Exploring Avenues of Opportunity

Deven Pandya ’20 spoke with Upper School students about computer science and its applications in the job market.
Deven Pandya, a current student at Stanford and previous intern at Meta, recently came back to Collegiate with the intention of illumination. A Class of 2020 graduate, Pandya knows Collegiate instills in students a sense of rigor and curiosity, opening them up to a future of endless opportunities. Returning to a classroom of Cougars interested in computer science, Pandya wanted to make sure the students were aware of what some of those avenues of opportunity are.  

What Pandya presented the students with was this: No matter the field of interest, the need for a thorough understanding of technology in the job market will be nearly ubiquitous. In his discussion, Pandya gave Collegiate students particular details about what work in the technology profession involves and introduced them to uses of computer science that they might have been unfamiliar with before. Public transportation operating with the help of artificial intelligence, computer code that assists with heart surgery, computer-generated pieces of artwork — all of this Pendya showed the students as an indication of the exciting possibilities for what the future with technology holds for them. 

“The only thing that you don’t want to have happen is that you never study something because you never knew about it,” says Pandya, who entered college studying biomedical engineering but then quickly changed course after he took his first computer science class at Stanford. “I want to continue building that exposure to computer science with Collegiate students. I think helping them understand what studying something in technology might look like and what the professional possibilities are with those skills is important.” 

For students at Collegiate, engaging with alumni in this way personalizes the professional world; it fosters an enthusiasm for the next stages of their learning journeys. Alumni often help shepherd current Collegiate students along on those journeys, offering insights that give students an edge both professionally and socially. 

“Hearing from someone that is a young alumni — 19 or 20 years old, say — and to listen to them as they also observe and study how the world is changing is really impactful because it feels more tangible to them,” Pandya says. “I’m passionate about technical education, and I think students need to know that computer science is a tool — it doesn’t have to be just your major or profession, but it will be a useful tool in the future. Collegiate has a healthy mix of classes, and you’re getting great exposure to programming. The School and the teachers here have given me so much, and if I can come back and help make people become more passionate about what they’re learning, then I think that’s a small way I can help pay it forward for future students.”