Launch Prep

The Caltech Alumni Association prepares to welcome the class of 2017. Nikita Sirohi (BS ’17) shares a few thoughts about her next steps.

Photo: EAS Communications

Photo: EAS Communications

What is your major?

Perhaps unlike a lot of students, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to go into when I came to Caltech, so I took as many classes as I could and spent my summers at a variety of internships before settling on computer science as my major. 

Is there a particular class or experience that stands out to you?

There were so many. CS 144 on the structure of networks, taught by Adam Wierman, revealed to me the larger ideas behind our interconnected lives, including what a network actually looks like and how search engines and social media work. Last summer, I was an intern with OneWest/CIT Bank, where I was tasked with developing software to offer snapshots of liquidity models. I didn’t really know much about the financial industry, but I was thrilled to see that the theories I had been learning applied directly to real-world problems.

What are your plans after graduation?

First to travel for a bit. My brother and I plan to take a tour of the country by train. Then I’ll go visit my family back in India. This fall, I head to Silicon Valley to be an engineer with Pure Storage, a data-services company. I’m not sure yet exactly what I’ll be doing—they rotate their new hires through different departments for a few months, which appealed to me.

You are about to join the Caltech alumni community. Do you have any expectations?

I’m really looking forward to this next stage. In addition to the training I received from faculty, I’ve already benefited from the mentorship of alumni. Graduates have offered advice on a number of subjects both professional and personal. They’ve helped me adjust to college and think about who I am as a person and what kind of impact I want to have in the world. 

I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how welcoming people already are. I think there’s an expectation that—because so many people at Caltech are perhaps shy—somehow calling fellow alumni wouldn’t be welcome. So far, I have found graduates to be enthusiastic to take calls and offer advice. Because of the relatively small size of our population, one of the strengths of Caltech is that we have the opportunity to meet and form personal connections with one another. I look forward to broadening the circle of people I know and can trust. I also look forward to giving back and providing a bridge to other students behind me.

So I’m excited to continue my Caltech experience. And if you’re in Silicon Valley, I hope to meet you at an Alumni Association event this fall.