Abhijit Singh ’16 shared first prize in the U-Reka Challenge in 2013, and that experience motivated him to focus on entrepreneurship and build his skills. We talked to him about his time on campus and where his journey has taken him since.
When did you graduate, and what did you do at Clark?
I graduated in 2016 with a major in computer science and a minor in management. I loved being involved on campus — I was in the International Student Association (ISA), Entrepreneurship Club, and I helped organize, dance, and choreograph numbers for ISA’s annual GALA event. I also worked at the IT Help Desk all the way from my freshman to my senior year; the opportunity to help and interact with students, faculty, and staff with whom I may not otherwise have crossed paths was my favorite part of the job!
Where are you now? What have you been up to?
Post-Clark, I moved to Boston, where I worked for a real estate tech startup and a software development agency before joining NGP VAN. I helped develop campaigning, fundraising, and organizing software for progressive campaigns and organizations, including the DNC. It was an amazing place to work, and I loved my time there.
Currently, I’m based in Toronto, Canada, where I manage engineering and product efforts at a startup called Fleet. We are a mobility-as-a-perk platform that helps employers run smart commuting programs for their employees. Watch out for us!
What was your favorite memory at Clark?
There are so many: Enjoying Worcester snow days, Uncle Sam’s pizza runs at two a.m., lunches at Saigon, studying and hanging out in the AC, Acoustic Java, trying out Worcester’s Restaurant Week, Gala, picnics on the green, Spree Day — the list could go on! But the best will always be getting breakfast at Annie’s.
What’s one of your proudest accomplishments at Clark?
It was winning first prize at the 2013 U-Reka Challenge with Alex Turgeon ’16, MBA ’17. Our pitch was WooConnect, an engagement and analytics platform that helps universities track their student engagement. Participating in and winning that competition changed my career approach entirely — it made me seriously lean in and focus on my entrepreneurial spirit, build my software development skills, and dive into solving real-world problems, all at an early stage in my career. Lessons I learned during the creation of WooConnect have stayed with me to this day.
How did Clark prepare you for your professional journey?
There is no doubt that the academics at Clark helped me build a solid foundation. However, my time at Clark also taught me to value — and effectively make and use — connections to expand my learning and, consequently, seek new opportunities. Resources such as the U-Reka Challenge, guest lectures by industry professionals, intros through professors, and my adviser, Professor Li Han, who helped WooConnect get into WPI’s tech incubator program, all had a significant impact on my personal and professional growth.
What is the most significant career experience you’ve had so far, and what made it meaningful?
Each new role has offered key lessons, every step of the way. They have improved my technical skills, helped me specialize, and expanded my knowledge. At NGP VAN, I started to specialize in front-end software development while learning new technologies and experience processes that exist at scale to allow fast, iterative development cycles. The common aspect I’ve found throughout is you need to be learning, be supported, and be challenged to grow professionally.
Do you have any career advice for recent Clark graduates?
My mantra is to fail hard and learn fast. You often learn a lot more from your failures than from your success, so fail as much as you possibly can and learn from your mistakes. Never be afraid to ask for help so you can move forward in the right direction.
Emilee Cocuzzo ’18, MBA ’19, is a senior consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton. She is currently one of the Class of 2018 representatives on the GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade) Council.