Abroad in New York City

NYU Tandon’s international students forge friendships, life skills, and solid career paths in one of the most exciting cities on the planet

statue of liberty with sunset skyline

In today's interconnected world, everyone can benefit from immersing themselves in a new culture and gaining international perspective, and that just may be even more important for engineering students, who are regularly called upon to problem-solve with diverse teams, often find jobs at multinational companies, and must always consider a wide variety of end users as they develop technology products and services.

Attending a school thousands of miles from your native country can be daunting, but the benefits are undeniable–from understanding the global impact and potential of your work to developing a wide network and boosting your marketability. Additionally, being thrust into a foreign environment demands adaptability and flexibility, must-have characteristics at a time when the tech landscape is continually evolving. 

We recently caught up with a trio of master’s students from around the world to discuss why they chose to study at Tandon and how they are faring in the U.S.

Reese George (Mechanical Engineering)

Reese George Headshot

Tell us a little about your background.

I was born in Ethiopia but raised in  Eritrea, a country in East Africa that borders Ethiopia. 

The two nations have had a complicated, and often adversarial, relationship; from 1961 to 1991, Eritrea fought for its independence, and then, from 1998 to 2000, there was another war, this time over territory, which is when we moved from Ethiopia to Eritrea. Later on, I moved back to Ethiopia. All that is to say that it was a complex place to grow up and study in.

I earned my undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from the Eritrea Institute of Technology in 2016, and although I wanted to earn a master’s degree, after I took my GRE, I had issues getting a passport. I ended up working for several years as a design engineer at an Addis Ababa-based company. 

Why did you choose to come to NYU Tandon?

Even though I was working, I never gave up thinking about earning a graduate degree, and one day while I was researching possibilities, I came across mention of NYU. They were offering waivers for the application fees, so I didn’t have anything to lose. Then, I ended up being offered a merit scholarship, and it was the best thing that had ever happened to me in my life. My parents were a little nervous about me being so far from home, but they’re excited for me. They’re both business majors and accountants, and they place a high value on education. My older sibling earned a master’s degree in civil engineering, and the younger one is studying for her master's in biology.

Was it hard to adjust to life in Brooklyn?

Not at all. I found a job as a Tandon graduate assistant, and everyone I work with is so friendly. I also became a Tandon Unibuddy Ambassador, which involves chatting with prospective students about the graduate admissions process, classroom experiences, the campus community, professional and research opportunities, life in New York City, or any other questions they have. I also took on a summer research internship involving digital engineering for aerospace structures at the University of Massachusetts, and I’m doing a master’s thesis on methods of optimizing additive manufacturing.  

I can’t say enough about how helpful and encouraging my professors have been. I owe a lot to Nikhil Gupta and Rakesh Behera

What are your plans for the future?

Right now, I’m doing an internship at MYT Works, which designs and manufactures equipment used in the film and television industries. I really feel that with a graduate degree in mechanical engineering, the sky's the limit for me. 

Arpita Mishra (Computer Engineering)

Arita Mishra Headshot

Tell us a little about your background.

I completed my schooling from the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) board, renowned for a challenging curriculum that demands perseverance and dedication, so I was equipped with the knowledge and skills to take on any academic pursuit. I next earned a BTech degree in computer science and engineering from Pranveer Singh Institute of Technology in 2021. There, I served as a Toastmasters officer, refining my communication and leadership skills, and interned at GradBoss, an innovative admission-prep boot camp, where I developed as a software engineer and gained industry experience

Why did you choose to come to NYU Tandon?

My father has always emphasized the benefits of pursuing an education abroad, particularly in America, which he strongly believed would be a valuable experience for me.

Being the eldest among my siblings, I recognize the importance of setting a good example and being a positive influence on them. A significant contributing factor to my motivation and drive to pursue a career in engineering is my cousin Aditi Shukla, who graduated from NYU Tandon in 2022 and is now thriving in her career at Amazon. She serves as an inspiration and a positive influence for me in achieving my goals.

Was it hard to adjust to life in Brooklyn?

Although living away from home for the first time can be challenging, I am grateful to have found a comfortable apartment in Bay Ridge with the company of my roommates, one of whom is a fellow Tandon student. Together, we have created a supportive and welcoming environment that feels like a second family to me.

Despite facing a difficult time when I fell ill last year, I am grateful for the unwavering support of my roommates and the exceptional care provided by the doctors at NYU Langone, which enabled me to make a complete recovery. Even with the challenge of being far from my parents, I felt comforted and cared for by those around me.

I am fortunate to be living in a diverse community here in Brooklyn, which I find enriching and fascinating. In my role at the Office of Graduate Admissions, I work alongside wonderful colleagues who come from a variety of backgrounds and cultures. We enjoy sharing words in our respective languages and trying different types of food. Even though there is plenty of Indian cuisine available in New York, my colleagues get excited whenever my mother sends care packages of Indian snacks, which is a testament to the warm and welcoming environment that we have created.

Although some of my academic courses, particularly machine learning and internet architecture, have posed challenges, I embrace the opportunity to stretch myself and expand my knowledge base. Despite the difficulties, I have persevered and maintained a 3.7 GPA, which is a testament to my hard work and dedication to my studies.

I share my father's belief that experiencing international education is a valuable and rewarding opportunity that can benefit anyone.

What are your plans for the future?

In terms of my future plans, I can envision myself following in the footsteps of my cousin and venturing out to the West Coast to work as a software developer in Silicon Valley. The dynamic and innovative tech industry out there is something that greatly interests me, and I believe it could provide me with valuable experiences and opportunities for personal and professional growth.


Andrew Quicho (Management of Technology)

Tell us a little about your background.

I earned my undergraduate degree from the University of the Philippines, and I immediately embarked on a management career in the hospitality industry. It was an exciting time: I was part of the pre-opening team at a major resort, and I was able to leverage my skills in market intelligence, data analytics, and end-to-end account management to drive revenue and forge partnerships with the Department of Tourism, various airlines, and other organizations.

I eventually decided to move into the tech sector, and I subsequently worked with both large retailers and start-ups. At one start-up, Pickaroo, which is a Manila-based delivery app, I was the number two employee, reporting directly to the founder to devise overall strategy and encourage data-driven decision-making 

Why did you choose to come to NYU Tandon?

I love new perspectives, new people, and new challenges, and I was confident I could find all that at Tandon. I can get out of my comfort zone here: I had already developed business acumen, but I now get to take classes like coding and statistics that add to my skill set and broaden me intellectually. Even before I arrived on campus, I got involved in student life by participating in the Tandon Made Challenge, which asks incoming students to form teams and develop a solution to a pressing social problem. My team came up with a platform that employed AI to provide personalized mental health services.   

Was it hard to adjust to life in Brooklyn?

Like almost everyone who first arrives in a new place, I naturally had a short period of homesickness, but that passed quickly. There's really no time to be homesick, bored, or idle in New York City. 

What are your plans for the future?

In 2022 I interned at Braze, a New York-based company that allows brands to engage more effectively with consumers. I first met the team when I was at Pickaroo. If you’ve ever received an email or seen an online ad for HBO, Burger King, Venmo, or GrubHub, Braze was probably involved. I’m happy to say they’ve already offered me a full-time position, so that’s where I’ll be after I graduate.