Next Phase of Life

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The last few months have been some of the most gruelling ones I have ever encountered, personally and professionally. I was supposed to graduate next month with my Masters, but I pushed that to December because a marvellous opportunity presented in the nick of time. In about 24 hours, I will leave Indianapolis, which has been my home since I arrived in USA in August, 2016, to pursue a research internship at one of the biggest technology companies in the world. Two years ago, had someone told me I’d be pursuing a research internship today, I’d have laughed really hard at that proposition. Now, I am only incredibly happy.

But the story of how I got here is very dear to me. I planned to pursue a MS, while focusing my work on embedded systems. After all, it was the ‘safe’ thing to do. It was one subject that I took in the first semester of my Master’s that made me realize that my real interest lies in artificial intelligence and the cutting edge of computer science, not embedded systems. It was way out of my comfort zone and a terrible risk. But soon thereafter, I started working on my thesis which aims at providing better preventive healthcare to patients by using natural language processing. Concurrently, I continued working on another project with another professor that involved applying artificial intelligence to the task of a utility prediction system. Both these projects that started around January, 2018, and the work I have done since then has been the most gratifying and satisfying part of my academic life. I have learnt more than I ever knew, and yearn to learn a lot more. It led me to present my work at avenues I never knew achievable. If it hadn’t been for that one choice, one leap of faith, I wouldn’t be here today, and I wanted to take a minute to absorb it and relish it, before the next phase kicks in tomorrow.

I start interning on Monday, and I can’t wait for the work phase of my life to begin. It is a big step forward for someone who has spent the last 22 (!) years of his life studying and preparing for this very moment. As of right now, I feel humbled, excited and nervous, all at the same time…