MSCS Alumni Profile: Anjani Bajaj

MSCS AlumniUSF’s Computer Science graduate community comes from a wide-range of academic and professional backgrounds. With 19 countries and 14 states represented, they also come from all over the world! Recent MSCS graduate, Anjani Bajaj is one such alum, who recently joined PlayStation. 

How has life been since finishing CS at USF?

Life after USF has been great. I moved to Los Angeles 10 days after my graduation to work with PlayStation as a Software Engineering Intern for the summer. The internship was an amazing learning opportunity with many fun-filled activities. Fortunately, I was converted to a full-time employee and have been working with PlayStation since then. Southern California has been warm (climate wise too) and kind to me, I love finding a new place to eat every weekend and also the beautiful beaches! I miss San Francisco though 🙂

Tell us a bit about your current role. What is the favorite part of your job or program?

Currently, I am working as a Software Engineer-I in a close-knit and encouraging team. My tasks revolve around building features as well as enhancing functionality in existing features for an in-house tool. This internal tool caters designers, developers, and managers at PlayStation and is a crucial piece in the product development cycle of various PS teams.

My usual day is coding in Java, SQL, Node.js, React.js, Angular.js, Graphql, and many other JS frameworks. Apart from the technological know-how, collaboration and clear communication are also essential to my role. Continuous learning and overcoming unforeseen challenges are my favorite bits of this job. I have to be on my toes every day, keep myself updated with the technology trends, quickly grasp them and apply them practically to deliver production-quality code continuously.

What has been the most surprising part of your career since graduating from USF?

The wide range of job prospects I can look at is frankly the most surprising part for me after graduation. During my job search, I could apply to not only general Software Engineering roles but also data-oriented roles. I had taken electives like Big Data, Machine Learning, and Bioinformatics. These courses made my profile very diverse and had relevant projects which landed me many Data Scientist and Data Engineer interview calls. I also had an offer for Data Engineer position at a BioTech firm, all because of the kind of courses and projects I had chosen at USF.

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

If I could change one thing about the world, I would eradicate biases that exist in society. I believe a person’s merit should never be based on gender, race or religion. Everyone should have a fair shot at achieving what they desire. I consider myself extremely lucky that my parents believed in me enough to send me all the way from India, not every girl has the same freedom to do so.  

What is one piece of advice you would give a current CS student?

If you really want to venture into something, don’t be afraid of taking up challenging courses. Take risks while you’re in school, you’ll end up learning in any case. Take advantage of the small class sizes, and learn as much as you can from the brilliant professors. They’re super friendly and always willing to help. Be inquisitive and keep asking your questions in the office hours. Interaction with the professors beyond the usual classes in the true sense opens a lot of doors to learning! I came to USF right after my undergrad from India and had no industry-level coding experience. I am so grateful that the MS CS course at USF made sure that we not only grasp the concepts but apply them and work tenaciously to become “industry ready”.

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