“Use school as a vehicle to see more of the world.”
Doug McDonald (Class of 2010) is not afraid of a challenge. A master’s student at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), a leading engineering research university in Germany, he is making the most of an amazing international study experience.
“I was fortunate to receive a scholarship to do an internship in Germany after my second year at the University of Calgary. It was a great experience and really opened my eyes to international opportunities,” Doug explains.
Returning from his summer in Germany motivated to complete his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Doug graduated from the University of Calgary in 2017. He laughs when asked if he envisioned this path when he was a student at Edge School. “I didn’t imagine I would be in Germany. It’s wild to look back and see where I have gone.”
Doug’s Edge School experience started in grade seven, when classes were held at the Calgary French and International School. “I remember every Friday playing 3 on 3 hockey with students from different grades. It was a bigger age spread than what I was used to, but it was great to meet people who were like-minded,” Doug says. “I had a great time at Edge. Playing on the Varsity team in grade 12 was the best year I ever had in hockey, the most fun. Tanner Hicks, Bart Moran, Chase Paylor – we had a great group of guys.”
Doug continued with hockey after Edge, playing in the AJHL in Fort McMurray and with the Calgary Mustangs before attending the University of Calgary full time. He was ready for a new challenge after university and returning to Germany seemed like a great fit. “Why not use school as a vehicle to see more of the world? You can learn a lot by taking a step out of your comfort zone,” he explains. “And I like the challenge of learning a new language.”
Doug began at KIT in October 2017, working on his Master of Science degree in Optical Engineering. It is a challenging program that he anticipates will open up career options all over the world. “The attitude toward research is pretty serious in Germany,” he explains. “But it is interesting work. Right now I’m working on a project in medical imaging, using infrared signals to take x-rays in a less invasive way.”
Reflecting on his time at Edge School, Doug encourages current students not to limit themselves. “I know those moments in high school when school can be a bit of a chore, but sticking with it and finishing a university degree gives you a foundation that can get you into some pretty cool opportunities.”
Doug expects to write his thesis and finish his degree in September 2019. In the meantime, he’ll keep working on his German and using his education to see more of the world.