Freshman aspires to achieve his dreams in Silicon Valley

September 11, 2017 — by Chelsea Leung and Ashley Su

Gesturing wildly with his hands, freshman Shreyas Raghunath’s eyes lit up as he described his idea for a potential fourth self-built PC for whoever can fund it.

“It’s going to be rocking the new i3 7300 core from Intel,” Raghunath exclaimed. “It also runs at a whopping 4 gHz.”

Unlike many new students who move here for a parent’s new job, his parents moved here from Bangalore, India, this summer solely in search of a better education for him.

His old private school, a terraced two-story building, lacked structured courses like calculus and physics. Instead, unlike most other Indian schools, it offered courses like cooking, economics and home science, which educated students on community knowledge like personal hygiene. School lasted only four hours every day, starting at 9 a.m. and ending at 1 p.m.

“It was basically like an open learning center without structured academic classes, but it was private and you had to pay money,” Raghunath said.

Though his private school offered an unusual variety of courses, Raghunath said he prefers the more academically focused classes that Saratoga High offers. According to Raghunath, the only technology-related course at his school in India was a data entry course, which taught only basic skills like how to use Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint. He wasn’t impressed with the class since these are skills he said “even elementary schoolers know nowadays.”

As a result, he took to YouTube to learn how to build computers. According to Raghunath, everything he knows about computer hardware is a result of watching hundreds of videos on time-lapses and build guides.

Using this knowledge, Raghunath has built three desktop computers in his free time, donating the second one to his older school, which at the time only had older computers that ran Windows XP.

Despite his thorough knowledge and obvious passion for computers, his main obstacle has been a lack of money to buy the parts for them.

Aside from wanting to build his own computer, Raghunath also has more ambitious goals of starting his own company here in the Silicon Valley, where he feels he has more opportunities to advance his goals.

“Silicon Valley entrepreneurs usually look for young, energetic individuals,” Raghunath said. “For example, I could plan on getting some software engineers to [create more] software for Tesla like Autopilot [a driver assist feature] that Tesla can buy.”

The owner of Tesla, Elon Musk, is Raghunath’s role model. Raghunath draws a lot of inspiration from Musk’s “relentless drive and ingenious vision.”

“I almost worship [Musk] like he’s a god,” Raghunath said.

Although Raghunuth is not planning to apply for internships in the near future, he can see himself working at a Silicon Valley tech firm in the years ahead.

“There are a lot of startups being formed, and very young and energetic people decide to enter those companies,” Raghunath said. “I might be one of those. You never know.”