Graduate Seidenberg student Virali Jhaveri (IS/’16) is a great indicator of how many opportunities are available for students during their time here and even afterward. As we all know, many of our graduate students come from a variety of experiences and fields — with Virali, we’ve seen a bit of what she’s been up to during her time here, so we wanted to know more about her days before Pace and her plans for afterward. So, we brought her around for a chat:
Before you came to earn your Masters at Pace, what kinds of things did you work on, and how has that lead you here?
I have 3 years of experience as a software developer from working on various technical platforms. I completed my undergraduate in Information Technology back in India, and I am also a diploma holder in Computer Technology. Keeping with my passion for IT and making a successful career in this field have always been a dream of mine. I’m eager to gain more exposure about global technology, which is why I chose to be a part of Pace’s Masters program.
We know you’ve been busy, so what kinds of things have you already worked on during your time here?
I received a Graduate Assistantship for both the semesters and the amazing opportunity to work with the Associate Dean Dr. Jonathan Hill. There aren’t words to describe how skillful Dr Hill is! I am also working as an instructor to more than 100 students, teaching various technical tools and coding platforms like Microsoft Excel, HTML 5 and CSS 3. The fun and the challenging part is that the students are from different majors (like actors, dancers,..) with minimum or no IT knowledge. This class is conducted once a week and helps me gain confidence and polishes my problem solving skills. I absolutely love my work as a graduate assistant!
You’ve been involved in all kinds of things like the middle school outreach with Time Warner, Lean-in-Circle, PDP, etc — could you tell us a little about your favorite out of these?
I believe Pace is the place to be — there is an ocean of opportunities that are easily accessible if you intend to learn and grow. I am greedy for technology and never satisfied with the knowledge I gain, so I like to utilize my time in learning new things. This crazy attitude towards learning got me involved in these couple of interesting projects and I proudly choose to be an active part of all of these opportunities. I like all my projects because they are diverse but still connected to technology in some way. Time Warner Cable’s initiative to help connect middle school students to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) helps the students to identify their area of interest, with a focus on the importance of technology and the innovative side of Sciences!
Lean-In Circle was an initiative started by Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, to support and help the women in technology to grow. At Pace, the Lean-In Circle group meets once a month to discuss the opportunities that will help us identify our goals and work towards the ways to achieve equality in the field. PDP is a product development project — it is the first of its kind based on human-trafficking crime-mapping that has been done at any university in the US! I am glad to be a part of this project that will help me identify and map the ever increasing human-trafficking issues occurring these days. This research demonstrates the concept of Design Thinking, where interdisciplinary students come together, plan, design and learn as a team. It’s a not-for-profit initiative to make this world a better place to live.
We hear you’re applying for the Grace Hopper Scholarship! What exactly does it takes to be an applicant, and what will you do with it should you win it?
The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing is the world’s largest gathering of women technologists. There is a 3-day conference held every year that provides a platform to connect, inspire, and guide women in computing and organizations that view technology innovation as a strategic imperative. There are few application requirements, and I will consider myself lucky if I get this opportunity for two main reasons:
A) Networking: I believe networking is an opportunity to showcase your skills and talents to experts in your field. By attending this conference, I could end up working with the CEO of some startup or top companies!
B) Learning experience: It is important for an individual to be updated with the latest, as well as futuristic, aspects of technology — at least if one is passionate about being successful in IT — and this will be the golden platform to learn!
What got you into the field of IS in the first place?
I am a combination of both left-brained and right-brained, which means I love innovation and the ability to achieve ease. Information systems is a study of analytical, design, and creative thinking. These skills bundled together makes a person fit for solving problems and making effective management decisions. The study of IS is a way to build and polish these useful skills.
What has been your favorite class or professor during your time, and why?
I have 2 favorites that stand out:
Information Systems and Project Management was my favorite subject at Pace in my first semester: At the end of the course I had a firm grasp of my IT project management concepts and the terminologies needed to be a successful IT project/program manager. Without a doub,t Dr. James Gabberty is one of the finest professors here. It was also the first time I ever saw a professor get doughnuts and coffee for the students! It was so cool — who wouldn’t love this?
Responsive Website Designing (IT614): I must say this is a really cool course if you want to explore your creative side. This is an online course with Dr. Narayan Murthy. If you work hard on the class’s notes and the assignments, then trust me, you can see yourself working at Google in the next 2 years. My dream is to work at Google and I am sure I share this dream with almost every Web/Code monkey on earth. In short, this course is interesting and helps you build logical designing skills.
We’re honored to have students like Virali in our program here at Seidenberg and we cannot wait to participate in her bright future in the world of technology!