2018 Alumni are Working and Studying Around the World

97 percent of graduates employed or enrolled at top schools around the globe just months after graduating

Press Release

From establishing careers in key sectors including technology, education, and finance, to pursuing prestigious doctorates abroad and graduate degrees at Harvard and Oxford, NYU Abu Dhabi’s (NYUAD) Class of 2018 graduates have distinguished themselves as a pioneering group of over 250 men and women representing 70 countries across the globe.

NYUAD’s recently published Life Beyond Saadiyat report charts the exceptional progress of graduates from the Class of 2018 following their Commencement in May 2018, 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 see my professional journey as a chain reaction, which started off doing things I found meaningful but couldn’t fit into the bigger picture: from synthetic biology to a student-led effort in marine biology, only to find myself in the Italian mountain chain of Gran Sasso working on a dark matter search experiment. So, taking up software engineering at Amazon seemed like it came out of nowhere. But in reality, I had grown as an engineer and a team player and through computer science and artificial intelligence classes I was more than prepared for everything I was to do at Amazon.


Jovan Jovancevic , originally from Serbia, majored in Computer Engineering at NYUAD and is currently a Software Engineer with Amazon in Spain.

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 50 countries chosen as destinations by the Class of 2018, 49 percent of employed graduates opted to stay in the UAE and work in 44 organizations across the nation, including Central Bank of the UAE, IBM, The National, Emaar, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Etihad Airways.


I used to think the only way to make a difference in a developing country was through an international organization, a government position, or academia. But through my internships I realized the private sector also has a huge impact in improving the living standards in developing countries.


Malu Sanchez Gomez, from Peru, majored in Economics at NYUAD, and is now a Business Analyst with Arthur D. Little in the UAE.

Seeking to enhance their academic potential and further their studies, 25 percent of the Class enrolled in graduate or professional schools across 14 countries. Graduates pursuing PhDs doubled from 10 in the Class of 2017 to 20 in the Class of 2018. Thirty percent of graduates pursuing postgraduate studies are enrolled at the world's top 15 universities according to QS World Ranking such as MIT, Stanford University, Harvard University, University of Oxford, and the University of Cambridge. Other esteemed universities where graduates are enrolled include Humboldt University in Germany, the University of Toronto in Canada, University of Oslo in Norway, and the University of Melbourne in Australia.

"History is contested. It is a place where different parties highlight and obscure different parts of history. I am interested in this process of highlighting and obscuring. Why do certain communities look at certain periods with shame and other periods with nostalgia? I was blessed that I have been able to create all these relationships with professors and researchers in Abu Dhabi. Through discussions about how to move my research forward, everyone pointed to Berlin, where there is an amazing community of scholars."

Mohamed Al Mubarak, from the UAE, majored in History and Arab Crossroads, and is currently completing an MA in Global History at Humboldt University in Germany.

"I can see the many ways that my time at NYUAD has shaped me, but the impact of the journey was most clear when it came to actually make my decision about University of Melbourne. My time at NYUAD not only helped me develop a rich set of interests, it taught me the immense value of a comprehensive education that would give me the freedom to continue to pursue these interests. This is the standard I held my graduate school options to."

Simrat Roopra, from Australia, majored in Political Science and is now a Juris Doctor Candidate at the University of Melbourne.

Of the students enrolled in graduate or professionals schools, 77 percent received scholarships for their studies, including Rhodes and Fulbright Scholarships.


The internship and volunteer experiences I had [at NYUAD] helped me explore my passion for social justice and led to personal and professional connections that I still value deeply. Research experiences helped me understand how to manage a project from start to finish, which has been paramount as I develop my own research project in Lisbon.


Hannah Taylor, from the US, majored in Social Research and Public Policy and is now a Fulbright Research Fellow at the Portuguese Institute of International Relations in Portugal.

Interest in entrepreneurism has also increased, with about six percent of graduates being self-employed, working as freelance artists or writers, founding startups or establishing independent projects.

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 Commencement. 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 2018 and NYU Abu Dhabi’s 2018 Life Beyond Saadiyat report. Watch a video about Class of 2018 graduates and where they are now.

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.