Monday, February 12, 2018

Jesse Vaughan (LS ’09, CAS ’11), 30 Under 30 Education 2018 Honoree and Co-founder of Landed

Jesse Vaughan is a co-founder of Landed, a startup that helps educators become homeowners near the communities they serve. He shared his experiences as an NYU student and his advice for alumni looking to create their own startup businesses.

What did you study at NYU?

I majored in Economics and minored in Politics and Business. If I were to go back in time, I would have taken more more courses, particularly in life sciences and/or Computer Science. Most of all, I miss the greenfield feeling of studying as an undergrad. After I left school, I realized how much of a privilege the experience of university is. 

What's your favorite memory of NYU?

No singular moment stands out in my NYU memory, however, collectively, the experiences studying in Prague stand out among my most cherished memories. I really made some great friends there and the feeling of being a part of a small community that was different and special, in an unfamiliar sea of language and culture, helped me define a personal identify.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Stephanie Samedi (CAS ’17) on her DURI Project and How It Shaped Her Career Goals

What did you study at NYU?

My major was Social & Cultural Analysis. I focused on American Studies and Africana Studies through examining history and current events. In the SCA program, we studied sociological theories, and I conducted a lot of research in my four years. My degree in Social and Cultural Analysis equipped me to utilize interdisciplinary scholarship to focus on issues of social justice.

What is your favorite memory of your time at NYU?

I have a lot of favorite memories! I would have to say that my experience studying in Florence for a semester is my number one. I had a seamless academic experience, in terms of my credits and requirements. It was a great opportunity to experience the language and the culture, and learn about the history of the Tuscany region. I was a research intern at La Pietra Dialogues at NYU Florence and examined immigration policies in the European Union. I interviewed experts in the field, such as members of the United Nations, and wrote blog posts. I was able to transfer the skill sets I had developed in New York to my work in Florence.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Entrepreneur Alexandra Szakats (CAS ’12) on the Importance of Learning to Think

Photo Credit: Jason Smith
We caught up with Alexandra, co-founder of trüFORMAT, a brain and body training company. She shared what it is like to be an entrepreneur, her early job experiences, and what motivates and inspires her.

What did you study at NYU?

I graduated with a degree in Metropolitan Studies and German. I didn’t declare until midway through my Sophomore year; there were plenty of interesting classes and coursework available, but, at eighteen, I was puzzled at the idea of having to pick a major that would guarantee a career. Instead, I chose based on my interest in the content and a confidence that it would teach me how to think. Cities are complex. My classes taught me to break down big subjects, understand the parts in relation to the whole, and reimagine their configuration. I’ve used this thinking in every (non-city related) job since graduation.

What was your first job after graduation?

My first job started before graduation on the Equities trading floor at Barclays Investment Bank. The summer before senior year, I was interning at a bank across the street. I met up with a friend who was completing his internship at Barclays, and he insisted I meet with his boss. I earned a job with her to help design strategies that generate and source new revenue streams for US equity products globally. With time, I led the equity education program designed to highlight the team’s thought leadership. I had the opportunity to travel all around the US and Asia.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Suzanne Dikker, PhD (GSAS ’10) on Merging Neuroscience and Performance Art

Photo credit: Thaddeus Rombauer
An Amsterdam native, Dr. Dikker is a researcher in the NYU Psychology Department Poeppel Lab and at Utrecht University. We visited her lab to find out how she merges cognitive neuroscience with education and performance art in her research. She also shared her experiences working with performance artist Marina Abramovic, who is best known for sitting immobile for 736 and 1/2 hours while spectators took turns sitting across from her in The Artist is Present at MoMA.

What did you study at NYU?

I was a PhD student in the Department of Linguistics. My experience as a graduate student was fantastic. I learned a lot from the faculty and my fellow students. In the Poeppel Lab in the Department of Psychology, where I am now a Research Scientist, there are some researchers who are just geniuses. It is an honor to be in this environment and among this community on a daily basis.

During my graduate studies, I was lucky to have the opportunity to work on projects that required group work, as opposed to only solitary efforts. I had a lot of collaboration with fellow students (most prominently: Hugh Rabagliati) and interaction with research subjects. I also had Liina Pylkkanen, Professor of Linguistics and Psychology, as my advisor. She was very hands-on and invested in her students, so I learned a great deal from her.