Hitesh Boinpally and Sen. Mark Mullet at STEM Signing Day in Olympia. Submitted photo

Hitesh Boinpally and Sen. Mark Mullet at STEM Signing Day in Olympia. Submitted photo

Tahoma High student commits to STEM studies at UW

Tahoma student Hitesh Boinpally is one of the nearly 50 students who committed to pursuing STEM careers at the STEM Signing Day on April 12.

STEM Signing Day is just like signing days for athletes, according to Washington STEM. This is the second time STEM Signing Day has taken place in partnership with Boeing.

High school students from across the state made their way to Olympia to make their commitments to some of the state and country’s top technical schools, colleges and universities.

“It was great. It was just an incredible experience. It allowed me to get to know a lot of other students who are interested in STEM-related majors. It was really awesome getting to meet other people that might potentially be going to the same university as me,” Hitesh said.

Each student from each legislative district was called up in order of district, and then students signed a certificate that Boeing had prepared for them, Hitesh explained.

Hitesh said he committed to major in computer science at the University of Washington and according to US News, UW is the sixth best computer science school in the nation as of 2018.

His dad, Harish Boinpally, said he thinks computer science is a great major for his son to get into. He said Hitesh enjoys solving problems and seems to be naturally good at math, science and technology.

“It’s just always been an interest of mine. Even at a young age, I specifically liked math a lot. It was something I was always good at. I was just particularly interested in the way that there’s always a set solution and you always know at the end of the day there’s something that you can do,” Hitesh said.

He said he really likes the step by step process it takes to get to a solution.

Majoring in computer science was a way to use this same skill set, according to Hitesh. He explained he didn’t want to major in mathematics because he thought there would not be as many job opportunities for him.

Going to the UW to pursue this degree seemed like the most logical choice to Hitesh.

He wanted to go to UW because it’s close to home, but most importantly, this area has a lot of internship opportunities because of companies like Microsoft and Amazon, he explained.

“I thought it would be a good and helpful way for me to further my educational career and my professional career after that,” Hitesh said. “I also got direct admission into their [computer science] program [and] I’m really excited about the internship opportunities more than anything. Just being able to get my hands on the actual technology and stuff because primarily all I’ve been doing in school, I haven’t had a ton of computer science opportunities.”

Looking at life after graduation, Hitesh said he thinks he wants to get into a tech company and slowly work his way up the ladder. He said he wants to work his way towards more managerial positions, which is why he is also thinking about double majoring in business, or at least minoring in it. That way, he has both the STEM experience and the people skills he’ll need to succeed.

A lot of his future goals have to do with his dad.

He said his dad immigrated to the U.S. from India and has gone through the same trajectory Hitesh wants to go through.

Harish worked at companies and slowly worked his way up to different positions. Hitesh said he is working at getting his masters degree to keep moving up in the rankings.

Hitesh said the thing he’s most nervous about is moving away from home. Even though he’s close to home at UW, this is still the first time he will be living on his own.

“Just the idea of not having my parents to everything for me if I need them to, just having a little more independence, kind of nervous, but I’m excited about it.”

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Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in a neighborhood near you. You can read more of her writing on her website livingwithgleigh.com. To see her columns come to life, follow her on Facebook at Living with Gleigh by Gretchen Leigh.
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