NYU Abu Dhabi Class of 2015: Where Are They Now?

NYUAD Life Beyond Saadiyat Class of 2015

Class of 2015 graduates received over 130 offers of admission at top graduate schools and 180 offers of employment around the globe

Press Release

A UAE Rhodes Scholar studying at Oxford, a composer in Mexico City, and a water engineer with the global consulting firm AECOM in Abu Dhabi — these are just three of NYU Abu Dhabi’s Class of 2015 graduates, a group of 136 young men and women from 53 countries who are helping shape a more peaceful, productive and cooperative world post-university.

NYU Abu Dhabi’s Life Beyond Saadiyat report, released today, outlines where the Class of 2015 has landed following their Commencement in May 2015, and highlights how the unique model of education at NYUAD prepares students to compete in today’s shifting economic landscape and contribute to solving issues of global consequence.

“As I conduct macroeconomic research, model supply and demand dynamics, work through financial statements, and make projections, the liberal arts curriculum that an NYUAD degree is built upon has undoubtedly been a key asset,” said alumni Kefa Kabanga, who is currently a development consultancy and research analyst with Knight Frank in Dubai. “It trained me to quickly develop knowledge in areas where I had no previous experience, catalyzing my professional growth.”

Collectively, the graduates received over 180 offers of employment in industries ranging from advertising to engineering, to education and non-profit. A significant portion of the graduating class decided to remain in the UAE and contribute to the growth of the country’s economy. Twenty-eight percent of graduates are currently employed in 24 companies within the UAE. Of these, 67 percent work in Abu Dhabi at organizations such as twofour54, Ernst & Young, IRENA, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, and Canon Inc.

As a consultant water engineer with Abu Dhabi-based AECOM, Lan Duong is working with others in government to figure out what this region will look like for future generations. “In 30 years, entire cities will stand on what are now my project zones,” she explains, “complete with meticulously-designed neighborhoods, schools and hospitals, thriving off the invisible veins and arteries running beneath the streets.”

In addition to those in the workforce, 29 percent of the class is currently enrolled in graduate or professional schools, pursuing master’s, doctoral, law, medical or business degrees at top schools including Dartmouth, Hong Kong University, London School of Economics, University of Oxford, Yale University, Stanford University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Sumit Dahal majored in Physics and Mathematics at NYUAD and is now a PhD student in Astrophysics at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, US “I am constructing four telescopes to look at light that has been traveling towards us for more than 13 billion years, helping us understand the beginning of the universe. Getting up every day and working to answer the most fundamental question ‘How did it all begin?’ is the most satisfying aspect of my work.”

Of the students enrolled in graduate or professionals schools, 62 percent received scholarships for their studies.

Class of 2015 graduate and current UAE Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, Hamel Al Qubaisi, comments: “Looking back on my four years at NYUAD, perhaps the greatest lesson that I learned was hope. This is a place where more than 100 nationalities peacefully coexist. For me, it shows that the world can be a better place.”

The Life Beyond Saadiyat report is based on NYUAD’s annual first destination survey which captures the first destination 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 U.S. 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.

Learn more about the Class of 2015 and NYU Abu Dhabi’s Life Beyond Saadiyat report (PDF).

About NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and research campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly selective undergraduate curriculum across the disciplines with a world center for advanced research and scholarship. The university enables its students in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities, and arts to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from over 115 countries and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.