Not Goodbye Just Yet: Class of 2017 in Student Life

OCA has a conversation with graduates Meizhi Ng and Tyler Rhorick who have returned to NYU Shanghai to become members of the faculty and staff.

After NYU Shanghai’s inaugural class graduated last May, many students set off to continue their global journey. Some of them are pursuing Masters and Graduate Programs in Europe, America, and other parts of the world. Some are starting their jobs at different companies and corporations. But, a few have chosen another path: they have chosen to come back to NYU Shanghai.

Strolling through the hallways of the Academic Building, you might run into these familiar faces. Graduate students are IMA Fellows, Research Assistants, and hold various positions throughout the university’s departments. Notably, the department of Student Life has two new members, Tyler Rhorick and Meizhi Ng.

Ng is the Associate of Student Clubs and Organizations and helps the Student Organizations Committee (SOC) with handling club and chapter affairs. Her motivation was simple – “friends and community that I found in NYU Shanghai.”

Ng explained, “I wanted to work at it to make it better and make it stronger. So I joined Student Government, I did Events Committee, I joined the women’s soccer team, I participated and I got involved in my community because I wanted to make NYU Shanghai the best it could be. And, that ties into why I stayed and why I wanted to be part of the school as staff.”

She added, “I am hoping to achieve what I have always hoped, which is better communication between students and administration, better club life and community building and better collaborations.”

On the other hand, Rhorick commented his decision to work at NYU Shanghai “was not always a plan.” It was a “big realization” that occurred during his time studying away in Ghana.

“I had done an internship in an environmental organization, an environmental NGO that was related to social media and while I enjoyed the experience I realized it was not what I thought it was going to be. That’s what I thought I wanted to do, something NGO related, and something media related.”

So Rhorick phoned the Career Development Center (CDC) “in like shock” and explained he was about to graduate and didn’t know what to do. He got in touch with an advisor and started considering what he enjoyed doing.

Rhorick recollected that “I’ve really enjoyed everything I did with student government,” “I really enjoy orientation being an orientation ambassador” and “I really enjoyed writing Artist Guild,” the club that he founded. The advisor replied “well there’s a job that you could still continue to do that.”

The job turned out to be at NYU Shanghai and although initially reluctant, Rhorick grew to consider his potential new position as a “perfect fit.” But, regardless of liking the job description, Rhorick didn’t think it would be possible “because of the visa issues.”

There was “lots of change at the time and it seemed very certain that it was not going to be possible to study or work in Shanghai after graduation,” Rhorick said.

So, much to Rhorick’s surprise he received a call from the CDC whilst he was in class and they asked whether he would consider the position if it opened up. After a process, “it just felt right” and Rhorick became the first alumnus to receive a Foreign Graduate Work Permit.

Speaking about his new role, Rhorick said he can do “a lot of things I couldn’t have done as a student. So I’m very very excited about it.”

This article was written by Diem Hang Pham. Please send an email to managing@oncenturyavenue.com to get in touch.
Photo Credit: NYU Shanghai

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