Academics (aka 'College'):
The more time I spent at Yale, the less time I spent in an actual classroom, with more and more of my time being spent doing research, enjoying my friends, and learning how to ballroom dance (the latest addition to my list of hobbies). I think this is a fairly typical trend for college, but for me, a lot of the shift in priorities happened while I was in Budapest studying abroad for my spring semester Junior year. I took classes as part of a study abroad program (rather than at a university) and lived in an apartment with two other students in my program. My experience therefore amounted to learning how to live [truly] on my own, which challenged me to figure out what I enjoy and how I ought allocate my time and energy on a daily basis, particularly in the absence of the 'all-you-can-eat buffet' of people and activities I have found in my time at school in the U.S. Long story short, studying abroad was a really formative experience and is what I will point to as the single most important experience I had in college.
For the immediate future, I will be spending my time as a software engineer at Dropbox, where I am really excited to work on a [yet indeterminate] and forever evolving set of systems problems and contribute to a product that I love and one that has made my life way simpler (no more worrying about backing up my computer to an external drive that I don't have access to!!).
My interest in research has also made me seriously consider pursuing a PhD after receiving my Bachelor's, if at the very least to provide me the time and space to build systems that might contribute to future technological growth.
Long term, I hope to bridge the gap between academia and industry, whether as an engineer building new systems and publishing papers on those systems on the side (a la MapReduce, etc) or as a professor doing research and bringing my work to industry as an entrepreuneur or consultant to the R&D arm of an established tech company.
Dreams (in no particular order):
[Coming up with these was harder than I expected, so here's an entirely non-representative one]
Answers: 1. Toad
Yale Database Group (Yale). Advisor: Dan Abadi.
Laboratory of Networked Systems (Yale). Advisor: Yang R. Yang.
Data Mining and Search Group (MTA SZTAKI). Advisor: Andras Benczur.