Alumni Voices

  • Alumni Voice
    Adele Kramber ‘19
    Fellowship:
    Udall Scholarship
    Course Name:
    Social Science (Environmental Studies)

    Applying for the Udall Scholarship proved to be an incredibly rewarding experience. It not only challenged me to craft my own personal narrative, but it also aided me in truly defining my passions and goals. Creating my application allowed me to narrow in on what was driving me to pursue environmentalism, and thus it made me even more excited about my future in the field. When I began the application, I had no idea what I wanted to do in the future. After writing about my experiences and projects, I realized that I could combine my two interests of journalism and environmentalism in order to pave a path in both fields.

    Advice:
    My advice to future applicants would be to not underestimate yourself. Each applicant has a powerful narrative and unique experience. Also, when you're at the beginning of the application process, don't worry about not having a full grasp on where your application is going. Keep on writing and your application will shape itself. By piecing together your experiences, you may even discover hidden goals and passions you have.
  • Alumni Voice
    Alhan Fakhr ‘17
    Fellowship:
    Princeton in Asia
    Course Name:
    Social Sciences

    Be honest with yourself. Schedule an initial meeting with Anna and come prepared with programs you want to apply to, your strengths and weaknesses, and what you can do to address your weaknesses. Once you graduate, set your own timelines. Understand how much time you need to address gaps in your application and reverse-engineer your application from there.

    Advice:
    Don’t let the fear of rejection prevent you from applying for a program/ fellowship. Reach out to fellow NYU Shanghai alumni, and especially Anna Kendrick — you’ll be surprised how helpful our network can be despite how young we are as an institution. And if you don’t make it to your program of choice, you’ll be surprised how one failed opportunity prepares you for future successes.
  • Alicja jader
    Alicja Jader ‘17
    Fellowship:
    Santander Scholarship, University of Cambridge
    Course Name:
    Humanities

    Don't feel intimidated by the number of decisions you have to make while applying for graduate programs. I know that choosing the right course, college, and researching scholarships might seem daunting, but, in my experience, it's best to focus on a few applications you feel most passionate about, and get to know those institutions well. Not only will it help you during the interview stage, but it also will give you a good idea of all the funding options available. Attempt to apply to all of them, even when they seem too competitive, or you don't think you meet all the criteria. As each of your applications will be read by someone

  • Ann Fan Yang
    Ann Fan Yang ‘17
    Fellowship:
    Cambridge MPhil 2017-18, Translational Biomedical Research
    Course Name:
    Biology

    I'm still developing the answer to the classic question, "Why do you want to become a doctor?"  I was really interested in marine biology and the environmental conservation movement prior to committing to the pre-med track. Perhaps in the future I will still study marine organisms like corals and lionfish, but in the context of something like the use of corals as a bone graft substitute [...]. I want to have a direct impact on humanity through research. 

  • Branden Taylor
    Branden Taylor ‘18
    Fellowship:
    Princeton in Asia Fellow, Mongolia
    Course Name:
    Business and Finance

    [On working in investment in Mongolia:] "I went full steam ahead for this post. I figured I had challenged myself coming to NYU Shanghai for my undergraduate study, but that it was time to kick it up a notch. The work and training I am receiving will be beneficial moving forward, and this experience will leave a lasting impact on me."

    Advice:
    Find unique opportunities: "The finance sector here is still so underdeveloped, things aren’t as clear cut as they typically would be in more developed markets, but it offers great opportunities to build things from the ground up."
  • Hannah
    Hannah Johnstone ‘17
    Fellowship:
    U.S. Fulbright Program (Malaysia, English Teaching Assistantship)
    Course Name:
    Humanities

    Winning a Fulbright scholarship is an incredible honor. Having the opportunity to spend the next 10 months integrated into a community and participating in Malaysian traditions will be indispensable to my future work in global education.

    Advice:
    Be flexible, but stick to values: "Originally, I applied to the ETA program in Mongolia. After being selected as an alternate, then not receiving the scholarship, I was offered a position in Malaysia. While the two countries are obviously very different, I was primarily interested in Fulbright because of its principle of 'promoting international goodwill through the exchange of students in the fields of education, culture, and science.'"
  • Alumni Voice
    Jacko Walz ‘17
    Fellowship:
    Schwarzman Scholars
    Course Name:
    Business and Finance

    The Schwarzman Scholarship asks applicants to articulate their rationale for why they believe the program is a good fit for them – and why they are a good fit for the program. This presses candidates to construct a narrative of their experiences and goals, the “story” that distinguishes them. This process demands reflection, and an effective applicant will complete the application with a fuller understanding of themselves and of their professional vision.

    Advice:
    Be courageous. You have something to offer the program; you just have to figure out what it is. Likewise, if you’re interested in applying, the program surely has something for you, but you must identify and articulate it.
  • Alumni Voice
    James Bromley ‘18
    Fellowship:
    Yale-NUS Dean's Fellow
    Course Name:
    Global China Studies

    Being involved in community building at NYU Shanghai throughout my four years enabled me to compose a winning application for the DF fellowship at Yale-NUS. In particular, working as an RA and in Student Government are two experiences which I think Yale-NUS valued in my application, and ones which I am already drawing upon frequently despite only being in Singapore for a month. For students who are considering applying, I would strongly recommend getting involved in community development at NYU Shanghai and demonstrating your passion for improving the lives of fellow students during their time at the University.

    Advice:
    I learned two things through applying to Yenching Academy. One was that the narrative I was trying to tell didn’t’ feel fully synthesized and so this should have been a prompt to consider more critically why I was applying in the first place. The second thing was that graduate school wasn’t the right choice for me at the time; in retrospect, I was applying because it’s a prestigious fellowship, not because it’s something I am absolutely passionate about at this point in my life. For those who are interested in applying, I would say taking advantage of DURF is a wise move. Completing a DURF project gives you autonomy to research a niche area of your choosing, while developing the specific research skills which a programme like Yenching Academy will look for.
  • Krista young
    Krista Young ‘18
    Fellowship:
    Princeton in Asia Fellow, Myanmar
    Course Name:
    Business and Finance

    I will be working at Proximity Designs, an award-winning social enterprise with a mission to raise incomes and improve the well-being of low-income families in rural Myanmar. The fact that the thought of moving to a new country in Asia still made me nervous even after I spent three years living in Shanghai was a key factor in making my decision. I wanted to challenge myself to outgrow and learn from fear and discomfort.

    Advice:
    If an opportunity comes up that scares you, try to reflect on why it scares you and whether overcoming that fear will help you grow as a person and as a professional. Also, value your time in Shanghai, because when the time comes to leave it, you'll feel like you've just left home for the first time all over again.
  • Alumni Voice
    Max Bork ‘17
    Fellowship:
    Boren Fellowship
    Course Name:
    Interactive Media Arts

    In the application process I learned to keep an eye open for different kinds of programs but also to be confident in myself and my story. With the help of Global Awards and NYU, students already have an interesting and competitive application. I learned not be too intimidated by big-name programs and to have hope for my applications. It helps to have confidence, because that will shine through on your application.

    Advice:
    My big advice is to be strategic about where to apply. Have your dream "reach" programs, and then have some safety and mid-range programs just in case. Pick your favorite few places and put everything you've got into those applications, and then make sure you also have some fallbacks. And don't be afraid to get rejected -- it happens to everyone and there's always another place that maybe you haven't thought of.

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