Apurv Kumaria ’07 was feeling lost at a larger university—a big school and huge class sizes left him wondering what it would be like to feel like an individual at a smaller school. He heard stories about the welcoming Central community from his younger brother Anshul Kumaria ’10 and decided to transfer during his sophomore year.
“Central has smaller class sizes and professors know you personally and care about you,” he says. “My brother did talk highly about the professors and the amount of attention they paid to students. For me, having great professors was of most importance.”
The mathematics and computer science major participated in the Alpha Zeta fraternity, the ping-pong club and Amnesty International. His education at Central allowed him to pursue extra-curricular activities as well as become prepared for his future career.
“Central was the place where I became myself,” Kumaria explains. “My confidence grew tremendously. Professors guided and helped me when I was applying for jobs. I also benefitted a lot from my non-major courses. These courses helped me become a better person with a thirst to know more, not only in my major, but beyond that.”
Kumaria is now employed at ThoughtWorks, a software company in Chicago that is known for putting job candidates through one of the toughest interviews in the country. The interview process isn’t just a brief 30-minute meeting to talk about credentials—it’s a four-step process that can take days.
“At ThoughtWorks’ office there were several interviews, tests and games,” Kumaria says. “ThoughtWorks even has a culture interview to ensure that candidates are culturally a good fit.”
Kumaria, a Lucknow, India native, went through the four phases of the interview process—a phone interview, a coding exercise, a technical phone interview and a day in the ThoughtWorks’ office. He is now a lead consultant for the company. Kumaria oversees groups of 10-20 on various projects and does software development, consulting, technical training, coaching and mentoring inside ThoughtWorks and around the world.
He has traveled to Brazil, India, Kenya and Ghana on the job. In Brazil, he led a team of 20 software developers. While in Kenya and Ghana, Kumaria facilitated a workshop in collaboration with Tim Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web Foundation. And in India, he coached and trained new ThoughtWorks employees straight out of college.
When he’s outside the office, Kumaria stays away from the computer and enjoys time with his son, Atharv, nine months, and wife Riddhima, reading, exploring new restaurants and traveling. His travels may not always include Pella in his route, but Kumaria considers it a home away from home.
“Central is one of the best things that has happened to me in my lifetime,” he says. “It will always be a special place for me.”