Graduating NYU Shanghai students pose for a selfie

NYU Shanghai’s inaugural class graduated in May of 2017. As the very first alumni of a school that is the first of its kind, everyone was expecting them to do big things: and they didn’t disappoint. We caught up with four members of the NYU Shanghai Class of 2017 to hear about the amazing things they’re up to.


From Building a University to Building Products at Google

Kenny Song smiles for an up close photo
Kenny Song majored in Mathematics and Computer Science

“After graduation, I moved to the United States and joined Google in San Francisco as an associate product manager. I work with engineers constantly and use the knowledge gained from my technical courses at NYU Shanghai to understand the limitations and capabilities of our technology. Right now, I’m helping to launch several new products under Google Shopping, which is an exciting role straight out of college because I have a lot of responsibility over a service that has millions of users. In my free time, I’m studying Japanese, which is my current obsession. I’m hoping to relocate to Google Tokyo next year and continue my language studies and the love of global learning that I gained at NYU Shanghai.”

From Exploring Virtual Reality to Building a Mixed-Reality Business

Baaria Chaudhary smiles for an up-close photo
Baaria Chaudhary was an Interactive Media Arts major

“I work at Love8 Media in Brooklyn, New York, a company that designs systems and tools for artists to creative interactive storytelling experiences using mobile, virtual reality, and augmented reality. Outside of work, my former classmate, Marjorie Wang, and I created a mixed-reality studio called intern019, which serves as an extension of the creative freedom we had at NYU Shanghai. Since the school is small and tight-knit, we had access to so many tools and resources as well as support from professors like Christian Grewell, who set us up in a lab where we could prototype and create whatever we could dream up. Right now, intern019 is handling a few small contracts, but our hope is to transition it into a full-time business in the near future.”

From Studying in a Finanace Capital to Working at a Finance Giant

Alex Mayes smiles for an up close photo
Alex Mayes majored in Business and Finance

“As an investment banking analyst in mergers and acquisitions at Morgan Stanley, I’m building financial models, creating investor presentations, and researching industry trends. I’ve also found a strong sense of camaraderie with my team because we volunteer together at a local school, where we introduce students to the possibilities of business and finance-related careers. Using my field of study to connect with the community is something I first learned at NYU Shanghai, where, as the cofounder of the Undergraduate Business Association, I helped bring inspirational speakers to campus—including Steven Schwarzman, the CEO of the Blackstone Group. It gave us the opportunity to interact with business professionals, network in the city of Shanghai, and also create community by opening up our events and lectures to the public.”

From Neural Science Major to Biomedical Researcher

Reida Akam smiles for an up close photo
Reida Akam was a Neural Science major

“As a researcher at the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital, I’m helping a team of scientists explore how to stimulate the vagus nerve—which can mitigate cardiovascular disorders like hypertension and heart failure—in a noninvasive way by taking advantage of a connection between the vagus nerve and a cluster of smaller nerves located in the inner ear. As an undergraduate at NYU Shanghai, the research I was involved in prepared me to take on this new challenge, and I love that the work I’m now doing will be directly used to combat heart disease, which is one of the leading causes of death worldwide.”

Cat has been telling NYU stories for nearly 10 years with NYU’s University Relations and Public Affairs Office of Marketing Communications and is constantly inspired by what the people of this community make real. She’s also a proud alum of the NYU MFA program in creative writing, and runs a literary magazine in her free time. When she needs to get away from words, she does work in her neighborhood gardens and parks.