With the deadline to apply to HackCville’s start-up trips soon approaching, we sat down with the two women leading the trips to learn more about why they love what they do.
Meet Kavya Ravikanti. She’s a third-year studying computer science, and this year, she’s the Startup Trips Director for HackCville. In the past, she’s also ran the San Francisco Startup Trip and helped lead the NYC Startup Trip. Kavya loves listening to podcasts, talking about Marvel movies, and watching HGTV.
Why are you the Director of Trips for HackCville?
Kavya: I love what trips can do for students at UVA — both those attending them and those working on the team. Seriously, I know that sounds like a cliché answer, but I joined trips team since I wanted to continue being a part of HackCville and I loved to travel. I had no idea what trips really entailed before that, and I had never been on a start-up trip before that. I loved that I was thrown into the role because it has been an incredibly rewarding experience. From learning how to do sales calls for the first time to getting people at companies like Pixar to respond to my emails to leading a trip to San Francisco, I have learned something new at every step. Now leading and managing a team of 4 awesome trip managers and 19 kickass coordinators, I get to work with some of the most talented people at UVA and we all get to put our crazy ideas into bringing these trips to life.
What is your favorite memory from your first trip?
When I was leading the social entrepreneurship track in NYC, we had just returned from a long day of company visits and the alumni mixer and I remember sitting in the hotel lobby and talking to one of my friends who was also on the trip. I said something along the lines of, “There are literally a million different routes to success and there’s no one right way.” After visiting companies like Purpose, Acumen, and The Vesey Foundation and even hearing from a college dropout, I had this reassuring feeling that I truly did not have to have everything figured out at that moment. As someone who is a definitive Type A life planner, that moment was so comforting but also mind-blowing. Meeting and seeing first-hand the successful self-made entrepreneurs that day, I knew I had the ability to shape my future how I saw fit. So when I say that the trips can be life changing, I am telling the truth.
How do Trips stand out as a part of HackCville?
I think Trips are a unique experience that HackCville offers to students. We spend our whole lives up until the end of college studying and right after graduation we have this notion to go out into the “real world” –but what does that even look like? We only ever hear about big name companies as places to work but don’t hear much about smaller companies and startups. Large companies are awesome, but there’s a whole world of opportunities we don’t often aren’t aware of in college. So many students come back from a trip actually feeling like that the unique, niche, dream job that they have in their heads can be a reality. Trips directly connect students to companies of all sizes and show them what working and living in cities around the country looks like. Actually visiting people in their places of work and experiencing the cities first hand is an unmatched experience. The best part about Trips is that they are open to the entire UVA community, which is a great way for anyone to connect with HackCville!
Meet Alekhya Peruri. She’s a third-year from Ashburn, Virginia studying Cognitive Science and Economics, and this semester, she’s the DC Trips Manager.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Alekhya: I’m on a pre-med track, but am trying to explore all the possible ways to get involved in healthcare whether that be from exploring startups through HackCville or by being a part of the HERA initiative (which aims to spread education about reproductive rights). While I love being busy with school during the week, I make sure to explore all the Charlottesville has to offer on the weekends. I absolutely love going to football games in the Fall and taking hikes with friends. I love doing work at the plethora of coffee shops around UVa and getting to meet new people!
Why do you think that people should apply to a HC Trip this semester?
Trips are an amazing experience to explore the non-traditional career path that is becoming more and more popular. Students have the opportunity to emerge themselves in start-up culture and meet influential entrepreneurs along the way. To me, DC is super special because it’s so close to Charlottesville and a place where students can imagine spending their futures. DC is always thought of as a governmental or corporate area, but it has a lot of hidden opportunity.
So… what did you learn? What kinds of skills do you have now because of HackCville?
Throughout these trips, one of the biggest takeaways has been how welcoming and accepting entrepreneurs can be. Many of those who have started their own companies have gone through a lot to get to where they are now. They’ve tried out many areas and have now found their true passion. I love that they say it’s okay for us to not know exactly what we’re doing.
How did the start-up trip change the way you viewed the world?
Start-up trips have changed the way I view the world because there is so much more it has offer. It is always comforting to be a part of an established company out of college, but entering the entrepreneurial world allows for a lot more freedom.
Join HackCville on a startup trip to New York or DC! Visit startup companies in the area, find your dream job, network with both companies and UVA alumni, and make new friends all in one action-packed weekend! Learn all about our next trips and apply at hackcville.com/trip. The application deadline is next Wednesday, September 26th, 11:59PM.
Our DC trip will take place from November 1st – 3rd and have 2 Focuses: healthcare and general entrepreneurship.
Our NYC trip will take place from November 15th – 18th and will have 3 Focuses: female founders, technology, and general entrepreneurship. NYC will also have 11 different tracks including social entrepreneurship, sustainability, and marketing. We welcome students of all years, majors and interests to apply.
Contact Kavya at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.