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Life After THINK Global School

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 post-graduation. 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 alums are also embarking on a wide range of impactful careers, including providing philanthropy analysis for J.P. Morgan, 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.

One thing our graduates all have in common? They bring a global outlook and changemaker mindset to whatever challenges they undertake. You can learn more about several of our alums’ career paths below.

Maren Höver ’19


What have you been up to since graduation?

After graduating from TGS, I started a bachelor’s degree at the Maastricht Science Programme (MSP) in the Netherlands, where I specialized in physics and mathematics. In my free time, I got involved in the climate movement, and together with a few motivated people and some local organizations, we founded a student representation party to advocate for more sustainability within the university. This was definitely an exciting project, and I am very content with some of the changes we implemented as part of the University & Faculty Councils.

In my third year at MSP, I spent a semester studying abroad in South Korea, which was my first time traveling after TGS. It was great to move to a new place and live in a different culture again after a few years without travel. Having graduated from MSP this spring, I just started my Master’s Degree in Atmospheric and Climate Science at ETH Zürich. So far, I very much enjoy this field of study and am very happy with my new life in Switzerland.

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What has been the most gratifying project you’ve worked on since graduating?

On a personal level, I would say the student representation party I previously mentioned. Everyone in the organization was very motivated, and we were able to inspire a new lecturer position in the field of earth system science. A significant amount of funding to a sustainability committee also came about due to our work, which is now working on implementing many of our ideas. Being part of a student council, in general, was a very insightful experience and allowed me to better understand the university’s logistical and legal processes that go on behind the scenes.

Academically, it was very cool to work on a one-year research project where I investigated the effects of different weather conditions on highway traffic flow and the effectiveness of traffic management systems. Since the German Federal Highway Research Institute commissioned the project, I feel my research will eventually be used in a real-world context.

How do you feel your TGS education has benefited you in your science career?

I think two of the most beneficial skills that THINK Global School’s Changemaker Curriculum taught me are self-organization & motivation. These are essential for managing your time as a university student. Since I had already been in charge of my learning at TGS, the transition to university was much easier for me than for some of my peers with more traditional academic backgrounds.

As for science specifically, I think problem-solving and continuing to try a problem, even if it is hard, was something I had already gotten a glimpse of at TGS. With the projects, you constantly had to try and find new approaches to the question at hand, and this kind of creative thinking and persistence is definitely helpful in the scientific field.

Any advice you’d like to pass on to current and prospective TGS students?

For current students, I would definitely say don’t worry about “missing out” on the knowledge that is taught in more traditional programs or whether you will be prepared for higher education. I can tell you right now that you are. Just make the most of the opportunities at TGS, pursue everything that interests you, and most importantly, enjoy yourselves!

Kryštof Stupka ’17


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

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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.”

Yada Pruksachatkun ’14


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

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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 (, 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.

Mark Surnin ’14


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.

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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.

Samaya Prakke ’17

Using law to affect change

What have you been up to since graduation?

After moving around so much with TGS it did take a bit of adjusting to settle into one place, but I’ve now made London a home. I’m in the final year of my undergraduate law degree at King’s College London which has meant a majority of my time should have been spent at the library, but in reality I spent it rowing for my university, exploring London while meeting new people, and trying to navigate living independently in a big city. I have also undertaken work experience such as at the Supreme Court in Bhutan and an NGO in London, and I am currently working as a data privacy associate for Samsung.

So it appears that you are the first TGS alum to pursue a law degree. Could you share what led you down that path?

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I’d considered studying law for a while and this was definitely supported by experiences at TGS such as talks with a NATO brigadier when living in Bosnia. I was interested in understanding more about institutions used to govern behavior on an international scale and knew that studying law would be a good foundation for it. Admittedly, since coming to university I’ve surprised myself with what areas of law I’ve found interesting. I’m looking to pursue an LLM in International Business Law and this is still accompanied by the desire to want to positively contribute to whatever environment I end up working in. I hope to navigate the corporate world and work on an international scale with this in mind.

What has been the most gratifying project you’ve worked on since graduating?

While working as a research consultant for Coram International, I got to help with the drafting of child protection regulations for Nigeria. Not only did I get to work with legal experts but it gave me real insight to the difficulties in setting and upholding legal standards that are viable on an international scale. Especially because I chose to gear my degree towards business law, being able to work within international development work reminded me of the importance of legal infrastructure.

Do you feel your experiences at THINK Global School prepared you for life post-graduation?

I definitely think my time at TGS helped prepare me for the experiences that I’ve had after. Probably more than I’ve even realised, TGS taught me the importance of communication and perseverance in all types of situations. I might have traded a host family in Costa Rica that only spoke Spanish for brokers at the Lloyd’s of London that interact only in insurance contracts, but I’ve found that I’m not uncomfortable in either situation. Nor am I hesitant in asking questions or voicing my thoughts to get the most out of an experience.

At university, I think TGS has helped make me a diligent student and I’m confident even in classes with a diverse group of people, each with an opinion louder than the last. I also have to note that as much as it seemed like a drag at the time, simple things that TGS expected us to do like laundry, groceries, cooking or budget tracking have come in useful. I’ve seen someone at university try to toast a bagel in a microwave.

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

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