Alumna Karma Dolma Gurung, from Kathmandu, Nepal, learned a lot during her four years at NYU Abu Dhabi, except how to become an expat when she landed her first job in Abu Dhabi. Living and working in a city where almost everyone is from another country, meant she had to make the mental switch from student to employed expat.
“I really had to step it up and make that initiative to go out, meet new friends, and do things that expats do in the city ... I was having this new identifier now, as an expat.”
Luckily, meeting new people is a daily occurrence at her job working for The National newspaper as a multimedia producer. She spends a lot of time traveling around the area with her camera doing interviews and snapping photographs, something she learned taking film and new media at NYU Abu Dhabi.
“As I settle in more, and really enjoy my job everyday, I understand the city itself and the communities that live here. It feels like … maybe I could stay here longer.”
Like her, nearly half of Gurung’s classmates from the Class of 2018 who went to work after graduation stayed in the UAE — some are in Dubai but the majority are employed in Abu Dhabi.
Chemistry major Yumi Gambrill, from the US, landed a consultant role at Booz Allen Hamilton in Abu Dhabi where she’s kept on her toes everyday doing all sorts of different tasks. “While I don’t use hard skills from the chemistry lab in my work at Booz Allen, the scientific method, the process of writing a research proposal, and planning a research project have many similarities to the consulting mindset. The internships and other on-campus opportunities helped me hone the soft skills that I rely on every day at work. My job is about as interdisciplinary as it gets.”
Fellow alumna Malu Sanchez Gomez, an economics major from Peru, agrees that out-of-classroom experiences at NYU Abu Dhabi prepared her for his consultant role at Arthur D. Little in Dubai. Sports, in particular, gives her added confidence to meet workplace challenges head on. “Sports pushed me outside of my comfort zone and taught me how to handle pressure in a different way."
“We’re all just here trying to find ourselves,” adds Gurung, which isn’t always easy in a country where things are fast-paced and always changing. “Everyday I’m doing something new. I’m learning news and also perfecting my craft, and that’s something I love."