Agrim Sachdeva ’18 received a master’s degree in information systems from NJIT this spring, but he isn’t making a big deal about it. While many recent graduates are thinking about relaxing a little, maybe taking a vacation, Sachdeva is still spending time at NJIT. He’s continuing to work with the university’s information systems department, where he develops software applications that help NJIT run smoothly. Graduation has not caused him to rest on his laurels. Sachdeva doesn’t have time for that, because he has a long-term vision for what he hopes to do with the skills he’s learned at NJIT.
“All of this is a short-term goal towards a bigger objective I have in life,” says Sachdeva. “Before coming here I helped found a startup in India called Creative Thinkers Foundation. [We’re] providing STEAM (Science, Technology, Arts, Engineering, and Mathematics) education to underprivileged kids to bring them access to high-level concepts like 3D printing and AI. We want to give them the tools they should’ve had in the first place.”
Perhaps it’s Sachdeva’s combination of hard work and clear vision for his own future that prompted NJIT to select him to speak at graduation. Sachdeva calls his commencement speech one of the best experiences of his life, a point in time to reflect on what he’s achieved so far. And as he noted in his speech, those achievements aren’t just his alone, but are the culmination of generations of effort.
“I started by describing the struggles of my grandfather,” recalls Sachdeva’s. “He used to be ultra-wealthy, but was displaced by political and religious violence in India. He lost everything, but he believed in the power of education and went on to be one of the most educated in his generation and made sure his kids got educated. One of them graduated from NJIT in 1989, so I’m a second-generation NJIT student. What unites NJIT and my family and everyone else who was there, is their faith that education is capable of empowering you and lifting you up.”
Sachdeva is determined to pass that faith in education on to the next generation. He knows turning his passion for STEAM education into a tangible operation will involve a lot of hard work. He also knows enough to realize that he doesn’t know everything he needs to just yet. But he’s already planning his next step to flesh out his skillset: more studies.
“A large part of my NJIT experience was having to juggle between jobs and classes, and I miss the classes,” he says. “I’m going to start another degree this fall, a master’s in computer science.”