Chintan Manish Popat is the newly elected president of the Graduate Student Association, a position he will occupy for the 2020-2021 academic year. Below, he shares a little bit about his background and goals for his presidency.
Where you are from, how did you find your way to New York Tech, and what you are majoring in?
I completed my bachelor’s degree in Information Technology in India, at Mumbai University Universal College of Engineering. I have been part of the New York Tech community since the fall of 2019. I am getting a master’s in cybersecurity.
I was always passionate about technology, especially about how software works. When I discovered hacking, it seemed like magic. A hacker really has to think out of the box and outsmart the best of engineers and the security systems they build.
I was lucky enough to always be supported by family and friends in every endeavor. Sometimes after a long, stressful day, it feels great lightening my burdens by talking to my parents. They help me grow emotionally and teach me a lot.
How did you get interested in being the GSA president?
I held leadership positions during my undergraduate studies. I was the technical head of the Students Council and the president of the IT Students Association (ITSA). Being the leader of ITSA was a great opportunity to organize tech events like HackStomp, a 24-hour hackathon.
What ultimately made me want to run for president of the Graduate Student Association was volunteering for GSA for the fall and getting to know members of the committee.
The intent behind joining GSA was not to get something out it but rather to be part of a community and to make friends. Working on GSA events never felt like work; it felt like hanging out with great new friends.
What are some of the things you would like to do as president next year?
With me as president of GSA, I hope to achieve better communication with incoming students every semester. Hopefully, we’ll have more cultural and technical events as well. These events help us build interdepartmental communication.
I also want to reach out to alumni to help us students bridge the gap between graduate school and employment. By connecting to alumni, we can understand industry trends and better equip ourselves for the future.
I am confident that with the support of the members of the Graduate Student Association, we will achieve new highs.