When Chidanand “Cid” Khode ’18 walked across the stage at graduation, he was able to check off a few things on his to-do list: make new friends, graduate with a degree in computer science and find a good job.
But his biggest accomplishment, he says, was honoring a personal commitment to leave a contribution to the next generation of Highlanders.
“I’ve always wanted to give back to my college, to give back to people in general,”says Khode, who lives in Matawan and moved to the United States from India at 5 years old. His voluntary nature dates back to an AP computer science class he took in high school, which is around the same time he sparked an interest in programming and coding.
“I built a GPA calculator,” he recalls. “I started putting to use what I was learning in the class.” Although the applications were basic, for the first time Khode began to understand the power of coding. “I knew if I correctly learned it and applied it, I would be able to make something that helped a lot of people.”
And now, with the help of his senior capstone teammates, Khode has created njitresearch.com a research portal that will provide students with direct access to research information and opportunities.
Here, Khode, who’ll join UBS as a full stack developer, working on website development and database management, recounts his college stint in India before transferring to NJIT, shares how he uses racquetball to blow off steam — and how meeting like-minded people at NJIT helped him become a more outgoing person.
FINDING HIS WAY
“After high school, I studied in India for a semester. The teaching style, education and structure are completely different than it is here. There’s nothing wrong with it. But I wasn’t able to do well there, no matter how hard I tried. I didn’t want to jeopardize my education. So I came back to the States to attend community college, and then I transferred to NJIT because I knew it had one of the best computer science programs in the nation.”
CAUSING QUITE A RACKET
“I started playing racquetball my junior or senior year of high school. But it really picked up when I came to NJIT. In the new WEC, there are racquetball courts. It’s always super fun to go down there. If there are people playing, I usually wait until they’re done and ask them if they want to play a game with me. It’s a great way for me to get my mind off things, relieve some stress and get a good workout.”
BREAKING OUT OF A SHELL
“When I came to NJIT, I broke out of my anti-social shell. I met a lot of people and formed groups of friends. College is something new and exciting. Pretty soon, you find people with similar passions and interests, and you hit it off from there.”
FROM INTERN TO EMPLOYEE
“Before landing a full-time job at UBS as a full stack developer, I interned in their analytics department. One of my key missions was to develop and maintain a website that logged all the different contracts and legal entities the company dealt with in order to make sure there was no insider trading. I analyzed the risk component of each transaction and reported it to the upper executives.”
A LASTING LEGACY
“The team I worked with during my senior capstone class is leaving the university with a small token of our appreciation: a research portal that allows students to browse all the research opportunities created by faculty. If students are interested, they can get in contact with the faculty and apply for research positions. It also helps students learn about all of the different research happening on campus. The entire idea for me was to leave something here, to give something back. It’s been my goal since high school. And I’m happy to say I’ve accomplished that goal.”