Friday, March 4, 2016

Spotlight on Recent Alumni

We caught up with three recent alumni who are starting careers in medicine, entrepreneurship and law.

David Osayande (CAS ’13)

What did you study at NYU?
David Osayande

I was a Chemistry major in the honors Chemistry program, and on the pre-med track. Going to medical school was something that I had always considered, but it wasn’t until sophomore year that I started to see it as a real possibility. A lot of that had to do with the HEOP program (Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program). It is a program designed to assist economically disadvantaged residents of New York State. The support system provided by the program really gave me the courage to pursue medicine.

What is your favorite memory of NYU?

I remember checking my first General Chemistry exam grade in the HEOP office during freshman year - I had failed miserably. I started sobbing, thinking, “This is it. All that my mom has worked for to give me this opportunity, I am just wasting it.” It made me reconsider any science-related field, much less medicine. One of the HEOP counselors, Anna Ortega Chavolla, (now Director of STEM for NYU’s Opportunity Programs) brought me into her office and comforted me. She gave me all kinds of advice about other students who had succeeded in the class that I could reach out to, and possible study strategies. It was a really powerful moment for me because it showed me that I had a family away from home.
David Osayande: his story continues
I took her advice and I buckled down and studied a lot harder. I managed to get an A in that class, then became a Chemistry major and went on to become a Teaching Assistant for the higher level course, Organic Chemistry. Without that experience, I honestly don’t believe that I would be where I am today.

You are now a second year student at Harvard Medical School. What drew you to medicine and what specialty do you intend to focus on?

I am currently considering emergency medicine or trauma surgery. I have a passion for violence prevention and its place within the medical field. I grew up in a pretty violent neighborhood and I saw the impact that violence can have on people’s lives. It is a problem that is rampant in our communities and one that really needs to be addressed beyond the legal system and law enforcement.

What is next for you?

One of the things I noticed growing up is that the medical community has an issue with its engagement with victims of violence. When a victim goes to the hospital, their wounds are treated, but then they are sent back to the same environment that caused their injuries in the first place with no means of preventing recurrence. It is not a very sustainable method of care.

I have been working with the Violence Recovery Program at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital here at Harvard Medical School since last summer. The program reaches out to patients that come to the hospital with injuries related to violence. The idea is to provide them with resources to help prevent them from coming back to the hospital with the same issue – counseling, legal support, educational support, and housing relocation, if necessary. I thought this was a really great model for the kind of program I would want to direct in the future, so I applied to joint MD/MBA programs, to gain the skills to be able to lead a program like that. I have since received offers from Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business to obtain the MBA portion of the joint degree. Although I haven't completely made up my mind yet, it'll be hard to turn down sunny weather and palm trees.

Jasmine DilmanianJasmine Dilmanian (LS ’10, CAS ’12)

What did you study at NYU?

I was a double major in Journalism and Political Science.

What is your favorite memory of NYU?

During my sophomore year, I managed to land in a course in the Global Liberal Studies program about development and globalization with only eight other students. The professor secured a grant to take us on a 5-day, all-expenses-paid trip to Jamaica. Because the professor's parents were native Jamaicans, she knew her way around and was able to take us to places that are usually barred to tourists so we could witness the repercussions of the IMF's policies, which operate in favor of the U.S., on developing nations. It's rare to travel somewhere and see every aspect of its culture in an unadulterated way (not to mention for a class), but this was definitely one of those experiences.

What led you to create your own company and what was the inspiration behind

As I was graduating business school, I had the urge to do something for myself. I wanted to piece together my creative and technical skills and see if I could run a business doing exactly what I wanted to do. I knew I was good at writing and loved to edit, plus I had a background in journalism and media strategy. So, I wrote a business plan, filed for an LLC, and started a service from home. Usually for this kind of thing, companies or individual writers need to go to an agency where they get charged an arm and a leg and don't necessarily achieve the desired result. Sometimes, people are intimidated to ask for help because they feel like their project is too small or specialized, or they don't know where to look. I differentiate myself as being a personal, nimble company. I've done everything from college applications to proofreading fiction manuscripts to product packaging copy. What's most important is that I'm on board with every project I take, which is more than I can say for being a cog in the wheel at a major corporation. But that has its perks, too.

What has been the most important lesson of your early career?

Don't say yes to every opportunity or let clients negotiate you down too much; you'll commoditize your own service and shoot yourself in the foot. Unless you're competing on price and expect high volume, you should stand your ground. If you have a sound strategy and your gut tells you that a certain opportunity is off-strategy, or simply beyond your capability, it's best to direct your efforts elsewhere.

What is next for you?

I'm not trying to be a millionaire overnight. I'm steadily developing Wordie so I have a long-term, viable business and brand in my back pocket. Taking a few projects at a time is key; most businesses crumble when they bite off more than they can chew, so I'm actively trying to avoid that. It's a lot of moving pieces, even on a tiny scale. Fortunately, there will always be a need for what I do, so if I feel like expanding down the road, I have that option. For now, it's great to be my own boss.

To find out more about Jasmine and her business:
Instagram: @wordieediting
Twitter: @wordieediting

Jude Dworaczyk (LS ’10, CAS ’12)
Jude Dworaczyk

What did you study at NYU?

I was an Economics major with a minor in Business Studies.

What is your favorite memory of NYU?

Being a member of the NYU men’s basketball team that made it to the 2012 NCAA Tournament. It was the first time that the NYU men’s team made the tournament in 14 years. The whole school really got into it and for those few weeks it felt like we were able to bring the student body together. It was a special feeling considering that NYU is not a place known for its school spirit.

What drew you to the law and what field of law are you working in?

Going in to NYU I thought I wanted to be a banker. My mother, however, convinced me to look into the law before I made any serious decisions. As a result, during the summer between my sophomore and junior years at NYU I interned for a judge back in my hometown of San Antonio. It was during that summer that I began to gravitate more towards going to law school. Once in law school, I spent my summers clerking for two law firms in Houston. After actually being in a law firm environment, I determined that corporate law was the best fit for me given my economics background and interest in business. Today I am a corporate attorney with Baker Botts L.L.P. in Houston.

What has been the most important lesson of your early career?

It’s a small world so be mindful of your reputation. I’ll give an example tied to NYU. One of my good friends from the NYU women’s basketball team is Shelby Coon. Shelby Coon has a close family friend named Bob Murray. I was recently assigned to a project with a partner from our New York office. As luck would have it, that partner was Bob Murray and he happens to be the department chair. Moral of the story is that you never know when the relationships you make will circle back around, so it is prudent to make sure you are guarding your reputation and treating people well.

What is one thing that you would have liked to have done differently as an undergraduate student?
I really regret never having studied abroad. NYU has one of the best study abroad programs in the country and I would encourage every student to do that before they graduate.

What is next for you?

Continue to work hard as an associate and learn as much as I can about corporate, finance and securities law.

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