Upping His Game
Mohmmad Ishtiaq, a computer science major in the B.S. with Accelerated M.S. Options program, hopes to one day open a video game development studio and create the next generation of games. After getting his associate degree in computer science from New York City College of Technology, Ishtiaq decided to further his goals. He sat down with The Box to talk about his journey.
What drew you to New York Tech?
I heard about the great professors and the amazing programs to help students grow professionally. The location was perfect because it is at the heart of so many great attractions, like Central Park. I take walks there in between classes to get my mind off things. Having so many great places to grab a quick bite with friends is always a plus.
Tell us about the most exciting project you’ve participated in at New York Tech.
Being a part of UREP (Undergraduate Research and Entrepreneurship Program). My team and I worked on robotics in the hospitality industry, and it was my first time doing a large research project where we read papers, modeled new robots, and built code and circuits to demonstrate our findings. I also learned a lot about teamwork, and I hope to implement our findings into other industries beyond hospitality.
How is New York Tech helping you on your career path?
I want to start my own game development studio. I have taken a few courses that have pushed me to start working on my goal, including Intro to Software Engineering, as well as my senior project, where I was tasked with creating a health checker application that could run on multiple devices (Android / IOS). It records the user’s symptoms and returns a list of possible diseases that match those symptoms. As I developed the app, I learned to use technologies like Xamarin, Firebase, MongoDB, SQLite, and Rest API.
Courses like these tend to be very open-ended and allow me to experiment and find solutions on my own. This helps me grow and understand the process of software development, which in turn will help me when I work in the field after graduation.
Are you involved in any other New York Tech activities?
Currently, I work with the amazing team in the Advising and Enrichment Center as a Peer Success Guide. My task is to help incoming freshmen adapt to college life and help them network with one another. I also plan events with the other Peer Success Guides and create a fun and interactive environment for the students to enjoy in these trying times. My goal is to give these students all the resources they need to succeed and push them to bring out their best selves.
During the summers of 2020 and 2021, I interned as a New York Tech Maker Academy coach. This experience allowed me to help students learn a wide range of skills like programming, 3-D modeling, 3-D printing, and laser cutting.
What advice would you give a high schooler or new student about succeeding at New York Tech?
Communication is the best tool you will have in your college life. Interact, participate, and reach out to people because you will never know what someone else knows or how they can help you later in life.
This interview has been edited and condensed.