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Behind the scenes with Abi Parsons

Hear from colleagues who volunteered to contribute to the International Biology Olympiad (IBO), find out about their role and what they enjoyed about it. It's a chance to see some of the activity that went on behind the scenes to help make the IBO a success.

Behind the scenes with...
Abi Parsons
Biochemistry Student
School of Life Sciences

Role for the International Biology Olympiad: Team Guide


My usual job involves…
studying as a Biochemistry undergraduate.

During the International Biology Olympiad I… 
was assigned two teams made up of four competitors each. The role of team guide is essentially being a friendly face and being there if the competitors have any questions. You spend the majority of the week with the competitors and live with them in halls, this means you get to know the students really well. My day to day role involved; waking the competitors up each morning, walking them around campus, going on excursions with them to places like Warwick Castle and Coventry Cathedral, eating meals with them and just generally being around to answer any questions they had. As well as spending time with my team, I also spent a lot of the time with other team guides/volunteers.

I really enjoyed being involved with…
the cultural night. It was a nice opportunity for the competitors (and the volunteers!) to relax and all get to know each other.

The International Biology Olympiad is unique because… 
the thing that stands out most when I look back on IBO is all the wonderful people I met. I believe there were 68 countries involved this year and it was really nice to get the opportunity to meet people from all over the world.

If I could change one thing about the International Biology Olympiad it would be… 
Having to wake 4 teenagers up at 5am for a 7:45am exam was certainly not a highlight! Other than that I wouldn’t change anything, I had a really rewarding week.

Not everyone knows that… 
The youngest competitor this year was 14!


Hear from other colleagues behind the scenes

Abi