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The World is Our Oyster

THINK Global School alumni go on to do great things

As our graduates continue their journeys beyond THINK Global School, we’re seeing an incredible diversity of passions pursued, lives changed, and differences made.

There’s no “typical” path for TGS alumni. In one recent graduating class, students went on to study Photography at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Pre-Law at King’s College in London, Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Rochester, International Relations at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador, and Biology and Anthropology at Skidmore College. One student even took a gap year to conduct a case study for an NGO before heading to Windesheim Honours College in the Netherlands to study Global Change and Project Management.

TGS alumni are changing the world in so many ways: consulting for sustainability projects in Bangkok, working at the Swedish Chamber of Commerce, facilitating dialogue within communities in conflict through the non-profit organization Seeds of Peace, and even playing for the Bhutan National Football Team.

The one thing all our graduates have in common? They bring a global outlook and changemaker mindset to whatever challenges they undertake.  

Yada Pruksachatkun ’14

Changing the Face of Tech

What have you been up to since graduation?

A lot of exploring and a lot of humbling experiences. I’ve had the opportunity to explore my interests by working at different companies (Facebook, Fin) as well as getting back to my language/writing roots with natural language processing, which is a strand of computer science that aims to extract information from text.

Before college, I was also an activist on issues surrounding mental health stigma, and now I am returning to those issues from an engineering perspective. I am interested in helping make technology a more empathetic place, which right now means doing research on computational ways to detect if a mental health forum thread is making the help-seeker feel better (and inversely, feel more distressed), with applications to community moderation.

How has a TGS education benefited you?

I think my TGS education has given me a good level of grit as well as a sense of purpose. Although I definitely have enjoyed my time as a college student, I also know that, when circumstances allow, I have an internal obligation to use my skillset to help solve social problems in the world today.

What is something interesting that you’ve worked on?

As a woman in technology, I am very invested in giving fellow women the resources to gain information on potentially discriminating environments. I led a team of four engineers and designers to create a Chrome extension (activerank.co), which displays how well a company treats their female employees based on pay gap, percentage of women in the company, and reviews from women who have worked at the company.

I would also have to say that the work I’m currently doing with Microsoft Research has been incredibly fulfilling. Computational mental health is a small but growing field, and through this project on detecting the trajectory of health-seekers  we’re already in partnership with some of the biggest players in digital mental health.

What’s next?

I’m currently off to graduate school at the NYU Center for Data Science for two years, where I wish to continue working on problems related to empathetic machine learning and making technology more considerate. In four years, I want to have spread the research I’m currently working on into something that touches the lives of people. Whether that means helping make the current technologies you probably already use more empathetic and working for an established startup or company, or potentially starting my own company, is still flexible.

There have been numerous talks about technology increasing depression, but there is also so much power in technology to deliver mental healthcare to people who otherwise would not have access to it. Current and future generations will grow up with social media and technology, and I think making technology more empathetic is one of the areas my skills as an engineer and researcher can make the most impact in.

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Jawed Sakhi ’14

From Afghanistan to the International Monetary Fund

What have you been up to since graduation?

Much has occurred since my graduation from TGS back in the spring of 2014. At this point, It’s strange to look back and realize that I have spent a longer time away from TGS than I did as a student. I finished my undergraduate degree last spring in International Political Economy from the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University; completed several internships around the States during my college years; and began a full-time research analyst position at the International Monetary Fund here in Washington, D.C. I work in the Middle East and Central Asia Department, where I cover a number of countries in the region.

Would you say your time as a student at THINK Global School prepared you for the real world? Are there any particular skills you learned at TGS that you still utilize today?

There is no doubt of any kind that my TGS experience prepared me in a realistic way for the real world, a statement that I am sure many of my classmates would agree with. I think one of the most important skills that TGS provided me with was the ability to communicate effectively with people – whether in personal or professional life – and truly understand their positions. In today’s world where misunderstandings can have disastrous effects, TGS guides its students to not make any assumptions before walking into a room or conversation. It is this open-mindedness that enables TGS graduates to make eloquent statements and conscious expressions that connect them to their audience, through which a greater understanding of the world and its different cultures are exhibited and exemplified.

