QAHS recently held its first Leadership Afternoon Tea for the 2021 school year. The QAHS Student Executive Committee, along with many other student and staff guests had the privilege of attending and hearing the wise and inspirational words of guest speaker Max Woodcock.
Max (pictured left) is a 2019 QAHS alumnus and now second year University of Queensland Dentistry student who, during his time here at QAHS demonstrated himself to be an engaged, passionate and talented student in all that he did. Not only was Max a highly engaged member of the QAHS community through his membership of many QAHS extracurricular groups he was also a highly successful student, receiving countless awards for his work, achieving a highly sought after final IB score and gaining admission into the University of Queensland School of Dentistry. During his presentation, Max gave his insight into many important areas, focussing around school, university and life. Max's approach to giving advice was different to the approach that we so often see taken by motivational speakers and those giving life advice. Max stressed the importance of recognising that not all study or life advice works for everyone, and that there is no one right way to do something. He also stressed the importance of remembering that if a piece of advice that somebody gives to you doesn't work for you, that's fine, it doesn't mean that you are a bad student, or that you need to change yourself to make this piece of advice work for you. This was a recurring theme throughout Max's talk, with him humbly stating that the advice he gives is not coming from an expert, but from a fellow student who was in the same position as us just a few years ago.
During his talk Max spoke about staying motivated, by finding joy in the work that you are doing and focussing on an end goal. This links into the GRIT mindset quality of being focussed on an end goal and using that to drive you. Max also spoke about staying focussed and avoiding distractions from your environment through the use of tools like music, and avoiding distractions from your phone by placing it out of sight and thereby, out of mind. Max also reminded us that procrastination and poor time management isn't cool once you graduate, so it is best to get on top of it early. Max gave his insights into leading a balanced life, stressing the importance of the CAS programme and reminding us that even when it may seem like a chore, it is actually providing great benefit by allowing students not only the opportunity, but the motivation, to get out and take some time away from their studies to lead a more balanced life. Max concluded his talk by sharing his journey into dentistry, deciding between his many passions and his slight shock at the amount of hands on and practical work in the field. Before afternoon tea, Max held a group Q and A session in which he fielded the most burning questions from the attendees as a group, providing insightful answers to some big questions ranging from studying for subjects that you don't enjoy, to taking on charity work as a practicing dentist, to his prospects as a dental entrepreneur. The afternoon was concluded with a light afternoon tea and a chance to ask questions of Max one-on-one.
The insight and experience shared by Max during his talk was invaluable and we are truly lucky to have had an opportunity to learn from such a successful and inspiring alum of QAHS.