Where are you attending college, and what year are you in?
I am a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering & Applied Science.
What is your major and what academic path would you like to follow?
I am pursuing two majors, computer science and cognitive science, as well as a minor in mathematics. For now, I am pursuing internships in software engineering, but I might explore product management next year.
What is your career goal, and how are you preparing for it?
I'd like to work at a big tech company coming out of a college, with the hopes of starting my own tech-oriented business after I get more experience. To that end, I worked at Google in Los Angeles this past summer as a Software Engineering intern, and will return to Google again this summer at their New York City office.
What is one essential academic or life skill you honed at Scheck Hillel?
At Scheck Hillel, I was able to hone many life and academic skills, including being involved both in and out of school. Hillel instilled in me the importance of academics, but also the importance of doing something outside academics, whether helping out the community, or involving yourself in clubs or extracurricular activities. To that end, in college I was prepared to balance my academics with heavy extracurricular activities, including being a brother of AEPi, helping the community through Engineers Without Borders, planning one of the nation's largest hackathons through PennApps, and being an undergraduate Teaching Assistant for the Data Structures and Algorithms computer science course.
What is your advice for future Hillel students who might consider following a similar path?
Going into computer science or any other engineering major might feel intimidating at first, but it's extremely rewarding once you progress. Don't underestimate what you can handle, and push yourself to take not the easiest classes in college, but rather those where you will learn the most. It is so much more important to learn a lot, than to be constantly worrying about grades. Difficulty should not be a reason stopping you from going into engineering -- with hard work, you will be able to do it!
Steven was Scheck Hillel Community School’s Valedictorian for the Class of 2016.