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Aditya Sehgal: Undergraduate

Electrical Engineering
Degree Program: 
B.S., Electrical Engineering
New Delhi, India
Aditya Sehgal

Aditya Sehgal is an undergraduate in electrical engineering and an international student from New Delhi, India. He has spent the last three years as a Global Leader hosting orientation sessions for other international students. He spoke with us about what he likes about Santa Cruz, the connections he has made as a global leader and a tutor, and his advice for incoming students. 

How did you chose to come to UCSC? 

I chose to come to UCSC mostly because of the location, because it is so close to Silicon Valley. Being an electrical engineering major, I wanted to have that opportunity to work at a startup or a major tech company, and I am sure that is true for a lot of students here. My family also had a really big hand in me coming to UCSC because I also have a lot of relatives close by, and logistically flying to and from New Delhi is a lot easier from the coast than somewhere in the midwest. 

What do you love about being a student here?

I really like all the different opportunities you can have. Even though I am an engineering student, I do orientation for international students, something completely outside of my major, and I also tutor classes and grade. I know that my friends are part of a lot of student organizations, and you can also get into research with professors, or form your own student organization. There are a lot of different things you can do and you don’t always have to focus on academics. 

Tell us about your role as a global leader.

A global leader is essentially an orientation leader, but for incoming international freshmen. Because I am an international student as well, I know how hard it can be sometimes for students to get accustomed to a new country, so I just wanted to help some of those students settle in. Also, being a global leader is just really fun because you make so many connections. Every year I meet at least forty new global leaders who have the same position as me, and hundreds of incoming students.

What has been the biggest culture shock coming to UCSC from New Delhi?

The biggest shock to me was just how small Santa Cruz is compared to New Delhi. Also, taking the bus was a little bit of an adjustment because in New Delhi, we don’t take a lot of public transport and I had to learn how to use it. What I really like about Santa Cruz being such a small city, though, is that you get to know so many people and you constantly see them around you. It is not that you meet them once and just forget about them, like it is in Delhi sometimes. 

What has been one of your most valuable or meaningful moments in a class here at UCSC? 

Last winter I took CMP 100, which is now CSC 100. The class focuses on logic design, and at the beginning of the quarter I was very adamant on just not doing things, so I ended up asking a lot of very simple questions on Piazza. The professor emailed me individually and she asked, “Are you not going to lecture, or what is going on?” That hit me real hard and I thought, ok, I need to work in this class now, and suddenly I started picking up things and I ended up really liking the class and even tutoring for it. I think that was one of my most valuable moments, just to see how things changed for me so that in three months I went from not knowing a lot about a class to being able to tutor it.  

What is your dream career when you graduate? 

Right now I am focusing on PCB designing and FPGA designing, which kind of go hand in hand, and I am starting to get more into board-level design. I have always been into taking circuits off of the internet and modifying them to do something else according to what I wanted to do, and I am just doing that more professionally now because I have started to design circuit boards themselves instead of just setting up circuits on a breadboard.

Do you have any advice for our incoming students?

I would say to any incoming students, if you see any club or any activity that really inspires you or seems like something you would want to do, even if you are not really sure, just go for it. When I started school here, I was a very shy person so I pushed myself to become a global leader, and that really pushed me outside of my comfort circle, and then I started tutoring as well.

I would say that tutoring is one of the most valuable experiences I have had here, and if you are interested in a class and have done well in it, you should definitely consider tutoring it.  When I was tutoring, I met a lot of people I am really good friends with now, and when you tutor a difficult class, it is very interesting to see how many different ways there are to come up with the same solution. Also, just seeing how people struggle and get through the difficulties together is absolutely amazing.