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Head Boy: Damilola Coker OW 2003

8th January 2024

Tell us a little about your time at King Edward's Witley?

I attended King Edward’s Witley for five years, joining in 3rd Form in 1998 and leaving in the summer of 2003. I was a proud member of Wakefield House throughout my time there.

It’s difficult to pick out one particular memory that stands out above the rest. What I did love about school was being surrounded by my best friends 24/7. Whenever it comes up in conversation that I attended a boarding school, people are curious and want to know if it was dreadful, the assumption being that I was “sent there” as some sort of punishment. Quite the contrary – I had a blast! From living with my schoolmates, to enjoying the banter and rivalry of inter-house competitions, to enjoying summer evenings on the Heart, sat by the pond or perched by the sundial and chatting away for hours – there was always something going on and there was always someone to share it with. One lasting memory was taking part in the French exchange when I was in Sixth Form. A handful of us got to take the Eurostar to France and spent a week in Paris taking in the many sights.

To this day, many of my closest friends are those I made at KESW. Even though we may not see each other for long stretches, when we do eventually catch up, it’s as if we turned back the clocks some 20 years, reminiscing about the good times we had and the occasional mischief we would get into as restless teenagers.

What did life after school hold?

Life after King Edward’s has taken me to many places. First, I went on to study Business & French at the University of Birmingham, before embarking on a career in banking in London. After a few years, I pivoted to a more language-focused career and I went back to university to complete a Masters in Translation and Interpreting at the University of Westminster. With my freshly-minted degree, I hopped across the channel to France, where I worked as a financial translator and editor for the best part of a decade. I then made a bigger move, this time hopping across the Atlantic to Washington, D.C., where I currently work as a translator at the International Monetary Fund

Over the past two decades, in addition to having added a few more languages to my list, I have also picked up a wife, three children, and a dog along the way. I’m hoping to show them my old stomping ground in Witley sometime.

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