An Interview with SJSU Post-Accelerator Fellow, Sriram Atluri (‘17 Spring)

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1Tell us about yourself.
I am Sriram Atluri, a fourth-year student at San Jose State pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Materials Engineering. I participated as a fellow in the Braven Accelerator course during the spring semester of 2017.

Why did you sign up for the Braven Accelerator?
Just like many other students who are looking forward to gaining their first internship or first job, I was full of excitement. At the same time, I also had fears about the internship process and was not really sure of how to overcome them. Though I did ask advice from my friends or other peers, I also wanted professional advice and tools to ensure that I was not cut short of the knowledge that I needed to land a great internship and job. In addition to that, I also wanted to understand the day-to-day expectations of the corporate world, solving real-world problems.

What did you gain from the experience?
My leadership coach, Steve Murphy, guided me on the necessary steps and tools needed to apply for a job.  With Steve’s help, I crafted my resume, cover letter, and elevator pitch. I practiced interview questions, made a career graph timeline, and completed many other useful exercises.  Through these different activities, I was able to receive valuable and insightful feedback that would grab the attention of different job recruiters. Some of the most significant feedback I received was focused on how I could polish my responses, keep a well laid-out resume, and make an energizing elevator pitch to appeal to the people with whom I network.

What other kinds of real-world practice did you engage in as a part of the Braven Accelerator course?
The LinkedIn 8-hour Hackathon Event and the Community Challenge Project really helped me grow my professional skills. During the Hackathon event, I was placed in a group with other Braven Fellows to solve a real-word problem. My group was challenged with figuring out how to create more interactions among students from different backgrounds and majors in order to broaden and diversify student networks on campus. With the community challenge project, I had to figure out how to help people in need and be able to reduce the dependency on the library for the homeless. We had to create SMART goals, which was also something new that I learned. A SMART goal is: Specific, Measurable, Ambitious, Realistic, Timely. Through this project, my group and I decided to collaborate with the organization PATH (People Assisting the Homeless), which in turn helped us achieve our goal of reducing dependency on the library.

Overall, how would you summarize your Braven experience?
The Braven Accelerator course was a positive experience which provided me a comprehensive toolkit that simplified my job and internship skills.  I am confident that the work I put in will be a significant payoff for my future in materials engineering. This upcoming summer, I hope I can use those skills to land an internship in a Bay Area tech company.  I also would like to land a spot in graduate school prior to pursuing a full-time job.