Graduate reflects back on successful four years

May 09, 2023

Hephzibah Rajan headshot

For Hephzibah Rajan ’23, a senior computer science major from Muscat, Oman, what started as seeking a college with professors who would help her academically wound up becoming a journey full of successes and experiences she would never expect.

“Over the years, I have been in multiple organizations, from the Student Programming Board to the Grand Challenge Scholars Program to Q30 Television and the Fishing Club,” said Rajan. “College was a whole new playing field and at every turn, if I saw a new opportunity that intrigued me, I tried it. After all, I have never seen the harm in trying. I wanted to discover new activities and explore the extent of my skills when I first arrived. Looking back now, I know that each experience has added to my skillset in some shape or form. I have better time management skills, leadership skills, analytical thinking skills and so many other soft skills that make me a well-rounded individual now.”

Recently, Rajan received the Outstanding Senior Award in Engineering. This year, she was also recognized as the National Engineering Intern Student of the Year by the American Society for Engineering.

Rajan hopes to encourage and inspire other women in the computer science industry, she said.

“I have always put my best into all my work and to get recognized for it was truly an honor,” said Rajan. “I am humbled that I was chosen for it, but I also take it as a responsibility to do better and help other women and girls find their passion in coding. I cannot thank the School of Computing and Engineering's faculty enough for all they've done to prepare me for this. Their mentorship and support have been paramount to this achievement.”

During the summer of 2022, Rajan had an internship with CVS/Aetna. She says her project-based courses at Quinnipiac helped her prepare for the work she would do. One course she took was Introduction to DevOps, where students learn about DevOps concepts and how to apply them to real-world scenarios as well as automate, build, test and deploy a project.

After trial and error in her code reading projects, the simulated real-world experiences allowed her to adapt to Aetna’s DevOps system.

“During one of my first weeks, my mentor showed me how Aetna's DevOps lifecycle worked and he also taught me about their deployment process,” she said. “This was valuable because I understood deployment on a large-scale project and how it was integrated into its development cycle. Another valuable lesson I was able to take away from my courses and strengthen at Aetna was my code-reading skills. By that summer, not only was I good at code reading but I was also able to create unit and integration tests for code I had not known for longer than a week. Toward the end in a performance review meeting, I learned that Aetna had picked me for the internship because I had used one of the required software and learned about it at another training. It stood to show that no one should ever stop learning, no matter how inapplicable it may seem at the time.”

Despite all her accomplishments, Rajan’s favorite memories were the ones she made with her friends.

“I love the moments I've shared with my friends: Working late nights in the Media Suite to finish a news package for a show, struggling to solve a coding assignment in a common room in Commons or soldering wires to sensors in the basement of the School of Computing and Engineering,” she said. “They're all moments I'll hold dear to my heart and cherish forever.”

Rajan emphasizes no matter where someone is in life, there’s always room for learning. After a professor told her that professors equally learn with students, Rajan’s perspective on college completely changed. She encourages the class of 2027 to keep learning and to enjoy their next four years at college.

“To the class of 2027, you are about to embark on a new and adventurous journey,” said Rajan. “You will have to navigate a whole new world but there are a lot of people at this school who will support you. While you're here for the next four years, have fun. Whatever you do, don't forget that. Explore and try everything and anything that interests you — that's the only way to learn more about yourself. Get outside your comfort zone and try not to let someone else's opinion dictate your path; it's not worth the time. Before you know it, you'll be where I am and when you are, I hope you look back with the same fondness and joy I feel now. Good luck!” 

Stay in the Loop

Sign Up Now