Monday, February 6, 2023

Joshua Kave: ServiceNow Scholar

 UC San Diego undergraduate computer science student Joshua Kave is one of the inaugural recipients of the ServiceNow Scholarship. In this Q&A, he shares what excites him about computer science, and what he hopes to do in the future. Learn more about the inaugural cohort of ServiceNow Scholars here. 

1) Why did you decide to study computer science?

The aspect of building something from scratch, and learning how many important aspects of modern day life works is why CS excites me. I have had many breakthrough experiences throughout my time studying computer science. For example, learning how urls work with different combinations of networking protocols was such a mind blowing realization. I have always taken technology for granted, and being able to discover how our technology functions is truly exciting.

2) Have you been involved in any groups/orgs on campus that have been particularly meaningful or beneficial to you?

One group that is meaningful to me is PACE (Peer-led Academic Cohort Experiences). We gather once a week with professors and upperclassmen to discuss different CS-related topics in groups. While there isn't much of a deep dive into one topic in particular, PACE has been such a benefit towards my mental health. Being able to relax, meet new people, and talk about topics that are interesting brings joy to my day. 

3) Any idea what you'd like to do with your CS degree in the future?

As a first year student, I am still unsure about what specific field or job is right for me. I know that I want to graduate with a computer-science degree, but I do not know where that will take me. Currently, I am interested in software engineering, network engineering, and cybersecurity. As I learn more about specialized fields in CS, I will be able to make a more concrete decision on what I want to do with my future.

4) Any advice to students interested in studying CS?

One major problem with all academic subjects, and especially CS, is imposter syndrome. Feeling like one is not "smart" enough to pursue a degree is a serious roadblock that can be detrimental towards the learning process. Anyone can get into CS; it is never too late. You don't have to be coding since the age of three in order to learn. Of course, having prior experience will definitely help in introductory classes. It really just comes down to how hard one works and studies in order to learn. I used to think to myself "Wow, that person is way smarter than me". Now I think "Wow, that person worked way harder than me". Quantifying outcome as a result of hard work gives me more control, since it is much easier to work and study harder than it is to simply just "get smarter". My advice is that everyone feels like everyone else is smarter than them. Just be passionate about the subject, work hard, and you will do just fine.

5) How does it feel to be named a ServiceNow Scholar?

I feel happy to be included in another amazing community at UC San Diego. Finding my place on this campus has been a struggle, and I look forward to being a ServiceNow Scholar.

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