Alumni Spotlight: Utsav Jain

Utsav Jain, MS Software Engineering, 2019

Utsav Jain was selected to be the student speaker for our inaugural “Celebrate! Honoring International Graduates” event for the class of 2019. He currently works as a Software Engineer in Silicon Valley and remains an active international alumni, who continues to give back to our Global Spartan community.

What are you doing now?

Software Engineer at Corning Inc.

What is your most favorite memory of SJSU?

It is quite hard to pick one memory. Having group project meetings in the student union, playing games and chatting with other international students at the ISSS Coffee Hour. One of the most favorite things I did was the “Practically Speaking” program conducted  by Amy Russo from the Writing Center. 

I will also remember my graduation ceremony quite fondly. Due to current events, it might sound like a brag, but there was certainly something magical about the event.

I would like to mention my favorite professor, Prof. Michael Larkin. The way he conducted his lectures was truly remarkable.  

How has your SJSU experience impacted your life either personally or professionally?

My advanced degree from SJSU enabled me to further my career as a Software Engineer. A major advantage of my program, MS in Software Engineering, is that most of the courses are taught by professionals working in the industry, that too in Silicon Valley.  

Personally, I started a new phase of my life after graduating from SJSU, although I carried a lot of lessons, memories, and friends from my “University times”.

What do you wish you would have known sooner about life in the U.S. or about being an international student at SJSU?

Firstly, you will get home sick. However, the Bay Area is very diverse. There’s a good chance that you’ll find shops and restaurants catering to your background. Nothing can replace the comfort of your hometown, but going to a place which serves food like home certainly helps.

Secondly, if you plan to stay in the US for long, depending on your nationality, you may need an immigration plan that might be a decade or longer. You would need to be selective with your employers and limited to the kind of jobs you can work.

Lastly, SJSU has so many resources, it’s hard to even know all. I wish I had attended some more random events and participated in some more random activities. For example, the aforementioned “Practically Speaking” program was a totally random thing offered by the writing center. I was a software engineering student, so it didn’t really have a connection with my  field of study. But it turned out to be one of the most fun things I did and improved my overall personality.     

What advice would you give to current international students?

Firstly, always stay on top of your paperwork, especially immigration related. It appears quite intimidating at first, but most of the time, it is pretty straightforward. Also, whenever the U.S. immigration authorities want something from you, it’s best to give them as soon as you can even though they might take an arbitrarily long time to get back to you. 

Secondly, connecting with your peers in class is just as important as making industry connections. It may feel a bit difficult to talk to people of other nationalities in your class, but it can be very rewarding.  

Lastly, change your computer language to default to English (U.S.) :-).

Job Search Success Panel

As part of our Global Spartan Month celebration, we’re collaborating with the Career Center to bring you a special international student and alumni career panel, Strategies for Job Search Success on March 18, 2021 from 4:00-5:00 pm (register here).

Our panel features two current international students and two recent graduates, who will share their experience searching for job and internship opportunities in the U.S. The panel will be moderated by International Student Advisor James Coon and Career Counselor Judi Garcia. This is a great opportunity to hear advice from peers, ask questions, and expand your network by connecting with our panelists. 

Learn more about our panel!

Sadaqatali Mirza

Sadaqatali Mirza is from Mumbai, India and is a Test Engineer at Apple Inc. with specialization in mechanical design and testing. He collaborates in new product launch activities to perform tests on various Apple products and develop test plans. Sadaqat received his M.S degree in mechanical engineering from San Jose State University and was awarded two scholarships for his academic performance and on-campus involvement. While in school, Sadaqat enjoyed participating in events designed to bring together the international community and is driven to help international students succeed in the U.S.

