“Born Anywhere, Made in Brooklyn” - A Tandon Student’s First-Year Experience
Born Anywhere, Made in Brooklyn! This is the catchline written on NYU Tandon’s marketing material. When I read it for the first time during my application process, I wasn’t able to fully comprehend it. But now after finishing two semesters at NYU, I truly understand its meaning. From accessing the financial data at Bloomberg Lab to designing a 3D model at MakerSpace, NYU Tandon truly is an Engineers paradise. The one thing that triumphs its commitment to Finance, Tech, and Engineering is the cohort group.
I just finished my second semester of Financial Engineering at NYU Tandon. For people who are hearing about this program for the first time, Financial Engineering is an interdisciplinary degree that leverages skills from Computer Science, Finance, and Mathematics. I had a fair knowledge of all these three but was good at none of them. Before my classes began, I was apprehensive about joining the program because I had no idea how I was going to manage my time and improve my skills in all three domains. I didn’t even know where to start. There was also a time when I thought about withdrawing my admissions and entering an MBA program; however, I decided to brave it and convinced myself to do my best and give it my all when the program began. This was the best decision I ever made! Since I started attending my program, my skills have improved exponentially. Sometime between assignment submissions and finals, I started getting comfortable with the same topics I dreaded a few months ago. Along with my industry-experienced professors, I would credit this impetus to one of the most sophisticated and benevolent peer groups that I’ve ever seen.
NYU gives utmost priority to classroom diversity. Not just demographic diversity but professional diversity too.
In my class, we have students from multiple disciplines. We have data scientists, mechanical engineers, students straight out of undergrad, and students who have worked for over 5 years in the industry. This disaggregated cohort group is in itself a boon to the students. Each and every student in the class brings their unique perspective to approach a problem. In my opinion, I think this is something that helps NYU Tandon to stay in the top 3 Financial Engineering programs (TFE Times) consistently!
Apart from working with top notch industry-experienced professors and a canny peer group, the other thing that makes me love Tandon is its vicinity to the most amazing food places in Brooklyn. I personally am a foodie and love exploring different restaurants during my free time. From Dekalb Market Hall on Dekalb Avenue to the bagel store right next to campus, the food near Tandon is amazing! I like to grab a bite in between my classes just to fulfill my cravings. If I ever feel sluggish I simply grab something to eat from NYU’s Jasper Kane. They have a variety of cuisines to choose from and my favorite food at Jasper Kane is their tuna sandwich.
To sum up my two semesters of life at NYU Tandon, I’d say it’s nothing short of a blessing. Looking back I’d say my initial few weeks in NYC weren’t easy. As an international student who entered the US for the first time, I had to go through many changes in a short duration. Being away from my family with no one to talk to was difficult. But this is what helped me grow as a person. It helped me get out of my comfort zone and taught me to be independent. In these 10 months, I made friends whom I now consider family, I met professors who were ready to help me as a mentor, and I met someone who unwittingly helped keep my sanity while I try to make every New York minute count. These people don’t just motivate me to accomplish my dreams but they also make me want to find a balance between work and life. This balance is something I neglected when I was back home but now, more than ever, I realize its importance.
In these past few months, I went through a roller coaster of emotions both personally and professionally. But I realize that at the end of the day, no matter the outcome, these experiences are something that helped me grow as a person and I would never want to change any part of it.