Third Time’s a Charm: Meet Gautam Gupta

UW Blueprint is a student run club that provides top-tier tech for non-profit organizations. Founded at the University of Waterloo 2 years ago, we could not have provided strong partnerships with NPO’s without the dedication, passion, and time of our members. We’ll be spotlighting different members and teams. Some will be the returning members of Blueprint, having worked on several projects, and some will be new to the team as of a couple of months of starting their work with Blueprint.

Meet Gautam Gupta, a 4B Computer Science student at the University of Waterloo and current Developer Lead for one of this term’s projects: Plastics For Change. What you may not know, is that this is the third term Gautam has been a part of Blueprint.

So, what does 3 terms working with Blueprint look like and why would someone choose to do so?

The answer is simple as summarized by Gautam in two key points:

  1. The value behind social good
  2. Team culture and collaboration

THE WHY

Gautam initially joined Blueprint due to his interest in technology and his previous high school involvement with social good. In university, he had found out about Blueprint through friends and immediately saw the opportunity to intersect his technical skills with an interest in social good.

In Fall 2017, Gautam joined the Blueprint team for the first time as a Project Lead for one of the non-profits at the time, Help Lesotho.

THE PROGRESSION

During Gautam’s first term, he was able to develop leadership skills and since then decided that the end of the Fall 2017 term was NOT the end of his journey with Blueprint.

Inspired by the club’s mission and driven by the amazing friendships and memories made, Gautam returned to Blueprint as a Project Lead for Plastics For Change. Consequently, leading into his current role as Developer Lead for the same project.

THE DIFFERENTIATION

Every term is unique at Blueprint, with some new faces, new projects, and new adventures, there is never a shortage of fun. For Gautam, each term brought new experiences, heightened skills, and ultimately further fuel towards his passion for creating technology with a purpose.

“What was your favourite memory out of the 3 terms so far?”

All of Gautam’s terms with Blueprint have been memorable however, to him the team retreats are always the term highlight.

“One of my favourite memories was doing a cooking challenge with the other Blueprint members. That day me and my team sliced things I didn’t know existed, had the fire alarm go off five times, and made a soup for the first time. It actually turned out to be delicious!” -Gautam
Photos from previous Blueprint team retreats

Each term, Blueprint hosts a retreat to bring the team together and ultimately create a strong culture that is complimentary to the work we do. To Gautam and many other Blueprint members, it isn’t just the strong bond you create within your project team, but the entirety of Blueprint that really makes each term unique.

“What has changed within Blueprint since your first term on the team?”

Through Gautam’s opportunity to experience multiple terms with Blueprint, he’s realized how much the organization has developed and expanded. As Blueprint matures within the Waterloo community and as the team grows, he has noticed more structure with regards to documenting processes and ensuring projects are well-maintained through the change of team members and terms.

Overall, Gautam is looking forward to the future of Blueprint and is happy to see more students looking to get involved and use their skills towards social causes.

WORDS OF WISDOM

From Gautam’s experience on the team, here is his advice to those looking to join Blueprint:

  • Explore new areas of interest — There are so many roles and areas to work in within Blueprint, it’s a great opportunity to learn more about product management, design, development, and overall team collaboration.
  • Don’t be afraid to try — Whether you’re in first-year or fourth-year and beyond, all are encouraged to join Blueprint. The mentorship aspect of the team allows people to learn from each other.
  • If you’ve been on Blueprint before, consider joining again next term! — Each term is a new opportunity to grow and you have the flexibility to grow within different roles.

TAKEAWAYS

If there is one thing that Gautam has to say about Blueprint, it’s the impact and value derived from combining technology with social impact that really differentiates Blueprint from other clubs.

Gautam has learned that there are so many different realms of entrepreneurship, social impact, and technology in society today but the novelty within Blueprint comes from the intersection of such.

FUN-FACTS ABOUT GAUTAM

  1. He loves to play ping pong and foosball
  2. He has traveled to 18 countries and has lived in 6 cities
  3. He has climbed down Yosemite after sunset (a near death experience)