She came to Mason for computer science. It led her to Amazon
August 31, 2019 / by Damian Cristodero
More than 500 George Mason University alumni work for Amazon at various locations around the country and the world, many for Amazon Web Services (AWS), a subsidiary that offers cloud computing services and has a major hub in Northern Virginia.
Rajitha Devabhaktuni, MS computer engineering '16, is a cloud security engineer and one of several Mason alumni we will feature in the coming weeks who work for the tech giant.
Those include Jason Paul Pate, a systems analyst, BS information technology ’20; Taylor Cacciotti, information technology '19; Prinkle Lopes, a cloud support associate, MS information systems ’18; Brandon Mohabir, a network technician, BS applied information technology ’15; and Rao Ahmad Rahil, a cloud support associate, MS telecommunications ’18; and Cameron Isaac, an executive design recruiter, BS conflict analysis and resolution ’11.
For Devabhaktuni, the several months she spent working for Amazon in her hometown of Bangalore, India, were more than a job. They were a learning experience.
“The learning curve was very high,” she says. “We work with customers who come in with different types of issues, so we end up learning coding and networking. The scope of learning is not just limited to security.”
Devabhaktuni, came to Mason from India specifically for the university’s computer science program. She also figured that Northern Virginia, with its many companies and proximity to Washington, D.C., isn’t a bad place to look for a job.
Another bonus was the year she spent as a graduate teaching assistant in the Department of Information Sciences and Technology in the Volgenau School of Engineering.
She also assisted Mason computer science professor Kamaljeet Sanghera in the development of a class that will be part of a Mason cloud computing bachelor’s program in partnership with Amazon Web Services.
“Through my tenure as a teaching assistant, I was exposed to a great diversity of students who come from different educational backgrounds,” Devabhaktuni says of her time at Mason. “The experience I gained through my work at Mason helped me get better at leadership and teamwork. I learned time management and to work independently and do everything on my own.”
Devabhaktuni says she was not surprised Amazon chose Northern Virginia, considering the high-quality universities in the area, especially Mason—a place she says she so enjoyed, “I wish I could have taken more courses.”