Akshay in the Media Center at USC, walking in the shoes of a broadcast journalist.

Akshay’s Journey

Akshay Gupta had a choice to make at age 15. Living in the small town of Jhansi, India, close to the capitol of New Delhi, his Catholic school offered an option between two elective courses, physical education or computers. It was an obvious choice for him. The computer language Java Script was taught at this free coding class, and in many ways changed his life. He became passionate about computer science as a result of that first course. He stuck with it, and later chose to go to college for computer science. He was placed in an electrical engineering track for the first two years. He proved himself by becoming one of the top students and was then able to opt into the highly sought after computer science program at his college in Delhi.

“Everyone wants to shake hands with the computer industry.” says Akshay.

He recognizes that computers really touch every area of life and represent great work opportunities. As one of the top students in his department, he was approached to take a job as a software developer at the prestigious computer firm TCS in India. The exclusive three-month training program educated him in working with what is known in programming as “the back end.” The back end includes all of the coding and functionality that allows for the user experience. His coding work focused on producing simple user-friendly experiences that were effective.

His huge success as a trainee led to a four year stint at the highly prestigious Deloitte Bank in London. There, Akshay worked years on the development of a project to aid in the reform of banking programs. He learned a great deal about pivoting onto new platforms to scale the bank’s projects.

Today, Akshay is a second-year graduate student studying at the University of Southern California. He has followed his passion from India to California. He is here to “learn and unlearn.” He explains that learning new technologies and applications of those technologies is a welcome experience after being in one job over the last several years. He is here to expand his knowledge in the areas of artificial intelligence and more specifically, machine learning. He offers examples of technological advancements that he finds fascinating — self-driving cars and natural language processing. Both relate to how a computer can come to understand humans. When asked about robots taking over human jobs, he does not seem worried, but he agrees that it is something to think about.