Alumni Interview Tomasz Droszcz – Class of 2007

Tomasz Droszcz attended LIS, after moving here from Poznan in Poland, for three years until his graduation in 2007.

How was the transition to LIS?

I thought it was going to be hard but it was very easy. Everyone was very welcoming. I never felt like an outsider. Everyone immediately expressed interested in where I came from, what I was doing here. I started in Grade 10 so went straight into IGCSE, having not been in the Cambridge Curricullum before.

What did you do after graduation?

I studied at the University of Chester, England. I did three years of Law and a year of Crime and Justice and lived there for an additional four years. 

What are you doing now?

I am now a police officer in Poznan, Poland. I’m in what’s called an intelligence unit. We target prolific offenders (people who commit crimes repeatedly) and serious crimes so not just stealing a a bottle of liquor from the grocery store.

What are some of the best and worst things about your job?

Saving lives is definitely the best. Ambulances are sometimes a bit scarce in Poland so we are often sent out as the first response to a critical situation. We have been able to save many lives before the ambulance could get there.

The worst is when a prisoner escapes. The legal consequences are very heavy. 

What qualities does one need for your job?

You need to be readily available any time day or night. The phone might ring on your day off because somethings happened or someone has popped up on the radar and you have to go and arrest them.

You really have to be quite studious and stay up to date with new legislation. They literally change overnight. You can be doing a job one way one day and the next day you will have to do it completely differently.

What subjects did you take for IB?

English higher level, German B, ICT higher Level, History Higher Level, Maths and Chemistry

Do you have any special memories from LIS?

That takes me back to my first days here and the great welcome I had. I remember being here on my first day and already playing football with the lads. There were no boundaries or anything like that.                                                                                 

Is there anything you learned at LIS that prepared you for life after school?

My education here gave me a head start. Many of the people I started studying with were only learning how to construct decent written assignments where as I had already learned that intensely at LIS. I started my first year with many firsts (top grade) with people asking me how I managed.

Did your international background help in your job life?

Absolutely. Already my first day as a police officer in Poland I was sent into a robbery situation because I was the only one who could speak English there and it was needed. I got to work on the interesting cases purely because no one else could do it.

Are all your colleagues Polish?

Yes, the law in Poland stipulates that you have to be a polish citizen to be a police officer there. That is different in many other European countries. I was able to work in England as a police officer and have been offered jobs in Germany. In Poland this legislation was written into effect decades ago when no one could foresee their being a European Union. That is something I think should be changed because we could really benefit from other perspectives in our work and service. We have many European and international cooperations. It is something we work on a lot. But it is often hindered because we don’t have the technology to carry it out.

What are your hopes for the school?

It has been 12 years since I was here last and it has already made huge leaps forward. I hope it continues on that path. It is also great to see students coming out of LIS with top marks and going to the best universities. It shows the school is on a good trajectory. The sport facilities have also improved considerably.

What are your plans for the future?

Everybody laughs at me when I say this but my ambition is to run the police force. I have identified so many things that need working on and I have the drive to climb the ladder and do the work and eventually run the show. That drive is something that I started learning here and it was developed at University. I learnt the skills to think critically about systems and identify where things can be improved and back it up with data. These skills give you a strong position and a lot of confidence.

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