Jay Panara


Jay Panara

MEng, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Starting a new journey, in a new country: How it all started

For Jay, moving to a new country to pursue his graduate studies was an exciting and intimidating experience.

Jay first completed his Bachelor of Electrical and Computer Engineering degree from India, and developed an interest in coding while working at a consulting agency. This experience led him to move into the domain of AI and Machine Learning.

When searching for grad schools, Jay knew that Waterloo was the one.

“Waterloo has some of the best facilities in the world and they're actively working on fantastic projects.”

He expressed how the experience gained while working under a professor, the networks built and the welcoming community at Waterloo are all invaluable, and through the help of his peers, and a little bit of patience, Jay was able to adjust to his new home and start his masters in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Adjusting to the new environment

Coming from a new country, Jay used several services offered on campus to help adjust to the new environment. Specifically, he used the Centre for Career Action services for resume and cover letter writing, interview sessions and applying for internships. He also used the English Conversation Circles (ECC) to improve his communication and English-speaking skills.

In addition to utilizing the services, Jay took the initiative to become actively involved within the Waterloo community. Jay is currently the Social Governor for the Electrical & Computer Engineering Graduate Student Association, and was also elected as the MEng grad student representative for the ECE department where he vocalizes issues related to grad studies for the course-based program, and works on solutions to resolve these problems.

Through his involvements within the community, Jay has been able to build many memorable moments and close friends during his grad studies journey.

The capabilities of AI and machine learning

Jay was first trained in the Java and C++ programming language, but gained an interest in Systems Applications and Products (SAP) since there were several SAP applications in technology. Thus, this newfound interest inspired his current research topic.

“My main aim was to learn the techniques of the present-day machine learning and artificial intelligence so that I can use this in SAP.”

From a professional standpoint, his research would not only provide him with a better understanding of his specialization, but the increased qualifications would make him a better candidate in the job market. He also highlighted how he was given several learning opportunities from professors which have helped him understand the different perspectives on topics related to his field of work.

My piece of advice for aspiring grad students

Being an international student can be intimidating, but as Jay mentioned, there are many people and resources available to help with the transition.

“I know it's really difficult and everybody would be nervous starting their grad studies, especially if you're an international student - it's a very big step in your life that can be intimidating, but once you adjust to the new environment and make new friends, join clubs and be patient, that’s when you’ll begin to enjoy the journey of graduate studies.”