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Senior Computer Science Student Awarded hackNY Fellowship

Article written by Dr. Deborah Knox

Christopher Hranj, Class of 2016, has been selected to participate in a 10-week summer fellowship program sponsored by hackNY.  This competitive program was founded in 2010 to “create and empower a community of student-technologists” and is supporting 27 students this summer.
This is an opportunity for participants from around the world to advance their quantitative and computational skills in a hacking community.  Each Fellow contributes as an employee of a vetted New York City startup company that demonstrates innovative technology application and provides a strong mentoring environment for the student.  Projects draw upon students’ skills in software engineering, front-end and back-end support, design, and data science.  The intensive program pairs up “the best technical minds with great NY startups.” In addition to receiving technical and career advice from their mentors, twice a week the students engage in a curated speaker series with leaders from the NYC startup community.

Chris is looking forward to all the Fellowship offers and to working at BuzzFeed this summer where he anticipates supporting back-end services in a Python environment.  He knows that this experience will help him plan for his next steps in his post-graduate job search.  This is not Chris’ first experience in a startup environment; last summer he landed an internship with Twilio, located in San Francisco.

“BuzzFeed is a cross-platform, global network for news and entertainment that generates six billion views each month. BuzzFeed creates and distributes content for a global audience and utilizes proprietary technology to continuously test, learn and optimize.”

Chris spoke about his motivation to participate in the hackNY program and his expectations:

“I’ve had a number of like-minded friends from various years go through the program and heard nothing but incredible things from them about their experiences. I was encouraged to apply by many of them and actually applied last year but was not accepted. After attending hackNY’s hackathon in 2015 I became even more interested in the program because of how well it seemed to cater to students with a “hacker” mentality similar to my own.

I hope to get a sense of what it’s like working in a fast-paced startup environment. Working with a company that drives so much traffic to their site is going to be a truly enlightening experience. I also hope to build an awesome network of friends/coworkers amongst this year’s and the previous year’s fellows. Lastly, I hope to learn about what it takes to found and build a successful startup.”

Congratulations to Chris for being selected for this competitive hackNY Fellows program!  We wish him great success in the vibrant environment at BuzzFeed and look forward to hearing more about his projects and experiences living and working in NYC.