Izza Saeed (2011)

1) What are your fondest memories of Seisen International School?

There are numerous moments that flash before me as I recall the 11 years I spent at Seisen. What is common among all these memories is the unwavering support from my teachers and coaches, who always had the best interests of their students and provided many opportunities to grow and learn. I particularly remember the presence of one inspirational and motivational figure. I remember desperately wanting to be a part of the basketball team in sixth grade and Ms. Erin Tierney dedicated time after school to coach me one-on-one to help me achieve this goal. I went on to play basketball throughout my time at Seisen and university, which would not have been possible without Ms. Tierney’s extra basketball lessons. This is just one of the examples of how Seisen teachers go out of their way to help students pursue their goals. For this, I am forever grateful.


2) How did your education at Seisen influence your career path?

I believe education not only encompasses textbook knowledge but also helps refine and polish character. My education at Seisen instilled in me the confidence and perseverance required to pursue medicine. I had always wanted to be a doctor, but Seisen’s environment and rigorous curriculum allowed me to enhance skills such as time management, effective studying techniques, and multi-tasking. The endless opportunities I had to lead and learn, such as being the President of the Student Council and attending international Modern U.N. conferences, pushed me beyond my comfort zone and strengthened my belief that I could indeed pursue medicine and be successful. Through participating in multiple student groups and sports teams throughout my time at Seisen, I learned how to adapt to different situations and work with people from diverse backgrounds. Little did I know at that time that these experiences would be of utmost importance while pursuing medicine––a career that requires you to quickly adjust to challenging circumstances and work closely with multi-disciplinary teams and patients from various backgrounds. Above all, I owe a lot of my achievements to the ever-supporting teachers, who pushed me to seek greater things and always believed in me. I still remember Ota and Sato sensei telling me that they expect to see a statue of me outside the airport in Pakistan–the power these words had on me cannot be measured. Had I not been a graduate of Seisen, I believe I would not be the person that I am today.


3) What life advice would you give current students?

While Seisen always promotes gender equality and teaches us that girls are truly capable of anything, the real world is quite different––you may face many gender stereotypes and people may question your abilities whether it be as a woman who is an athlete, a doctor, a business professional, etc. Thus, it's very important to be assertive and true to yourself and your dreams. Learn to advocate for yourself and for others. Also, spend time with your family as much as you can––times and circumstances keep changing, live in the moment and make the most of them. 

About Izza

Originally from Pakistan, I moved to Tokyo, Japan at the age of 7 and joined Seisen as a second grader in Ms. Sarah Grey's class. I was fortunate enough to spend 11 years at Seisen and graduate with the extremely talented class of 2011.  Throughout the years, most of my time was spent at school whether it be in the classrooms or the gym. Seisen truly became my second home and friends, teammates, teachers, and coaches became family. After graduation, I moved back to Pakistan to pursue medicine and received my Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBBS) in 2016. During medical school, I realized that I wanted to receive my specialization training from the U.S. Thus, I completed the United States Medical Licensing Exams and applied for residency in Internal Medicine. I am proud to say that I am currently working as a resident physician in Chicago and hope that I will further be successful in achieving a fellowship in interventional cardiology.

When I'm not studying or on call, I love to do weightlifting, play sports, and spend time with family and friends. I also love connecting with fellow Seisen students and alumni.

-Salutatorian Seisen Int'l School Tokyo Graduating Class of 2011
-National Honors Society (2007-11)
-Student Council President(2010-11)
-Scholastic Athlete of the Year Award (2010; 2011)
-High School Phoenix Pride Award (2011)
-Captain of Varsity basketball, volleyball, & soccer Teams(2010-2011)  
-Most Dedicated Athlete of the Year Award (2009, 2010)
-Model United Nations President (2010-11)
-Yearbook Chief Editor (2010-11)