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Last modified: Friday, January 11, 2008

Silicon Valley high-tech firms open doors to IU Informatics students

January 14, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Eleven Indiana University graduate students in informatics and computer science, along with the School of Informatics' director of career services, recently traveled to northern California to experience life with some of the world's top tech businesses.

On December 19th and 20th, students visited five leading companies -- Google, Yahoo, eBay, Hewlett Packard and Autodesk -- where they talked with current software developers and user-experience professionals, toured the extensive corporate campuses, and generally got a feel for what lies ahead of them upon graduation.

Informatics at Yahoo

Pictured in the lobby of Yahoo! in Sunnyvale, Calif. are (left to right) IU Informatics and computer science graduate students Jason de Runa, Rajesh Gollapudi, Vignesh Ramesh, director of career services for the School of Informatics Jeremy Podany, students Saurabh Ajmera, Amit Bhatia, Adwait Joshi, Kshitiz Anand, Bhushan Rajadyax, Eugene Chang and Vince Diaz.

Print-Quality Photo

Over two days of tours, meetings and networking events, the students interacted with over 40 different people from a wide variety of area companies, met with an IU Informatics alumni panel at Yahoo, and were treated to lunch in the deluxe cafes of Google and eBay. They also ere the "guests of honor" at an alumni dinner attended by IU Informatics alumni from the Bay Area.

Of the 375 IU informatics and computer science alumni in California, 225 of them work in the Silicon Valley. This trip was a way to not only give students a look at real-life experiences, but also to encourage them to build a network of contacts with alumni who are willing to help.

Such excursions also help the School of Informatics as it seeks to build relationships with major employers in the information technology field.

"This trip was a great success for the students, but also for the School of Informatics, as we are building stronger ties with the large tech companies that are hiring our students," said Jeremy Podany, director of career services for Informatics. "Furthermore, our alumni in Silicon Valley are outstanding and very willing to help current students. Their willingness to dialogue about the thrills and challenges of their work in relation to their schooling at IU provided a depth to the trip that could not otherwise have occurred."

Students agreed that the trip was well worth it. "This trip was a definite eye opener to the real world working of high-tech software companies. It gave me insight into the company work culture, job profiles and internship programs," said computer science student Amit Bhatia.

Informatics student Jason de Runa concurred. "I learned that these companies are continually finding ways to spur creativity and innovation through a collaborative and vibrant work environment," he said. "I also realized that IU's graduate curriculum meets the needs of the industry."

About the IU School of Informatics

The Indiana University School of Informatics offers a unique, interdisciplinary curriculum that focuses on developing specialized skills and knowledge of information technology. The school has a variety of undergraduate degrees and specialized master's and doctorate degrees in bioinformatics, chemical informatics, computer science, health informatics, human-computer interaction, laboratory informatics, and new media. Each degree is an interdisciplinary endeavor that combines course work and field experiences from a traditional subject area or discipline with intensive study of information and technology.