Finding the perfect major
Major: B.S. Informatics
Cognate: Business and Computer Science
Bhasi Mehta grew up around software engineers—her father worked for Hewlett-Packard—and she simply couldn’t see herself following in his footsteps. She was intimidated by the coding, the seemingly nonsensical language that gives software life.
But when the sophomore from San Jose, California, came to IU and struggled to find a path that could lead to a career, she kept an open mind.
Mehta attended an information session at the School of Informatics and Computing. There, she met Tiana Iruoje, SoIC’s director of student engagement and success, and Mehta found herself becoming comfortable with the idea of working in technology.
“When I was in the third grade, my dad bought me my first laptop,” Mehta says. “He had me play computer programming games. I wasn’t really into it. But the way Informatics was explained to me made it seem like something I could really get into.”
She took SoIC’s Introduction to Informatics class and fell in love.
“I realized this was the perfect major for me,” says Mehta, who is now pursuing an Informatics degree.
She also is pursuing cognates in business and computer science, giving herself the flexibility she desired. She jumped in to the culture at SoIC, joining a number of organizations and quickly finding a home.
“I’m part of the Informatics and Computing Consulting Association, I’m an ambassador for SoIC, I joined the Student Engagement Committee, and I work with Serve IT,” Mehta says. “It’s quite a bit on my plate, but I’m a good organizer, and it has helped me meet so many people in a really short amount of time.”
Building a network of people has provided Mehta with a support group. If she’s struggling with a problem, she can turn to any number of people who can guide her.
“SoIC feels really small,” Mehta says. “Whenever I come here, I always recognize someone. It really is like a family. I feel like I know the faculty members in a way that I wasn’t sure I could at other schools.”
The organizations have also helped her overcome a fear of public speaking, and her work with Serve IT, which provides local non-profit organizations with a wide range of technological services that give students real-world experience, has helped narrow her career path.
“I’m part of the training team for Serve IT, which has helped me discover my love for presenting and talking about options which people,” Mehta says. “It has been great to discover that in a real-world situation this early in my career.”
Mehta isn’t sure which path she will ultimately pursue, but she will continue to let her experiences guide her. A summer internship with Ford in Dearborn, Michigan, will give her a view of a project manager’s responsibilities, and she also is interested in consulting.
Mehta would ultimately like to work for a technology company in some capacity. She encourages anyone thinking of pursuing a degree at SoIC to get involved early.
“Go to every information session when it comes to different clubs,” Mehta says. “Once you see the different types of clubs that are available, you can see what you’re interested in. There are so many great opportunities here, and nobody should doubt themselves. There is so much possibility.”