Meet our latest hires: Dan Girgenti and Koba Khitalishvili.
What do you study at Drexel? What’s your favorite part about being a Drexel student?
DG: I’m on my way to a BS in Software Engineering, and I’ll be graduating with minors in Computer Science, Biology, and Philosophy. Drexel’s co-op program is by far the best part of being a student there. Not many other schools offer the opportunity to graduate with 18 months of real, full-time work experience in a field you love.
KK: I am a transfer student from Russia, and currently I am majoring in Economics with math concentration at Drexel’s Lebow College of Business. My favourite parts about Drexel are the quarter system, co-op program, and culturally diverse student body. Quarter system works really well for me because it keeps me always focused and involved in academics. The co-op program provides me with a unique opportunity to gain at least six months of work experience by the time I graduate. And, finally, diverse student body prepares me for entering the world of global business where I will have to interact with individuals from different cultures and backgrounds.
What will you teach or bring to the TicketLeap table? What do you hope to learn in return?
DG: I’m one of those half-dreamer, half-thinker types, and I’m no codemonkey. I believe anyone along the course of a product should have say in its realization. I have a thing for consistent, aesthetically pleasing, and user-friendly software. Working on something I myself wouldn’t enjoy using irks me. TicketLeap fits my taste pretty well. I’m excited to learn how product-based teams work differently than agency teams.
KK: I definitely think I can bring a lot to TicketLeap. Firstly, my enthusiasm and eagerness to succeed in a new workplace. Fresh blood so to say. Secondly, a different perspective which comes from my cultural background. I always try to keep it real. Lastly, a lot of fun. Co-op is also about learning how to have a good time at work. In return I expect to receive work experience which is relevant to my field of study, but more importantly feedback from my co-workers. In order to become a better professional and employee I will need feedback and criticism that will point out areas in which I shall improve.
You both have cool backgrounds. Dan, you’ve been working in tech since you were 15. Koba, you’re from Russia! How did you both end up here?
DG: Back in 2001 I was in 4th grade, helping teachers make nice-looking powerpoints and advocating against the use of Comic Sans. I wrote HTML for the first time in 7th grade. At 15, I was a Tech Intern at Electronic Ink, with Tim Crowe as my mentor. In 2010, I placed 1st in PA and 7th nationally in a high school programming competition, which helped me realize I probably had a place as a professional developer. 5 years after teaching me most of the basic stuff I now do without thinking, Tim asked me to join the team at TicketLeap, and here I am.
KK: I never planned on coming to the US, and working for one of the coolest companies like TicketLeap. Long story short, my father encouraged me to come to the US to study, I chose Drexel among the schools that accepted me because of the co-op program, and here I am.
What’s your favorite place to eat in Philadelphia and why?
DG: I’d eat at Butcher & Singer every day if money wasn’t in short supply. The food, service, and atmosphere are great, and they don’t say anything when I show up in shorts and flip flops. Calamari, Filet Mignon, and Green Beans Almondine all day! Second to that, and an order of magnitude cheaper, is Lorenzo’s pizza (RIP South St Lorenzo’s).
KK: Philadelphia is a unique city in that it is one of the most culturally diverse. As a result, people have a humongous choice of different foods. My favourite place to eat in Philly is…quite frankly it is hard to choose one. I will go with Chima because it has two features that I value the most: all you can eat and good quality food. Chima is pricey, nevertheless, it is the best place for gorging yourself…ehhh I meant getting a chance to taste high quality Brazilian food. Other places at which I like to gorge…I mean, eat, are Chinatown, Indian buffets, and IHOP.
Dan, you’re in luck- Lorenzo’s is reopening April 29.