Student Spotlight: Jeyanth John Britto
Jey graduates with his B.S. in Computer Systems Engineering in May 2017 and has accepted a position with Verizon Wireless. During his time in the College, Jey served as president of IEEE UGA and worked as a research assistant in UGA's Virtual Environment Laboratory. He recently made his first gift to the College of Engineering through the University of Georgia's Senior Signature Program.
Tell us about your hometown.
I was originally born in India, but my dad is a contractor, so we moved around a lot. I moved almost every three years from India to Colorado to San Francisco to Alpharetta, GA. I would consider Alpharetta my home.
What drew you to UGA Engineering?
When I first applied to UGA, the College of Engineering was brand new, which I thought was pretty cool. I applied as a Computer Systems Engineer. When I visited, everyone was really nice. We looked at the curriculum, and since Computer Systems was a new program, it was kind of open-ended and you had the freedom to do whatever electives you want. I also liked the small college vibe in the setting of a research university. Also, the campus in general is really nice. I’ve stayed on campus all four years and have really enjoyed it. Also, a lot of my friends were coming to UGA, so that was a definite draw.
Who has been your most impactful instructor/professor? Why?
I would say Dr. Kyle Johnsen. I research under him currently and would say he’s the best professor I’ve had throughout my entire college experience. When I first had his class, he was tough. But I met with him after class and have come to learn he’s a really cool guy. We talk often about what classes I should take and what I should do after college. He’s really nice and I’ve learned a lot researching under him. I feel like I’ve taken the equivalent of four different classes just doing research under him.
If you could give intended engineering freshmen one piece of advice, what would it be?
I’d say get involved as early as possible, whether it be through a club or student organization or research. Your time in college is very limited, so figure out what you want to do and get involved quickly. For me, it was IEEE. Our chapter was new when I joined – I have experienced it grow and am currently the president of our chapter. With research, I just started last semester and have learned so much. I wish I’d gotten involved freshman year because I know I would have learned so much more.
Do you have a favorite memory of your time as an Engineering student?
Being part of IEEE has probably been my most memorable experience. I also loved Engineers Week and getting to compete against other student organizations. And seeing the College of Engineering grow has been a highlight. Also, I have great memories of late nights studying at Driftmier and the Science Library.
Tell me about your internship/Co-Op/Work experiences.
I interned at Verizon last summer, which involved more coding than engineering. I was the first intern they had from UGA and quickly learned that what set me apart from the rest of the interns was my communication skills. This is one thing UGA does a really good job of teaching. At the end of our internship, we had to give a presentation. Despite having worked hard throughout their internships, some of the interns were not able to present well on what they had accomplished. If you’ve done all the work, but can’t communicate what you’ve done, it’s pointless. Presentation skills are important. I’ve also worked as a TA in two classes. I was a Statics TA for Dr. Foutz and a TA for a Computer Systems class.
What’s your next move? Tell me a little bit about your immediate goals after graduation.
I have accepted a full-time position with Verizon. I also plan to take the GRE over the summer, because I’m considering grad school. I’m interested in data science.
Also, I’m going to India right after graduation. I haven’t been back for four years, since high school graduation, so I’m really excited. All of my relatives are in India and my cousin will be getting married. I’m also just excited to go back and eat food.
Have you thought about your long-term goals? Dreams?
I want to get into management. Executive management is my dream. Jagannath Rao, who is on the College Advisory Board, taught a big data class here which got me interested in data science. I see him as a role model and would love to be in a position like his in the future.
What initially prompted you to give to Senior Signature?
Initially I wanted to do it because it’s Senior Signature – you get your name on a plaque. Then I went to the graduation fair and learned that besides getting your name on a plaque, you get to donate to a fund of your choice, which I thought was amazing. I chose to give to the College of Engineering Student & Faculty Fund, because I’ve taken advantage of opportunities it funds like research and student organizations. I was going to give anyway, but learning more about it made me want to do it even more.
After graduation, how do you see yourself staying engaged with the College?
I’m really passionate about IEEE UGA. I definitely want to come back as an alum and see how much they’ve grown and see how I can help out in terms of sponsorship and mentorship. I also want to donate and definitely want to come back for G-Day, Homecoming, and other big events.