All Eyes on 2017

Lathika Chandra Mouli discusses how the Class of 2017 will be the first ambassadors of NYU Shanghai in grad schools and industries.

The Class of 2017 stands in the spotlight for several reasons – for being NYU Shanghai’s only class for a whole academic year, for being the first ones studying abroad, and now, for being the first class representing NYU Shanghai in graduate schools and industries. From walking through the ECNU doors to exploring NYU’s Global Network together, the Class of 2017 must now come together again to paint the picture of what comes after NYU Shanghai.

An online survey sent out by the Career Development Center (CDC) over the summer showed that almost 50% of seniors mentioned interest in applying to graduate school immediately, 40% mentioned working immediately, and 10% were undecided. However, only half the class responded to the survey, and many students’ plans could have changed since the start of senior year, hence final figures on how many seniors are applying to grad school versus getting a job are yet to be determined. The CDC encourages all seniors to keep attending appointments and keep the department updated with progress so that the school can track and support their needs, as well as collect statistics. As for now, it seems that only sixty seniors have used the career counseling services offered by CDC, in a class of over two hundred and eighty students.

Preparation for what comes after graduation, and transition into the “real” world, is a holistic process that is developed during all four years of university through multiple aspects of college life. With regards to the career aspect, the CDC wants to emphasize that they are a career development center rather than a job placement center. “We support our students not just to find any job but pursue opportunities that are fulfilling and match their long-term career goals. This takes research, reflection, outreach and time from the student,” CDC Assistant Director Jane Hsu Southwick said. Resources offered by the CDC for career guidance include recruitment events, interactive workshops, digital resources, and individual appointments to discuss personal goals and concerns.

“We hope that our graduating seniors have acquired the skills to reflect on how their experiences over the past four years have shaped them personally, academically and professionally…Our wish for our students is that they find the path that is right for them; a path that will enrich their lives and the lives of others – whether it be graduate school, global fellowship, or employment,” Dean of Students Charlene Visconti told OCA.

Senior Michael Lukiman explained that he feels prepared for grad school because he has had the opportunity to participate in several research activities and projects while making meaningful connections over the past three years; however, there have been setbacks in the academics, residential life, and health and wellness aspects of his journey at NYU Shanghai as well. “…The professors are stellar and the faculty are great; everyone means well – it’s just so heterogenous and new that the very diversity presents noise as this universe/university tries to expand and settle into its own silos…I have no doubt going to school back in California would have been much, much smoother. But that’s not what I asked for. But also, that’s not what grad school demands.”

NYU Shanghai senior Joshua Jin commented, “As a member of the first graduating class of NYU Shanghai, especially as a Chinese student, it can be tough dealing with GRE, TOEFL, and a lot of explanations about what exactly NYU Shanghai is. It’s tiring, and I know many of my classmates are tired too, but it is our dream to study in an international university and fulfilling dreams are never easy. At least I don’t regret choosing NYU Shanghai.”

Senior Li Siyao, who is currently preparing for the LSAT to apply for law school, believes that the small size of NYU Shanghai allows students to really connect with professors and leave a good impression, making it easier to get recommendation letters. “However it seems like no one else is really taking the LSAT, so studying can get a little lonely,” Li said.

From the university’s perspective, the seniors will be acting as the ambassadors for NYU Shanghai, the first representatives of what our unique education model really results in. “We encourage students to […] positively articulate the unique global story they have built as part of the inaugural class. This is the first time an organization or a graduate school will accept an NYU Shanghai student, and your individual actions reflect on the entire community,” Southwick said.

Vice Chancellor Jeffrey Lehman remarked, “We have tremendous confidence in the Class of 2017. It is true that, as our first graduates, they will shape the reputation of NYU Shanghai in the outside world, in ways that will affect all classes of graduates that will follow them. They have been shaping our school’s reputation since they enrolled as our first students back in 2013, and they have done an admirable job indeed. I know that they will always be superb ambassadors for NYU Shanghai.”

This article was written by Lathika Chandra Mouli. Please send an email to to get in touch.
Photo Credit: NYU Shanghai

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