Finding Greatness: Deep Patel

Author: News Bureau
Posted: Monday, March 4, 2019 12:00 AM
Categories: Finding Greatness | School of Information Technology | Pressroom | Students

Macon, GA


Deep Patel, a systems analyst and graduate student in MGA's Master of Science in Information Technology, was part of a two-person team that took first place at the recent Collegiate Cup coding competition. That only scratches the surface of what this 21-year-old has accomplished.

Full Name: Deep Patel.

Age: 21.

Hometown: Dublin.

Residence: Macon.

High School: “I went to East Laurens High School in Dublin. I participated in The National Beta Club, TSA (Technology Student Association), and GAMA Club.”

Family: Harshida Patel (Mother), Darshan Patel (Father), and Trusha Patel (Sister). “Trusha is also an MGA student; she is currently halfway through her third year in the nursing program.”

Employment: “I am a systems analyst for Southern Trust Insurance in Macon. I started there as a part-time intern during my junior year, and then transitioned to a full-time role once I graduated. In fact, if you look up Southern Trust on Google - - I designed and developed that website by myself during my internship there. (Fellow IT students, pay attention during Web Dev/Web Programming!).”

Degree Objective: Master of Science in Information Technology with a concentration in Software Engineering. He also received his undergraduate degree in IT from MGA. 

Class Rank: Graduate student.

Primary Campus: Macon. 

Activities: “I am a member of the President's Torch Society and AITS, which is the Association of IT Students at MGA. I am also a representative of Alpha Iota Mu, an honor society for IT students. In addition to MGA clubs, I love taking part in various events and using my skills to give back to the community:

  1. I worked with a small team in the School of IT in order to develop a MGA ridesharing app. This app was presented to the Board of Regents when they visited the MGA campus, and it placed in the top 10 for two separate programming competitions.
  2. I worked as a graduate assistant for Dr. Kwak, where I conducted some data analysis for the Bibb County Sheriff’s Department to analyze shots-fired incidents in Macon.
  3. That project led to me working as a technical consultant for MGA's Care Center where I continued to analyze Macon crime data in order to provide actionable insights to the Sheriff’s Department. This project aims at reducing gang and gun violence in Macon.
  4. I participated recently in a hackathon in Atlanta, where we represented MGA and won first place.
  5. I am working on another project that I can't talk about yet, but hopefully you'll see it on TV in a couple months. 😉"

Career Goals: “My current goal is to obtain my master’s in IT. I currently work as a professional software engineer and I love what I do. Software engineering is a rapidly changing discipline that requires problem solving, creativity, and adaptability. I have also been fortunate enough to use my skills to directly benefit people around me, which is an incredibly empowering feeling.

“In the future, I want to work for interesting companies that solve hard problems, like IDEO, NASA, or Google. It would be really awesome to design and build things used by millions of people worldwide.”

He chose Middle Georgia State University because … “I initially chose Middle Georgia State University because of the close proximity and the relatively low cost of tuition. However, after attending MGA for a while, I fell in love with the campus culture and the close faculty-student relationships. My initial plan was to transfer to a ‘name’ school after two years, but I realized that I was already at the best school!”

The greatest thing he discovered about Middle Georgia State was … “I initially worried I wasn't going to be able to find clubs, internships, or jobs due to attending a relatively small local university. However, after attending MGA for a year I realized I was very wrong! One of my professors got me an interview with FedEx, we went on a field trip to a local software development company, I met so many smart people through school sponsored events, and in general I found countless great career development opportunities.

“My best advice to other students is to do good work, be curious, and don't be afraid to seize your chance. Talk to your professors! Every professor I met at MGA has been intelligent, exceedingly kind, and knowledgeable about a wealth of professional opportunities. Middle Georgia State University is about finding your greatness, not waiting for it to drop into your lap.”

His greatest academic experience as a Middle Georgia State student has been … “In my capstone class, I learned that software engineering is not only about writing code. As the project manager, I was responsible for leading a 16-person team in designing and developing a real product that could be eventually used by the School of IT. In the process, I made several bad decisions that made me realize how important communication and empathy are in the art of software engineering.

“This story has a happy ending, though. We worked overtime in the last few weeks in order to deliver an amazing product that I'm proud to have developed. It's important not to dwell on past mistakes, but instead learn from them and work hard to make up for them. You can check out what we made here:”

To him, “greatness” means … “Personally, I think greatness is being brave enough to try new things, never giving up, and always getting up if you fall down. As J.K. Rowling once said, ‘It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.’”

In five years … “Honestly I'm not sure what I will be doing five years from now. Five years ago I would have never guessed that I would be where I am today. I'm going to say that five years from now, I want to have graduated with my master’s and I want to continue working as a professional software engineer in my field.

“I'm going to give myself some goalposts to aim for:

  1. Build something that has at least 1,000 users.
  2. Visit at least 15 places I've never been to before.
  3. Help at least five other MGA students find their greatness.
  4. Solve world hunger.”