros and cons. YouTube also has hour-long campus walkthroughs that can give you a better understanding of the college environment. He also adds, “Of course, university is important, but university is just the beginning of everything, not the end; there’s so much more to what you could do and achieve in your life.”

Graduation Day photo shoot at the Temple of Heaven Graduation Day photo shoot at the Temple of Heaven

Gratitude and Recognition

Nathan's gratitude extends to his teachers and classmates who supported him throughout his DCB years, including his Business & Economics teacher, Mr Kallend, for inspiring discussions beyond the curriculum, his Year 13 teachers, Ms Pichery and Mr Lee, for their guidance, and class of 2023 alumni like Edward Zhang, Andy Ding, and Emily Zhang for their valuable insights not just for university applications but also in the IB coursework. Nathan's appreciation also extends to his family and classmates: Ethan M, Ethan Z, Aidan S, Konstantin M, Brian Pak Lun W, William W, Brandon Z, Jason S, Nicholas W, Sophia X, Mia H, Emily Z, Claire W, and more – who contributed endlessly to his growth and achievements.

As Nathan prepares to embark on his NYU journey, his story serves as a testament to the transformative power of passion, perseverance, and a supportive community. With his sights set on becoming a founder, Nathan embodies the spirit of lifelong learning and connection, poised to make a positive impact on the world.

First Day Back in Year 13 First Day Back in Year 13