NYU Abu Dhabi Class of 2017: Where Are They Now?

Press release
Published February 28th, 2018 - 09:39 GMT
Toma Pavalov, majored in Social Research and Public Policy at NYUAD
Toma Pavalov, majored in Social Research and Public Policy at NYUAD

From establishing careers in finance, engineering, consulting, politics, and the arts to pursuing graduate degrees at Yale, Oxford, and Harvard, NYU Abu Dhabi’s Class of 2017 graduates have distinguished themselves as a pioneering group of over 350 men and women representing more than 60 countries across the globe who are continuing to accomplish new heights across a range of industries and institutions of further education.

NYU Abu Dhabi’s recently published Life Beyond Saadiyat report charts the exceptional progress of graduates from the Class of 2017 following their Commencement in May 2017, highlighting how the unique educational experience at NYUAD has inspired students to engage with innovative ideas and embrace a culture of progressive collaboration in an increasingly challenging global landscape.

“Graduating from NYU Abu Dhabi comes with realizing the privilege of being shaped in a learning environment where mutual respect, tolerance, and open-mindedness are fundamental and prioritized,” said alumni Arame Dieng, who is currently a finance management trainee at Unilever Middle East and North Africa Headquarters in Dubai. “I have a duty to educate, improve, and make an impact whenever and wherever I can.”

The graduates achieved a placement rate of 97 percent in employment and graduate studies across a range of key sectors and global industries. Of the 40 countries chosen as destinations by the Class of 2017, the UAE welcomed the most NYUAD graduates, with 27 percent of graduates choosing to stay in the UAE and work for top organizations, including Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Emaar, Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center, and Abu Dhabi Investment Council.

Currently the Malawi National Point of Contact for the Space Generation Advisory Council in support of the United Nations Program on Space Applications, Christopher Luwanga is looking to make a difference in his industry.  “NYUAD’s emphasis on breadth has prepared me to be both an engineer as well as a leader,” he explains. “I have been able to fuse my passion for space with that for tangible development on the ground.”

Seeking to further their studies, 36 percent of the class enrolled in graduate or professional schools across 15 countries in order to pursue doctoral, science, math, engineering, law, and master’s degrees at top academic institutions around the world including Harvard University, Imperial College London, Yale University, and Paris School of Economics.

Toma Pavalov majored in Social Research and Public Policy at NYUAD before enrolling as a Master’s Student in Public Policy at the Hertie School of Governance. “By combining rigorous academics with on-site field trips and a truly diverse student body, the program at NYU Abu Dhabi has shaped me as a well-rounded individual. That is what today’s complex world requires from us: to be adaptive and have the ability to tackle issues by applying multiple approaches and perspectives.”

Of the students enrolled in graduate or professionals schools, 65 percent received scholarships for their studies, including Rhodes and Fulbright Scholarships.

Dubai Abulhoul, Class of 2017 graduate and current Rhodes Scholar studying Diplomacy and Global Governance as a Master’s Student at the University of Oxford, commented: “I look forward to pursuing an MSc in Diplomacy and Global Governance, and using that knowledge to represent my country’s overarching, global narrative abroad.”

The Life Beyond Saadiyat report is based on NYUAD’s annual first destination survey, which captures the first destinations of graduates within six months of graduation. The survey timeline and questions are based on protocol set out by the National Association of Colleges and Employers in the US. In addition to hard data points about location and current roles, the survey provides insight into the career development process of students before graduation in terms of their confidence, career preparation, and future orientation.

Background Information

New York University Abu Dhabi

NYU's agreement with the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to create NYU Abu Dhabi is the outcome of a shared understanding of the essential roles and challenges of higher education in the 21st century: a common belief in the value of a liberal arts education, concurrence on the benefits a research university brings to the society that sustains it, a conviction that interaction with new ideas and people who are different is valuable and necessary, and a commitment to educating students who are true citizens of the world.

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