It is Never Too early to Get Job Experience – Sonakshi Das, RIT Intern

Jan 27, 2023 | Company Culture, Know-How | 0 comments

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How did you learn about Rochester Institute of Technology and what makes it the best place for you to study?  

When I was 10 years old, my family moved from India to Boston. When I was ready for college, I did extensive research and my priorities included co-op opportunities, a wide range of majors, and holistic learning. Rochester Insitute of Technology checked all the boxes. RIT has one of the world’s largest co-op programs having 34% of the student base being minorities and requiring an immersion in a content area.

What is your advice to other students considering a co-op in how they might prepare and the importance of participating? 

Having grown up in Boston, I was surrounded by learning opportunities and have always been rigorous in making sure I take advantage of all opportunities around me. Many people don’t apply for a co-op until they are juniors or seniors. As a sophomore, I wanted to apply to get practice on what skills were valuable to the immediate work environment. I was encouraged by my parents to always go after things even if I didn’t have all the requirements. I am such a learner that I know I will get there. That is my advice to others – take action now and be brave to learn. You have to have a mindset that allows you to grow and learn without the fear of perfection. Even if you do not have a lot of experience on your resume, fill out what you have and put yourself out there.  

What gets you the most excited about Circle Optics technology? 

I think it is just so incredible to be on a team that made the world’s first stitch-free 360-degree camera system. I remember seeing the Mars Rover capture pictures on Mars. I can’t imagine how amazing the pictures are going to be with our technology. I am just beginning to learn all the aspects of seamless 360-degree imagery. I like the idea of helping to build something that is both disruptive and transformative and believe that is what Circle wants to do. 

As an intern in business administration working with COO Ian Gauger, I am excited to learn all the aspects of the business.  

You have worked in a new startup and a startup that is maturing – what are the differences that you notice?  

Circle Optics is emerging from being a startup business to a more mature business. I can see this from my previous startup experience in two areas in particular – organization and delegation. A lot of Circle Optics business practices are well organized and documented. The team has diverse talent and you can see where each person makes a contribution to the overall workflow. 

WHAT STRENGTHS DO YOU BRING TO THE CIRCLE OPTICS TEAM?

My strengths are being independent, a fast learner and being passionate. I learned to be independent at a very young age. Part of my eagerness to learn and be adaptable comes from my experience moving from India to the United States. Adapting to a new culture required a great deal of personal resilience. My first job was at a golf course at age 13. Golf is an individual sport that I enjoy that requires a lot of patience and practice. I am sure these characteristics translate to my work as well.  

Sonakshi Das at one of her first golf tournaments.

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