Decisions, decisions…

Hey guys, my name is Birizibe Gnassingbe (briz-bee)! I’m pursuing a Computer Science & Political Science dual degree with an Africana Studies minor here at Pitt. I usually get a lot of questions about my combination of studies, and the best way I’ve learned to answer these questions is that I want to work at the intersection of Technology and Helping People. Furthermore, my tracks are Software Engineering and Political Theory because I’m interested in how the world should be, and what software can do to make it a reality.

I’m extremely excited to be interning for The College Decisionator this semester as the Lead Project Manager. My role, up to this point, has been helping organize the team around our preliminary goals, establishing a cadence for team meetings, organizing the schedule for upcoming weeks, conducting some research and communicating between the Pitt students and sponsors. As the project evolves, my role will also evolve, and I’m excited to see where it goes! It’s also helpful that I am genuinely enjoying working with the other interns/sponsors, and collaborating on such an amazing project. 

Accepting the offer to intern for The College Decisionator was one of the easier college decisions of my journey. Considering my aforementioned goals of using technology to help people, I hope it’s evident why I wanted this internship. When I first heard of the startup, I thought back to my own college-application process and how most people I knew had the best intentions of applying & being successful in college. Unfortunately, that’s not how it worked out for many people. I thought about how this app could’ve changed the trajectory of their lives, and helped them make a more informed decision. I really want this to be an option for future students. The college-debt crisis has been highlighted in recent years, and we’re seeing it threaten the future of millions of people, even the future of the country as a whole. I truly believe in this startup’s potential to change the lives of millions of people. 

I’m not sure what my specific professional goals are, but I want to continue doing cool things that help people. I want everything I participate in to have a positive impact on people’s lives. The College Decisionator is my first internship and I’m looking to improve my communication, problem-solving, and management skills. I want to gain an understanding of the startup environment, how the agile-development process works, and any other technical skills I can gather along the way. Most importantly, I hope to emerge with a clearer idea of what I can do to help me accomplish my goals. However, as I said before, my role will evolve and hopefully my goals will too! So, I’ll be sure to check in with an update.

Take care & speak to you guys soon!

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