2015 TEC Fellows: Then and Now


Over the past few weeks, we’ve shared a series of interviews with True Entrepreneur Corps alumni/ae to showcase how the program has helped our former Fellows kickstart their careers. And now that our application deadline for TEC 2017 is approaching, we’re looking forward to making matches within our portfolio for this year’s applicants. But there’s still time to apply…

College juniors and seniors interested in technology and entrepreneurship have until Sunday, January 15th to apply to TEC 2017

Here, we check in with the class of 2015 to see where they are now and what they’ve accomplished since the completion of their internships.

What did you work on during your TEC Fellowship and what are you up to now? 

Samidha Visai: I was a software engineering intern at First Opinion, an app for texting doctors, where I created an internal, full-stack web application and worked in their API. I also conducted user studies to help drive the startup’s website design goals.

Currently, I’m a student at the University of Michigan. My last internship was in software engineering at Microsoft. I’m also leading a large entrepreneurial project on our campus. TEC not only launched my career in tech, but also gave me friends, connections and memories to last a lifetime.

Michelle Chan: I was a front-end engineer and UX designer for Runscope, a startup that offers API monitoring and testing tools for developers. I worked on several projects including redesigning Runscope’s support page and internal dashboard.

After TEC, I changed my major to computer science and interned as a UX designer at Amazon. I also created a startup community at Hong Kong University and am founding my own startup with friends. If it weren’t for TEC, I don’t think I could have reached where I am now.

Nitish Khadke: I was a full-stack software engineering intern at Madison Reed. I built predictive technologies on the website as well as features for the content management system, which was built in-house.

I’m currently a senior studying computer science at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. TEC played an essential role in me figuring out the right path to take after graduation. In my case, the program helped me realize my interest in product management.

Chad Nachiappan: During TEC, I was a product management intern for an amazing startup called Directly. At the start of the internship, I worked on an iOS version of their mobile app. I also worked on projects that defined users and personas, tested the product, and more.

I’m currently a senior at University of Pennsylvania, and I want to be a technical project manager. TEC showed me how software engineering is a crucial part of building products. I’ve learned that I really love the high-level pieces of the puzzle, rather than the day-to-day coding and implementation. Directly was my first experience in a PM role, and I’m so happy that True and Directly were willing to take a chance on me so I could explore this path!

What was your biggest takeaway from TEC and what’s your advice to future Fellows?

Samidha: My biggest takeaway was the exposure to Silicon Valley. I really got to see the ins and outs of the industry I want to make my mark on. Form relationships by having coffee with anyone you find interesting or inspiring. Make connections, learn about what excites you and ask tons of questions.

Michelle: The people are great. Whether it’s True’s partners, company founders or the TEC Fellows, there is so much to learn from their inspiring stories. Follow your passion, and learn as much as you can from the amazing TEC community. I’m sure it will be one of the best summers of your life.

Nitish: I would strongly suggest talking to everyone you can within the True network. The amount of knowledge that you can gain from this highly skilled and unique network is boundless. Also, ensure that you spend a good amount of time with the other Fellows in the program. 

Chad: You gain as much as you put into it. Don’t be afraid to bug people at your startup for their time to chat, ask questions, hear what they’re working on or ask how you can help.

Set goals for yourself and measure yourself against those goals. You’ll find it more rewarding when you define what you want out of TEC ahead of time. Is it the skills required to start your own company? Is it learning how to pitch a product? There are lots of things to learn, so think about what you want!

Apply to TEC 2017 before January 15th.