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Abhijeet Gaurav

Abhijeet Gaurav

Software Development Engineer

Amazon.com Inc,

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What was your major/minor at Purdue and when did you graduate?

I graduated in May 2017 with a BS in Computer Science, Mathematics and Statistics.


What was your most compelling class and why?

I took a lot of courses from Computer Science, Mathematics and Statistics department and I found most of these courses to be very interesting. My most compelling course was probably CS 483 - Theory of Computation which dealt with computational complexity. This course taught me the mathematical foundations of computer science and answered the most important question for me as a Computer Science student i.e. ‘What problems can be computed?’.


What drove you to pursue your current career path?

I was always interested in Mathematics and problem solving in general. The analytical thinking and problem solving involved in my majors attracted me to pursue them. Besides this, I have two brothers and they both are engineers. They helped me all along and motivated me to pursue my current career path.


What were you most afraid of when you were about to graduate?

Leaving Purdue was hard for me to be honest. I met some of my best friends here. I was afraid of the idea that I won’t be able to hang out and see them everyday. Regarding career opportunities, I wasn’t fearful about getting a job as I already had a full-time return offer from my internship at Amazon and a research internship opportunity in Singapore.


What did you do after graduating?

I started with Lilly about one month after graduating.  I worked as a scientist supporting the manufacturing of the bulk drug substance for human insulin at a very large scale. 


Did you pursue internships/co-ops, research experiences, volunteer, or join student organizations while you attended Purdue?

I did two software engineering internships, one at an early stage startup Eventila and the other one at Amazon. I did an undergraduate research project under Prof. Mohammad Sadhogi (now at the University of California) during my junior year through which I learned a lot. I really liked teaching so I served as a Teaching Assistant for multiple Computer Science courses such as Data Structure and Algorithms, Programming in C. Besides this, I was involved in numerous volunteering opportunities through CS peer-2-peer mentor program, GSP, WISP and international programs. I made a lot of friends while volunteering and gained a lot of experience working with other people. I did one study abroad program in Greece as well.


What did you do in the year immediately after graduating?

After graduating, I spent two months at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore working as a Research Intern on ‘Information extraction from text’ under Prof. Chng Eng Siong. During my internship, I learned a lot in the areas of NLP, speech processing and text to speech and I made a lot of friends here. I travelled to Bali, Indonesia and India. I returned to the United States after my internship was over and started working at Amazon as a full-time Software Development Engineer.


What are you currently working on?

Since graduating from Purdue, I have been working as a Software Development Engineer at Amazon in Seattle. I am a part of Automated Profitability Management (APM) team where we are working on systems that automate and improve Amazon retail profitability through the application of Machine Learning and Software Engineering.


What advice would you give to prospective or current Purdue students about how to make the best use of what Purdue offers?

Purdue has an array of courses and majors. My advice to current and prospective students would be to identify what major you are truly interested in and then excel in it. Try to do at least one study abroad experience. Get involved in organizations, clubs and research groups through which you would gain experience working with people from all around the world. And finally, work hard, have fun, make history.

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