Campuswire’s newest addition: a linguaphile with a thirst for adventure
Varun Kadikar has had a very full summer. From taking an English course at a local college to exploring — and being pickpocketed in — the streets of Barcelona, the newest addition to our Summer Growth Team shares his journey to Campuswire’s SoHo office….
Can you introduce yourself for us?
“Sure. My name is Varun Kadikar, and I’m from New Jersey. I’m 19 years old and I go to UC Berkeley, where I study Computer Science.”
What were you doing before you were here, interning at Campuswire?
“I took an English class for credit this summer, and I travelled a bit. I went to Spain: Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, and Toledo.”
That’s a great trip, Seville is beautiful.
“Yeah, Seville was actually my favorite city. I got pickpocketed in Barcelona.”
That’s terrible! But what was your favorite memory from the trip?
“My favorite memory was also in Barcelona, the Sagrada Familia. I’m not big into architecture or anything — I mean I’ll appreciate buildings — but this was really next level. Everywhere you looked there was something else, and every piece of the Sagrada Familia had meaning.”
How long have you lived in New York? What do you think about NYC?
“So I live in New Jersey, but I’ve been working here with you guys for almost two weeks now. I’ve been commuting in. But New York– I like New York. It’s definitely very different from the West Coast. But I think I’m more of a laid-back, California-vibe person.”
So, what do you do outside of work, for fun?
“Back in high school I used to play a lot of sports. I played soccer and wrestled, and I also played the guitar.”
How long have you played for?
“I started taking lessons when I was in middle school, and did that for four or five years. Then I stopped taking lessons, and started just to play for myself.”
What was your favorite subject in middle school?
“Let’s see– I’d probably say Spanish. I love learning new languages. My family and I like to travel a lot, whenever we go somewhere I always download Duolingo and try to learn a little bit of the language.”
What other languages have you Duolingo-d? What do you have a basic knowledge of?
“My parents are both from India, so I can speak two languages that originated from India, Gujarati and Hindi. English, obviously…. and a little bit of French.”
Impressive. How did French go?
“It’s pretty similar to Spanish, spelling and words-wise– but actually trying to speak it, they’re worlds apart. It was difficult to try to learn from an app.”
Where is your favorite place in the world?
“My favorite place in the world? Hmmm…. I went to the Dominican Republic, and I just remember that trip very vividly. It’s a very adventurous place, and so beautiful. Obviously I went to primarily tourist-y places, but it was a lot of fun. We jumped off waterfalls, we rode horses– I really like activities, and nature. The DR was a very natural place.”
This is a loaded one — what is the longest you’ve gone without sleep, and why?
“Oh, man. Well– I’ve definitely had a couple of tough days in college. I think that it was in my first semester of freshman year, when finals came around. It was my first round of college finals, so I was really stressed out. I expected that everything you could know about the subject, you would need to know. So: I pulled an all-nighter, went to take the exam the next morning, and can tell you that I should absolutely have just slept.”
If you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be?
“Lion King. The animated version. The first one.”
If you were an ice cream flavor what would you be and why?
“Well, my favorite ice cream flavor is vanilla, but everyone makes fun of me for it being too normal. I think it’s just a safe option. Vanilla is also the base of everything else. Chocolate chip cookie dough– that’s vanilla with add-ons. You need vanilla to make everything else.”
Why did you decide to join Campuswire?
“I decided about a month ago– I got in touch with Brian. I’d read a bunch about it– there’s the TechCrunch article and everything. So I applied, and Brian got back to me. Once I understood what the job was, I knew it would be really cool to work at such a small company with such a fast pace of growth. Especially being a Growth & Marketing intern– I knew I’d be right in the middle of all of it. So I knew right when I saw the job posting that this would be a great opportunity.”
What is your favorite part of the job so far?
“I’d say the brainstorming meetings. It’s surprising how involved we are. Tade — he’s the CEO — asks for our opinions on things all the time. He and Brian drafted a few cold emails, then brought the interns in and asked us to rip into them and offer honest feedback. He actually values our opinions, which is really cool.”