Where are you from?
I was born in Chennai, India and grew up in Muscat, Oman.
Why did you choose UB?
Because I was moving halfway around the world away from everyone I have known my entire life at just 17 years old, I wanted a big school that had something going on all the time, full of opportunities. I also wanted a school that felt homey with a great community. I wasn't living up to my full potential in high school and thus wanted a new beginning in college.
In addition, due to the big international population and value, my parents were also extremely impressed with UB. UB had everything I was looking for and more and thus was the perfect school for me in all aspects.
What do you like most about engineering at UB?
UB and SEAS empowers student organizations in engineering fields with support in all ways and forms. I have been involved with engineering clubs since my first semester and they have given me a community I can call mine with a sense of belonging here at UB. I met all my mentors through various events that I volunteered through these student clubs. And, I get an opportunity to return the favor by helping new students to get involved and find what I found at UB.
Why did you choose to go into engineering?
As I am a computer science major, I think that tech is needed in almost every industry and every country around the world. The impact one can have with innovation in tech is endless. The number of opportunities and room for improvement is vast in the field of technology. Thus it gives me various different avenues to explore as I want to directly help people through the work I do.
What is your favorite place on campus?
As someone who’s been a tour guide, this is a hard question to answer! As a faculty member once told me that there are many hidden gems in our beautiful campuses. We are lucky enough to have three campuses that are home to UB students.
The two building where I like spending a lot of my time are Davis Hall and Greiner Hall. Davis Hall is home to the Computer Science and Engineering Department and hence I hold and attend office there for various CSE courses. It is also where a lot of events take place. I lived in Greiner Hall my sophomore year and met many amazing people and then became an RA there my junior year. I particularly love enjoying the view of UB from the 6th floor of Greiner Hall.
What are you working on right now?
I am interviewing for summer internships in tech.
What else do you do on campus?
When I got to UB, I wanted to get involved as soon as possible because in high school, I waited too long and didn’t enjoy it to the extent that I could, or live up to my full potential. Here, I volunteered and joined many clubs to meet a lot of new people. By the end of my first year I got appointed as a tour guide and teaching assistant for introductory computer science. I also got elected onto executive boards of clubs like UB Scientista and UB Hacking. Now, I’m an Orientation leader and Resident Advisor.
What have you done that you are most proud of?
I am proud that I get to hold the positions I do and impact many students at UB through them. I enjoy helping students by mentoring them, and helping them identify and take advantage of the resources that would help them the most at UB.
I also recently had the opportunity to attend Grace Hopper Celebration, the largest conference in the world for women in tech, through a scholarship. Being with 25,000 other women in tech in Orlando, Florida, was an honor and such an amazing experience! I got to meet amazing people and see various companies in one place.
What are you passionate about?
I am extremely passionate about the clubs I am part of and the doors they can open up for people who are involved. I spend a lot of time and efforts to better initiatives and create newer ones so that students have more options and opportunities.
What are your future plans?
I want to impact the lives of people around me in a positive way that betters their quality of life. I want to continue to volunteer and help out organizations that promote women in tech and engineering. I would like to give back and help communities that have given me so much and made me who I am. In the future, I aspire to give back to UB and SEAS through mentorship and donations.
Do you have any advice for prospective students?
Talk to people in your major, people you can look up to and ask questions about UB. These people can help build your community and can give you advice about classes to take and organizations to be part of. These people can start sharing opportunities they had so that you could use them as well. It's great to pick their brains because they exactly went through what you are going through. People along with a community is an integral part to succeeding in college and I hope you'll have it.
Urjitha Muthiah received a 2019 Leaders in Excellence Scholarship from the UB Engineering and Applied Sciences Alumni Association (UBEAA).