Paresh Ravikumar ’15 traveled halfway around the world to study in San Francisco, a former gold-rush town that has embraced the silicon-plated dreams of the new app economy and technological innovation.
But the Bangalore native didn't just come for the dreams. He came to USF's Master of Science in Computer Science program to learn how to turn them into something real.
Before coming to USF, Paresh worked at startups in India's technology sector. He was a front-end developer and designer, responsible for the look and feel of websites, applications, and software. He loved the artistry of it, but realized that what he really wanted was to build those tools from the ground up.
“I needed to strengthen my background in programming, and USF's program looked very strong,” he says.
Paresh remembers a period of early culture shock that extended into the classroom. His undergraduate classes in India emphasized memorization, but USF professors focused on theoretical concepts and practical applications.
USF is challenging. Students who graduate from USF are definitely in a much better position. When you go out there, you already know you can do it."
“The classes were hard. You have to understand what you're learning deeply in order to apply it,” he says. “Students who graduate from USF are definitely in a much better position. When you go out there, you already know you can do it.”
And there's no better “out there,” it turns out, than the nation's innovation capital: the San Francisco Bay Area.
“You have every variety of company that you’d want to work for,” he says. “There are so many opportunities, and USF helps you find them.”
This summer, Paresh is putting his newfound skills into action as an intern at San Francisco tech darling Uber, where he works with its product design team to customize its car-sharing app for use in more than 50 different countries.
“The fact that you can have something in your mind and literally code it and help millions of users is what I love,” he says.
The newly minted San Franciscan is always dreaming up new app ideas. Hopefully soon, he says, he'll stumble on one he'd like to build.