Max Boettinger, '14
GISNY CLASS OF 2014
ENTERED GISNY IN
Columbia University, Class of 2018
INTENDS TO STUDY
FAVORITE GISNY SUBJECT
American and Political Studies (APS)
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE GISNY MEMORY? Going to the school library in elementary school to take home the newest "Die wilden Kerle" book.
WHAT CLUBS AND/OR AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES WERE YOU INVOLVED WITH DURING YOUR TIME AT GISNY? Soccer, Mock Trial, Drama, Model United Nations
WHAT ACCOMPLISHMENT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF? Mastering the German language. I went from skipping class to visit the nurse's office just to hear someone speak English [our school nurse is a native English speaker] in first grade, to being among the top students in my graduating class.
WHAT LANGUAGES DO YOU SPEAK REGULARLY TODAY? English, German, Spanish and French
WHAT HAS BEING MULTILINGUAL MEANT TO YOU? It has meant that I am able to integrate myself in American as well as in German society. I can enjoy a cookout with my family in Texas just as much as I can enjoy a trip to the Biergarten with my family in Bavaria. Being multilingual has paved the way to being multicultural.
HOW DID YOUR GIS EDUCATION PREPARE YOU FOR UNIVERSITY AND BEYOND? Through intense discussions in class at GISNY, be they about Shakespeare or the Crimean crisis, I learned to defend my own opinions and challenge those of others. Through the close-knit community at GIS, I learned how to deal with many different types of people, of all ethnic backgrounds.
WHAT DID YOU THINK YOU WANTED TO BE WHEN YOU "GREW UP"? In elementary school, I "wanted" to be a marine biologist, in middle school I "wanted" to be a neurologist, and in high school I "wanted/want" to be Secretary of State or Secretary-General of the UN.
WHAT ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE TO CURRENT GISNY STUDENTS TO HELP THEM MAKE THE MOST OF THEIR EXPERIENCE? I strongly encourage GISNY students of all ages to actively engage in class discussions. The response you may get from another student or your teacher may show you an entirely different way of looking at the world.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH, EITHER PERSONALLY OR PROFESSIONALLY, IN THE NEXT 10 YEARS? I hope to receive my Bachelor's degree in political science, as well as a law degree. I want to have absolved an internship with the UN or another large international diplomatic institution in an exotic country. As a personal goal, I want to have visited countries on each continent of the globe, either in my studies or on vacation.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN LIFE YOU HAVE LEARNED SO FAR? During a summer internship at the United States Agency for International Development, I was mesmerized by the highly positive work atmosphere in the office. Every employee was in love with his or her work, and as such was extremely happy in life. So I learned that the true key to happiness and personal success is doing the thing you love and have a passion for.
IF YOU COULD HAVE DINNER WITH ANYONE, LIVING OR DEAD, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY? I would choose Willy Brandt, the former chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany in the 1970s. What I find fascinating about Brandt is that in a time of extreme international tension between East and West, he took the initiative to seek out negotiations with Eastern European countries, including East Germany. I would be deeply interested in hearing what drove him to overcome the status quo of the time, and with that paving the way towards the global recognition of the Federal Republic of Germany.