Now that you are roughly five years out from graduation, where do you see yourself in five years?

Career-wise five years from now, I would like to continue working in the international space (in whatever role that may be) and with actors in emerging markets because working in these somewhat unstructured environments create a lot of room for creativity and growth.

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Kryštof Stupka ’17

Helping Youth Worldwide

What have you been up to since graduation?

I was in California visiting my godparents when I got my Sciences Po Paris Euro-American Program acceptance letter and since then my life took on a rapid speed. I moved to France, where I now study Politics and International Relations on the Reims Campus. Almost immediately after I came, I successfully ran for student representative election. Last Summer I moved to Athens where I volunteered for an LGBTI Refugee Shelter for Safe Place International working with the youth in the shelter to transition from the UNICEF support into successful job applicants.

When I got back from Greece, I took up an opportunity to preside over the European Youth Parliament Conference in Austria, which focused on the main topics of debate around youth civic participation, the environment, and human rights. This opened the door for an internship in the Czech Government Human Rights Council where I will be working this Summer.

How has a TGS education benefited you?

Overall, since I graduated I try to use what I learnt during TGS and what stuck with me the most was the value of Ubuntu. As young people, we now have to connect and ensure that our voices get heard at the global governance level, as we live in a time when our input is incredibly crucial. Next year I am headed to Edinburgh for a year abroad and I am ready to join the Scottish youth in their fight for a better environment and a better tomorrow.

What is something impactful you’ve worked on since graduating?

Personally, if I were to choose one of the things from the list above, it would be the student representative of my programme at Sciences Po Paris. From the very night that I decided to run, it was an intense two-years of negotiations, meetings, and crisis management. I could not be more proud of how we managed to improve our campus as the student government. Part of our job was to develop the academics and ensure smooth communication between the administration and the students but the responsibilities connected to the role really opened my mind about the sort of privilege that we’ve had as students at Sciences Po.

We pushed for a new health centre, newly offering increased mental healthcare and ensured the renovation of the student lounge, but also dealt with addressing students’ personal problems and helping everyone to enjoy their studies. Myself, I focused on making the campus more inclusive, and one of the first things I pushed for was making all bathrooms gender neutral. We also managed to get free contraception and HIV testing offered regularly on-site. However, my inclusive-focus as a student-rep went far beyond that, and I have had the honour to finish my speech at this years’ Sciences Po Inauguration Ceremony with the remarks, “Welcome to the most open-minded Sciences Po campus ever.”

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Mark Surnin ’14

Tech and Finance with a Global Perspective

What have you been up to since graduation?

I went to New York University in Abu Dhabi where I studied Computer Science and Mathematics. It is a new liberal arts university with a highly diverse student body, which felt as if it were a natural extension of TGS.

I was fortunate to make close friends, study abroad at several NYU sites, and complement my technical coursework with courses on photography, creativity, business, and many other topics. It had been a vibrant, motivating and fun environment to be in and I am really grateful for the experience.

I moved to Singapore after graduating from NYU Abu Dhabi. I now work as a software engineer at Goldman Sachs, play squash and explore Southeast Asia in my spare time.

What’s something interesting that you’ve worked on?

A few friends and I took a shot at starting a mobile peer-to-peer payments company in the UAE. It did not work out, but it was a great learning experience during which I got to try on many hats.

What’s next?

I’m not sure yet, but I’d definitely like to spend more time with my family, have a fulfilling career and continue to travel. There is a lot I want to do and I’m currently figuring it out.

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Ready to embark on the educational journey of a lifetime?

A passion for travel. A strong academic record. And the desire to improve the world as you experience it. If this sounds like you, you just might be our ideal candidate! Start your application with a five-minute inquiry form - you never know where you might end up.

It all starts here.

Ready to embark on the educational journey of a lifetime?

A passion for travel. A strong academic record. And the desire to improve the world as you experience it. If this sounds like you, you just might be our ideal candidate! Start your application with a five-minute inquiry form - you never know where you might end up.

It all starts here.

Apply now