Less Than 24 Hours
In 2012 Saudi Arabia native, Abdulelah Darandary, began his journey at UND.
Darandary was a beneficiary of the King Abdullah Scholarship Program, which gives students full-ride scholarships to nationally accredited universities that offer specific academic programs. After graduating with his B.B.A. in Banking and Financial Economics, Darandary went on to pursue his MSAE at UND as well.
Darandary credits UND with providing him a wonderful education. “I think UND has great education and hit all of the right spots,” said Darandary.
While finishing up his MSAE, Darandary began looking for jobs. The Pancratz Career Development Center helped him prepare to apply. “They helped me with my resume building and keeping in mind how to target certain companies. Also, with what to say and what not to say in an interview,” said Darandary.
Darandary interviewed for his current job at BuroHappold, an engineering consulting company, less than 24 hours after graduating with his MSAE. “It’s a funny story. My interview was at 7am North Dakota time the day after my graduation ceremony and one week later I was offered the job,” explained Darandary.
For the interview, Darandary was given a case study to analyze. He says that he was able to utilize all of the knowledge that he acquired at UND and applied it to this hands-on interview experience.
Darandary had other offers on the table, but chose to go with BuroHappold due to their positive image. “I chose BuroHappold because of their international exposure and presence as well as their very impressive project list,” explained Darandary.
One thing that really surprised his co-workers is where he received his education. “Some of my friends at work and colleagues they’ll say, ‘You know, you don’t come from an Ivy League School, but for some reason I feel like you do,’” said Darandary.
At work, Darandary works on tasks such as economic impact analysis, forecasting and impact assessment. He also spends a lot of time estimating the economic and social return on investment, which is, “When you try to quantify things that are hard to quantify. For example if we build 15 schools, what is the outcome if we build 15 schools other than the construction? Well you’ll have better educated students and that will reduce their probability to commit crime and that is cost savings to the government in the future,” explained Darandary.
The professors and staff that Darandary had at UND provided a lasting impact on his
education. “You won’t find a Chih Ming Tan, Cullen Goenner, David Flynn, Prodosh Simlai,
or a Patrick O’Neill anywhere else. These professors really are very special. They
were the highlight of my time at UND,” said Darandary.
Darandary is yet another example of a UND alumni thriving in the real-world post-graduation. Although he is far away, he stays in touch with his mentor, Chih Ming, and is proud to be a UND alum.