Modis is plugged in to the next generation of IT, and we’re proud to introduce you to one of the next generation’s best and brightest — Pulak.
Pulak is a junior at the University of Pennsylvania and one of the leaders of PennApps, which is the largest annual student-run hackathon event in the world. As our guest blogger, Pulak will be sharing his unique perspective on college, the job market, hacking and more! To get to know Pulak, read his first blog post below.
Hi everyone! My name is Pulak, and I’ll be blogging here about technology, hacking, internships, and more!
This first post is just to give a bit of background about myself: I’m a junior at the University of Pennsylvania, in the Management and Technology Program, studying computer science and business. I’ve been coding for just over 6 years now – since freshman year of high school – and have loved (just about) every minute of it!
At Penn, I’m pretty involved in the tech community. I’m an investment team member of the Dorm Room Fund, a student-run venture fund that invests $10-$20k in student entrepreneurs in the Philadelphia area (seeded by an initial $500k investment by First Round Capital), as well as president of the Dining Philosophers, Penn’s computer science club. Through the Dining Philosophers, I also lead the organization of PennApps, a hackathon we host at Penn every semester. In the past few years, PennApps has grown to be one of the largest college hackathons in the country; our most recent event, in January, drew 450 students from 40 colleges around the world, including Berkeley, UT Austin, University of Michigan, ETH Zurich.
I got pretty lucky in my involvement with PennApps. A friend of mine, Alexey Komissarouk, then a junior, started PennApps in its current hackathon form the fall of my freshman year. Though I was only mildly aware of it in the fall, by the time the spring event came around, I participated in it, and even helped with some small tasks on the organizational side. That was enough to warrant Alexey inviting me to join the Dining Philosophers board that semester. Within a few months, as we started planning for PennApps Fall 2011, Alexey indicated that he wanted to start stepping down in his role to ensure continuity of the event, which was great timing for me. I took the reins – and the rest is history!
PennApps is how I first got connected with Modis – they came out and sponsored our event in January. In the past, many of our sponsors have largely been companies with platforms for hackers to build on (like the Facebook API), or venture capital firms looking to recruit for startups in their portfolio (like Andreessen Horowitz and Kleiner Perkins). I think that Modis getting involved was an important signal – it’s an indication that participation in these sorts of events, where the focus is on building, on practically utilizing the tools that we learn in and out of class, is getting to be more and more important for getting a job.
That’s enough about me! I’m excited at this opportunity to impart my thoughts over the course of this blog, and I hope you find them interesting and helpful!