Community connections drive career

Winter graduate Pramit Thapa hopes to use his computer science experience to give back to the Nepalese community.

Pramit posing in front of bell tower with Carolina Blue ceremonial robes.
Photo credit: Saurya Acharya

Pramit Thapa clocks in, sits at his desk and prepares to welcome clients needing help with laptop repair or Wi-Fi log in.

Thapa, computer science student and ITS student lead, will graduate in December and then start full-time with Fidelity Investments in Research Triangle Park. He spent the last two summers completing internships with the company, gaining front- and back-end development knowledge. While this full-stack experience was much different from his job as an ITS student worker, Thapa values the communication and teamwork skills he’s gained there over the past 2 1/2 years helping clients face-to-face.

“I think this job has given me more communication skills — I would say, more of the soft skills — that you need, even as a software engineer,” Thapa said. “You work in a team here. We have full-time employees. Whenever we have issues that we can’t solve, we typically go ask them. It has given me confidence to ask for help and become a better communicator and worker in a team setting.”

An early interest in computers and a high school class inspired Thapa to pursue computer science at Carolina. While that passion brought him to Chapel Hill, community connection has been the through line of Thapa’s Carolina experience.

“Coming to Carolina, one thing I’ve noticed here, working in ITS and in classes as well, is a very diverse community. I’ve helped clients from all over the world,” Thapa said. “I found we even had the UNC Nepalese Student Association, where I got to meet other people from a Nepali background. Now I’m also a current president of the club. We do cultural activities for Nepalese students just to help them get to know each other. It creates a connection. I’m so glad to be able to be part of that.”

Thapa’s family, originally from Nepal, moved to High Point, North Carolina, when he was 14. He hopes starting his career here will keep him close to family and friends while also preparing him to give back to those in Nepal.

“I have relatives in Nepal who I talk to almost every week. So a dream project would be going back to Nepal and providing for the community there through jobs and opportunity while also helping to solve a global problem with the experience I gain from my career,” Thapa said.

As he transitions to full-time work, Thapa plans to continue being involved in community activities and remain connected with the Carolina community and family.

“Family is a big part of my life. In an hour drive, I can go back home to meet family, and a 20-minute drive to meet friends in the University’s sphere,” Thapa said. “I think that’s what led me to stay here. Going on to full time, after a couple of years, I am planning to go back to school for either a master’s in computer science or an MBA program to further advance in my career while also thinking about how I can make opportunities more accessible so other people can enjoy the things I’ve been able to.”