Joy Seet

Joy Seet is a designer based in San Francisco. She was born and raised in Singapore, and recently graduated from B.A Design Studies at San Jose State University in June 2020. She has interned at Ogilvy and WPP, and discovered her interest in the marketing side of design. Joy is now a designer at TikTok, where she helps brands invent and launch legendary creative solutions that help brands and creative companies thrive on TikTok. Joy is also an advocate for helping graduating students navigate and launch their career journey. She is excited to share some tips and advice to international students wanting to succeed.

Mindy Trieu is an international student from Vietnam who has been studying in the U.S. for seven years.

Mindy Trieu

She earned her B.A. degree in Advertising from the University of Florida in 2018 and later moved to San Jose State University to pursue her MBA with a concentration in Business Analytics. Mindy currently serves as a Global Leader and iSucceed Advisory Board Member for International Student & Scholar Services and as an Instructional Student Assistant for the Jack Holland School of Business Success Center. On the way to making her first steps in achieving her career goals, Mindy would be happy to share her experiences with other international students and see everyone succeed together.

Vicky Vo

Vicky Vo is an Award-Winning UX Designer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She was a Product Design Intern at DoorDash, a former Lead UX Designer at OrthoFX, and recently joined Jumpstart as a Product Designer. Vicky is currently a senior B.A Design Student at SJSU. Besides school and work, Vicky co-founded Students of UXD, an international community for students of all ages who are pursuing UX Design. Her broad background in UX, Visual Design, Psychology, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship has helped various startups to launch several digital products from scratch. 

We hope you’ll join us for this event and more during Global Spartan Month! Follow us on Instagram for the latest updates.

Perfect Consonance

In celebration of International Education Week (IEW), we invite you to view the award-winning short film, In Search of Perfect Consonance (2016), directed by Ruby Yang and featuring the Asian Youth Orchestra (AYO), which was founded by SJSU alumnus, Richard Pontzious.

About the film

  • Platinum Winner of the Asia pacific International Filmmaker Festival & Awards, 2017
  • Winner of the Excellence in Filmmaking for Documentary Short at the Sedona International Film Festival, 2018

This 38-minute documentary profiles the Asian Youth Orchestra (AYO) from its establishment in 1987 to its 25th anniversary in 2016. At the time of AYO’s founding, China and Vietnam were engaged in a long and violent border war, relations between China and Japan were frosty with tensions running high across the Strait of Taiwan. These events inspired SJSU alumnus, Richard Pontzious, to establish the AYO in Hong Kong with the support of world-renowned musicians such as the great violinist Yehudi Menuhin, who eventually became co-founder and conducted the first concerts in 1990. From its humble beginnings, the orchestra aimed to connect the region’s aspiring young musicians in a bid to promote peace through music and has trained more than 2,000 musicians from across Asia throughout its 25-year history. Visit the film’s website.

Watch the film for free

All SJSU students, faculty and staff have access to Kanopy, a streaming service available through the SJSU King Library.

  1. Go to https://sjsu.kanopy.com/video/search-perfect-consonance 
  2. Login with your One.SJSU account (SJSU ID# and SJSUOne Password) 

If it takes you back to the main Kanopy page, simply type in “Search of Perfect Consonance” in the search bar, and it will pop up.

See the Trailer

 

Have you seen the film? Share your thoughts!

We’d love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to share your thoughts and/or respond to one or more of the following discussion questions in the comments sections below.

  1. Before this documentary, did you imagine a SJSU graduate played a role in spreading classical music appreciation in China?
  2. SJSU is known for growing talents for the tech industry.  Technology is known for changing the world.  Do you think music education contributed to this change in a similar or different way?
  3. Do you consider yourself a globalist like Richard?  Have you thought about living abroad in the future? 
  4. Richard brought music to another country and trained generations of young musicians.  Do you have something you want to share with people in another country?
  5. Certain young musicians shared their challenges in life in the documentary.  How do you think the AYO experience helped them see their challenges differently?

We hope you enjoyed the film, and we hope to bring Richard Pontzious back to our campus one day for a talk!

To learn more about International Education Week events at SJSU, visit our website.