NYU Abu Dhabi Class of 2016: Where Are They Now?

NYUAD Life Beyond Saadiyat Class of 2016

Press Release

Graduates from the Class of 2016 achieved a placement rate of 92 percent at top graduate schools and organizations around the world 26 percent of graduates chose to remain in the UAE after graduation

From founding software engineering firms to pursuing prestigious doctorates abroad, NYU Abu Dhabi’s Class of 2016 graduates have distinguished themselves as a pioneering group of nearly 130 men and women representing 62 countries across the globe who are continuously achieving new heights across industry sectors and institutions of further education.

NYU Abu Dhabi’s Life Beyond Saadiyat report charts the outstanding progress of graduates from the Class of 2016 following their Commencement in May 2016, 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.

“I’ve always had a passion for development work. Seeing my efforts make a positive impact on the community gives my work purpose,” said alumni Geo Kamus, who is currently a management trainee at Republic Cement Services in Makati, Philippines. “I choose to engage in projects that I know have and drive values aligned with my own.”

The graduates achieved a placement rate of 92 percent in employment and graduate studies across a range of industries including engineering, science, and arts and humanities. Of the 34 countries chosen as destinations by the Class of 2016, the UAE welcomed the most NYUAD graduates, with 26 per cent of graduates staying in the country, primarily employed in local businesses and organizations. Of these, 82 percent work in Abu Dhabi at organizations such as Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, CNN, Delma Institute and Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.

Currently the co-founder and CEO of VUL9 Security Solutions, while employed as a Managing Associate at eSquare Middle East and Editor in Chief for Gulf Elite Magazine, Mohamed Amine Belarbi is striking out to make a difference in the UAE’s promising entrepreneurial ecosystem. “Being an entrepreneur is about the journey, not the destination,” he explains. “You get to become a better person every day thanks to circumstances that constantly test your limits, but at the end of the day you get to harvest the fruits of your labor.”

Graduates are not afraid to pursue projects beyond the ordinary and explore non-traditional options after graduation. Louis Plottel decided to take a road less traveled and is planning a bicycle trip from Europe to South Africa in order to look into the impact of climate change on local communities. He is using this trip as a research project because he feels that meaningful interactions with local people is the best way to truly appreciate and understand complex global problems. "It is impossible to understand any issue without understanding how it affects those who are living it most deeply."

Seeking to further their studies, 27 percent of the class enrolled in graduate or professional schools in order to pursue doctoral, law, medical, business, and master’s degrees at top academic institutions around the world including London School of Economics, Brown University, University of Cambridge, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and ETH Zurich.

Osama Mohammad Ali Salman majored in Social Research and Public Policy at NYUAD before enrolling as a Senior Status Law Student at the University of Cambridge. “The quality of teaching and the caliber of my student peers at NYUAD enhanced my ability to think analytically. Travel, relationships with professors, and the friendships I made, were my most meaningful takeaways from NYUAD, a truly unique community.”

Of the students enrolled in graduate or professionals schools, 75 percent received scholarships for their studies, including Rhodes and Fulbright Scholarships.

Farah Shamout, Class of 2016 graduate and current Rhodes Scholar studying Engineering Science at the University of Oxford, comments: “Studying at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar will provide me with the opportunity to further grow as a cosmopolitan leader and return to the UAE with the vision to develop health informatics.”

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.

Learn more about the Class of 2016 and NYU Abu Dhabi’s 2016 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.