This year, we will continue to share staff profiles to get to know members of our school family a little better. Each week we will feature a member of staff across all areas of the school including teachers, admin staff, support staff and more. This week we focus on Stephen Buckley, Admissions Officer.
Life is full of decisions, I always find that saying "Yes" rather than "No" will lead to more interesting experiences. I found myself in this dilemma when my wife told me she had been offered a teaching job in Abu Dhabi. We had discussed the idea months before and she had applied for a few jobs, but we didn’t think anything would come of it until, all of a sudden, we had the opportunity to have a brand new start in the Middle East.
I wasn’t exactly sure where Abu Dhabi was; I just knew it was near Dubai. I had never visited anywhere in the Middle East before and had never worked outside of the UK, so I had some reservations at first. In the UK I had a comfortable, ‘boring’ job in local government, which I took no real enjoyment from, so I thought how could I say no to an exciting adventure overseas?
With lots of support and encouragement from family and friends, we took the leap of faith, quit our jobs and arrived in Abu Dhabi in August 2018. I was unsure what to expect from our new home, and I admittedly did very little research for such a big decision. I was lucky enough to find myself unemployed for four weeks which gave me plenty of time to explore; I particularly enjoyed visiting the Grand Mosque and swimming at the Corniche.
In late September, after a few weeks of enjoying exploring in the heat whilst my wife was at work, I started work at BIS Abu Dhabi as an Admissions Officer. I was really nervous as it was the first time I had been in a school in 15 years, but I had nothing to worry about as the team here helped me settle in quickly and guided me through our admissions process.
My favourite part of the job in admissions is showing families around our amazing school; I particularly enjoy taking them to the Sports Academy and Music Departments, as sport and music are both passions of mine. I also enjoy chatting to families who, like me in August, have just arrived in the country and are finding their feet.
I am pleased that Abu Dhabi has allowed me to continue enjoying one of my main interests; football. I am an avid Liverpool Football Club fan and I have found myself an LFC Supporters Club right here in Abu Dhabi, where I can enjoy watching the match with other fans. I also enjoyed attending a number of games in the recent Asian Cup; a highlight for me was standing with China supporters who taught me some chants in Mandarin. I also love music and played drums in a band for around 10 years. My favourite band is The Beatles and I’m pleased that living in Abu Dhabi has given me a chance to travel to India this spring break, where I plan to visit Rishikesh; a place that John, Paul, George and Ringo stayed, and wrote many songs, in 1968.
It is a busy time for admissions at the moment, as we look to accept new students for September and we always appreciate how welcoming teachers are when we enter their classrooms to show off the wonderful experiences that studets have here at BIS Abu Dhabi.