It’s been a busy summer at Paribus, as we’ve been rolling out new, exciting features! Meet Veeral – one of the summer interns who’s been helping bring these ideas into reality.
So tell me, who is Veeral?
Who am I? I don’t know! This is so weird – how am I supposed to write a bio about myself? You know, Facebook asks that now. “Who are you?”…. My bio is empty!
Well then, tell me about your early days.
Pre-school was pretty good. Had a lot of fun in pre-school. The name of my pre-school was “Jellybean”. The teachers would give you a jellybean if you did something correctly. It’s shut down now…
What made you want to be a developer? When did you get into programming?
I got into programming the summer after my freshman year, in high school. I had an iPad, and I remember I was at my cousin’s wedding, and everyone was on their iPad or on their phones, playing games. So I thought, I should make a game. That summer I Googled, “How to make an iPad game” and I made one. It got 20 downloads.
Is it still in the app store?
Probably, maybe. If you search it… it was only for the iPad, it was a dollar.
You go to school at Stanford?
Yes – that was quite a jump haha.
Did you always know you wanted to study engineering (or computer science) at Stanford?
Something related to engineering. But I don’t see myself being a software engineer in the long-term. Maybe starting my own company, or doing something related to product – I haven’t declared my major at Stanford yet. I’m thinking about symbolic systems, which is an interdisciplinary major. Its linguistics, AI, psychology, and a little bit of computer science put together. My roommate this year is doing it. You essentially take the same core computer science classes, but when the computer science majors take their physics classes you take psychology or linguistics.
That sounds like a pretty good deal.
Yeah, I think that’s what Marissa Mayer studied. And what the guy who made Instagram (Kevin Systrom) studied.
Have you enjoyed your first year at Stanford?
Yeah, it was a lot of fun.
I like to say there’s lots of different CS majors at Stanford – ones that really care about all the classes they’re taking and are trying to get A’s and perfect GPAs. And then there’s another quarter, or half, who do it for meeting new people and making interesting things. I like to think that I fall in that part, because I’m not too focused on purely grades. I feel like the things that you’ve built in your free time speak more about yourself than the stuff you’ve done for a class.
At Stanford, are there a lot of opportunities to do real world stuff?
Yeah, there are. You’re definitely around people who want to build cool things. And then you also have the Silicon Valley techno bowl around you.
Well then, how did you find Paribus?
I started with Googling, “cool start-ups in New York”. I really respect Y Combinator as an accelerator, so that was my first search, what YC companies are in New York…. and I think one of the partners at YC tweeted about Paribus – Justin Kan. Yeah, and then I emailed [co-founder] Eric, and he emailed back.
What have you been working on at Paribus?
I’ve been mostly working on the iOS app. Helping roll out the credit cards feature, updating screens, explaining what having credit card price protection allows you to do, how much money that allows you to save even if you don’t have a credit card that has price protection, making it really easy to sign up for one, explaining all the details… that’s pretty much it.
What’s been the coolest part of the summer at Paribus so far?
How fast it’s all moving. So many things are going on: moving into a big office was an important step, a pivotal moment for the company.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I remember someone asked me this in high school (someone interviewed me for the yearbook), and I jokingly told them, “I want to be retired in 10 years”. Realistically, I don’t know. I don’t want to be working for a huge tech company. I see my 20’s as a time when I want to figure things out for myself. Either, join early at a small start-up or start my own start-up.
And ideally you’d have your own company?
Ideally yeah. My dad’s very entrepreneurial… He probably wants me to start a company. I think a lot of people start a company for the sake of starting a company, so I definitely don’t want to do that – I’d only start a company if it’s something that I’m really, really passionate about. In the meantime, I’ll just work on random projects.
Do you have any ideas now?
Yeah – I have a lot of ideas, just not good ideas.
Last few questions to wrap up “who is Veeral” – what kind of music do you listen to?
A lot of rap music. I really like the new Chance album.
Do you watch film, TV?
Yeah! I want to get into analyzing movies and different scenes more.
I’ve been watching Mr. Robot recently, which is related to cyber-security and banking and its like, this crazy guy who has multiple personality disorder.
Any other passions we don’t know about?
I like making up words. I like saying words, with the hope that other people catch on.
Give me an example.
Oh, like “I was whelmed”?
Yeah. That’s not my own word, but I want it to spread. Like, “this thing was so whelming”. For example, By Chloe [vegan eatery in NoHo] today was kinda whelming for me… I got Mac n’ Cheese, and I was kinda just like, whelmed.
Also, “peak” and “par”. Like “that was such a par”. Like “that was so bad, I got played”.
All good words. Well, thanks Veeral!