Student Spotlight: Tejas Shete
After growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Tejas Shete became deeply familiar with several things: martial arts, the tech industry, and the power of entrepreneurship. His passion for martial arts has led him to become an experienced instructor, his love for technology has manifested itself in his computer science degree here at the University of Michigan College of Engineering, and his deep commitment to entrepreneurship could lay the path for his future.
“I’ve been interested in entrepreneurship for pretty much my entire life… the Bay area exposed me to the (entrepreneurial) ecosystem from such a young age,” Tejas said. “I love the idea of getting to watch a tiny company that’s like your baby grow with a team you’ve been a part of since the start.”
In his freshman year, Tejas’ first experience with entrepreneurship on campus was through the CFE’s Entrepreneurship Hour course offerings. Tejas enrolled in both the TED talk style speaker series and the optional discussion section, which would eventually lead him to accepting a position as an Instructional Aide . With the profound effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tejas has adapted his IA duties to meet the demands and opportunities afforded by a virtual classroom.
“This semester has been really interesting because it’s the first time E-Hour Discussion has been taught online,” he said. “Most of my job is to facilitate discussion and participation, and to help students adjust to the new, digital format.”
In a new remote learning environment, ensuring students feel comfortable turning on their cameras and sharing their organic thoughts during class has been a key focus throughout the semester. As an entrepreneurship and computer science student himself, Tejas understands unique challenges of being a student in a virtual classroom and has used his personal experience to be a better IA.
Tejas’ familiarity with digital entrepreneurship extends well beyond the classroom. He spent his personal time last summer working with a friend to code a digital rendition of the popular board game RISK. His edition of RISK involves more strategy than the original, as he modified several of the chance-based gaming elements.
“We coded the board game RISK online. We added new rules and game logic to make it require even more player strategy, removed the dice-rolling component and made some more modifications,” he said.
Although the project is not currently available to the public, it has served as a great learning opportunity and an impressive accomplishment.
“It was such a fun experience, and it was the first major coding project I’ve worked on at that scale,” he shared.
In his time outside of academic and professional commitments, Tejas has undertaken leadership endeavors in numerous University of Michigan student-run organizations. After contributing to U-M Autonomy as an AI Programmer, Tejas currently volunteers his time with Sigma Eta Pi entrepreneurship fraternity as the Vice President of New Member Education, and MPowered as the Vice President of Data Analytics.
“I wanted to be a part of the entrepreneurship community ever since I first came to campus… I looked for ways to get myself involved,” Tejas said.
When Tejas joined MPowered, he was actively seeking opportunities to deepen his involvement with the organization and wanted a leadership role. Tejas worked with MPowered’s President Ellen Tsao to create a Vice President of Data Analytics position for him to help meet the organization’s constantly evolving needs.
“In my role, I’ve become very focused on the data side of MPowered functions. I asked myself questions like, ‘How can we use data from previous years and events to help us market better?’,” he said.
Serving as the very first Vice President of Data Analytics has given him a blank slate to be creative with and has provided the freedom to define his own goals for the position. His work ensures the executive board of MPowered is making the most informed, data-supported decisions in the best interest of the club. Currently, he works with programs such as AirTable and with cross-functional teams to focus on streamlining the organization’s internal processes.
“Right now my main focus is implementing automation into our club routines to make us more efficient. Mostly, I’m working on email automation,” he said. “It’s a great experience.”
In the future, he plans to continue serving on the executive board of MPowered, and expand his role in Sigma Eta Pi. In a professional capacity, Tejas has worked for influential technology companies including NETGEAR, and currently is exploring start-up internships for the upcoming summer to get hands-on entrepreneurship experience.
“The best advice that I’ve received has been to try everything, and that’s exactly why I’m exploring everything I can right now. ”