Profile Series: “The International Student Interview”


(During a leadership development seminar, Apurva Sharma (shown above) strikes an intriguing pose while assisting the photographer setting up his tripod. Apurva and the rest of the organizing committee had just finished setting up a room for a theme party. )

How are ya today?

Good, good., doing good

Great well how about we get started by you tell me a little bit about your self.

Ok, I moved to the U.S. in 2007. I am an international student. I finished my high school degree in India and just finished college at the University of San Jose with a degree in Marketing. I have an electrical engineering science background from India, but after I came here I was like, there are more things to do. I graduated in December and have been working for Nichols for about 1 month now.

Nice, so what kind of passions do you have?

Ya, my passions, I like music; I listen to music 24 hours. I listen to all genres, I am not very picky. I just don’t listen to hip-hop or mainstream. I like to workout, I like to cook.,    Ya, I love cooking food, and feeding people if anyone is down.  I cook some mean Indian food.

Cool, so what was it that brought you to the states, and then eventually to Onmego Inc.?

Well, my dad asked me if I wanted to go to the states when I was done with my high school degree.  And so I sent out my SAT’s from India and decided on San Jose because I was working with engineering mainly.  And that’s really that.

As far as Onmego goes. The Director of Operations at Codinghouse, Udita Plaha, was in one of my marketing classes and she posted a job saying, “we have this opportunity if you are interested”. At that time I had graduated and was looking for an opportunity. So then I talked to Nick on the phone and he said there was an opportunity for me if I was interested in helping out on his project. I really like how Nick put it up, and I really like Nick’s personality, and his approach. I take him as a mentor right now for me to grow as a business individual in Silicon Valley.

So what is your primary position, and what is it that you are doing for the Daily Steak currently?

Well right now my title is Administrative Coordinator, so I pretty much finish all the tasks that Nick assigns me, plus marketing, accounting, creating data, making charts, gathering data, making excel sheet, and branding. I have a great variety of things that I do…Except Coding.

Not a coding guy.

Ya naa, I am not a coding guy, but I would love to learn it someday. People should learn how to code. Some times is takes people a life time to learn, but it is a really great task and is something that everyone should know how to do in Silicon Valley. That way they can converse with other engineers, it makes it easier. But for know, I am more interested in the business perspective of working for a company.

Well you sound like a very versatile guy in your chosen field. So what are your future plans? Any big dreams you are currently chasing?


Not so far, well I don’t have any big dreams right yet, but I do have some short-term goals I could tell you about. I want to work for nick for at least a year and also start my masters at the same time. I would really like to pursue my masters next year and after that I would still like to work for a startup, and help them grow. Then one day after I get my management degree I could learn my own business.  Not particularly in the software base industry, but I do want to own my own business and give opportunity for young kids to grow.

That’s awesome! So do you know where you would like to go to pursue your masters next year?

Well, I would like to stay local. I want to get a regional degree. It is a shorter degree than the traditional. But ya man, I’ve wasted 7 years just trying to get my undergrad and I am 25, I don’t want to waste 3 more years going to get my masters. I would love to go for a traditional MBA but it is expensive and time consuming.

I hear you there!. Alright, So before we finish up here I was hoping you could elaborate a little more on the culture change you went through with the move to the U.S.

Ya, culture change; I flew from India when I was 17 years old. I came here and didn’t know a single person. That was a culture change, because in India you see people, cows, and dogs everywhere.  And when I moved here, I did not see a single soul when I came out of my house. So in that way I was really shocked. I pretty much spent my teenage years here without parents, so I become more of an individual who likes to do, what he likes to do. I have been influenced by Silicon Valley cultures allot, the whole California culture.      I started saying, Hella……

Hella?…like hella good…or …ya hella?

Ha ya, Ya there are a few things that Californians like to say. Like, tree huggers and hella haa but ya. I moved here in 2007 and I have changed quite allot. But for good reason, good reason. You can drop me anywhere on this planet and say, “figure your way out”, and I can figure my way out.