Students Given Unparalleled Opportunities to Talk Shop With High Profile World Leaders

“Being a Senegalese national and economics major … it was empowering to have direct access to individuals with deciding power who could enact change”

I never thought as a college student, I would have the opportunity to interact with Hollywood actors, chairmen, vice chancellors, tenured professors, technology leaders, managing directors, and political figures. 

Through NYU Abu Dhabi’s Advancement Opportunity Funding, I did just that for five days in the United States. 

At the Milken Global Conference, I spoke personally with several high profile figures including:

  • Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney

  • Overseas Private Investment Corporation CEO Ray Washburne on US’s investment in African nations

  • UNICEF USA’s President and CEO Caryl Stern

  • UAE Ambassador to the US His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba

I also presented at multiple panels on the socio-economic impact of Chinese investments flowing into Africa, the current state of China-Africa and US-Africa bilateral relations from my generation’s perspective and the economic potential of the continent. 

Being a Senegalese national and economics major who has studied and seen the effects of China’s growing presence in Senegal, I know my topic well. It was empowering to have direct access to individuals with deciding power who could enact change that would have lasting effects. 

It was an honor to be able to represent NYUAD, and explain the ideals envisioned by both the Emirati leadership and NYU, which created our NYUAD campus.

Attendees at the conference were wowed to learn that in a world that grows divided every day, exists a university with a huge international student population that provides a high standard of higher education. I was constantly reminded how each of our student stories and life paths led us to NYUAD. 

This conference has been a huge push in the right direction, reminding me to get out there and take control of opportunities available to students. I am also more determined than ever to make an impact in the part of the world where I come from.

The NYU Abu Dhabi Advancement Opportunity Funding provides NYU Abu Dhabi students opportunities to participate in competitions, conferences, workshops, activities, and events that will benefit their academic, professional, and personal goals.