July 20, 2021
Being an active person, taking initiative, tackling things and trying them out – that's important to him. With this attitude, Ishansh Gupta developed an app as a student in India and founded a start-up. It led him to study Data Engineering at Jacobs University in Bremen – and it led to projects with the local sports club SV Werder Bremen and the BMW Think Tank during his studies. It was no surprise that, together with a friend and fellow student, the 23-year-old chose to represent his class by delivering the graduate student address at this year’s graduation ceremony at Jacobs University.
"I want to realize my dreams," Ishansh said. Since childhood, those dreams have had to do with technology and computers. It started with playing games on PCs, and continued with programming websites. "I quickly realized I was really good at it," Ishansh said. Against family tradition – his parents are both doctors – he decided to pursue the bachelor program Computer Science Engineering at the renowned SRM Institute of Science and Technology in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
Barely enrolled at the University, he developed an app that is still successful today, which allows students to calculate how their semester grades affect their overall grade average. Later in his studies, he founded a start-up together with friends that, through lectures or in workshops, aims to motivate students to become entrepreneurs.
Then came the winter of 2018. Ishansh spent two months in Poland completing an internship as a tutor in Data Science, and it was a journey with unexpected outcomes. During a layover in Berlin, he met students from India who told him about Jacobs University. He informed himself further and liked what he learned. "The internationality and also the master’s degree program 'Data Engineering' with its practical orientation appealed to me immediately." He applied, was accepted for one of the good three dozen sought-after spots, and even received a scholarship. In August 2019, he came to Bremen.
"Jacobs University plays a very important role in my life," Ishansh said. "It has made a lot of things possible for me. The professors take their time and listen to you. The staff supports you wherever they can. The University also taught me to never give up and believe in myself."
However, the beginning was bumpy. Being away from his family for a long time, and for the first time, as well as getting along in a new culture is not easy for anyone. Unfamiliar to him, he failed one of his exams in his first semester. But he quickly caught himself. Ishansh got involved with AIESEC, the world's largest youth-led student organization, which arranges internships and social projects for young people abroad. Ishansh was elected vice president of the Bremen chapter. "I made a lot of friends through AIESEC, which helped me a lot."
Things also went well again very quickly in his studies. The cricket fan became team leader of a cooperation project between Jacobs University and SV Werder Bremen, in which students processed, standardized, and visualized the performance data of professional soccer players. From the semester project, Ishansh developed his master's thesis. "By monitoring various health data, training can be more targeted. Data analysis can help make players better." He is convinced of that.
What applies to football players applies to many areas – data is generated everywhere, and its analysis is a booming field. Ishansh is currently doing an internship at the BMW Supply Chain Innovation Think Tank in Munich. It aims to optimize the global corporation's complex supply chains with the help of new technologies. Just like at Jacobs University, he is working in a highly diverse, international team developing various use cases and exchanging ideas with BMW management about trends and growth opportunities in the field of Data Science. Recruiting the brightest minds in Data Science and Supply Chain Management is also part of his job.
Ishansh shares an apartment in Munich with two other students from Jacobs University who also work at BMW. He feels comfortable in the company and will probably stay as a doctoral student. He would then be supervised by Hendro Wicaksono, Professor of Industrial Engineering at Jacobs University, with whom he already wrote his master's thesis. That would be a win-win situation for everyone: for Ishansh, for BMW, and for Jacobs University, which he says has changed his life for the better. "I'm not just saying that, it comes from the heart.”
This text is part of the series "Faces of Jacobs," in which Jacobs University introduces students, alumni, professors, and staff. Further episodes can be found at www.jacobs-university.de/faces.