Learning about others – and myself – at the CUNY Tech Meetup

by Bishwo Gurung, The City College of New York

Bishwo and Moustafa demo the project they built with CUNY Tech Prep to members of the NYC tech community.

Last Wednesday night was the February 2016 CUNY Tech Meetup, where the guest speakers spoke about their experiences from their respective industries. I arrived with a group of students after  our Wednesday session for CUNY Tech Prep. The atmosphere was very open and positive.

We had five great professionals who took the time from their busy schedules to share their thoughts with us about the current tech industry.

Art Chang spoke about one’s success and failures and how failure is needed to make oneself better. He perceived success to be the guide to helping others. It can lead to financial gain, but that shouldn’t be the end goal. He talked about giving back to the community, which can be very fruitful and satisfying.

Amen Ra Mashariki, one of the panelists, spoke about the time when he experienced some setbacks when tasked with a large project. He then decided not to carry all the burden by himself and formed a team to divide the tasks, making for an easier workload. Depending on others sometimes is not such a bad thing.

Katy Kasmai, being a program manager at Google, spoke about keeping her teammates’ egos in check first and foremost, as egos can be a hindrance in a team-based project. In addition, she said that as a female employee, she felt that there was another challenge to being taken more seriously.

Hong Qu and Milena Berry spoke about their day-to-day lives in the workplace. Milena discussed juggling her time between her job and her family. She spoke about always making sure to spend time with her 3 kids. Thus, time management is a very critical factor to having success in life.

Their words really resonated with me, as it likely did for others in the audience. All these things they spoke of were definitely something to keep in mind for the future when I step into the real world and balance my work and social life.

What I also took from this event was that aside from doing what you love, you need to feel like you’re in the right work environment.

In fact, as Katy Kasmai pointed out, a good, coordinated team is also needed to get the job done. In the future, I see myself as a software engineer immersed in interesting projects with a large team of collaborative yet unique minds at work.

Bishwo Gurung is a senior at The City College of New York majoring in Computer Science. When he’s not extending his knowledge of new programming languages, open source projects, and tech meetups, you might just find him catching up on his favorite soccer leagues.


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