School of Informatics

Dimple Gulrajani

Dimple studied Computer Science with Management and graduated in 2017.

Name Dimple Gulrajani
Programme Computer Science with Management
Graduated 2017

Alumni Profile

Tell us about your time at the University

I’ll never forget my first day in Edinburgh. I had received my visa a week later than expected, so I landed on the last evening of Fresher’s week. But, it was just in time to go to the event I was most excited about – the Harry Potter sorting ceremony. I dropped my bags at Pollock Halls and rushed to Teviot, made it there just 2 minutes before the event was scheduled to start, only to find out that tickets for it had been sold three days earlier so I wasn’t allowed in. Completely defeated, I started to head back to my dorm room and I ran into (literally ran into) three girls who were clearly already having a great night. They insisted that I came with them to the ceilidh they were going to and it ended up being such a wonderful night – I met my first few friends at university, learnt how to dance at a ceilidh (and how to pronounce it), and had my first 3AM salt-and-vinegar-chippy experience. The rest of my experience at Edinburgh was pretty similar – not quite what I was expecting but amazing in its own way.

Tell us about your Experiences since leaving the University

After leaving university, I returned to India and joined an organisation called ‘I For Indya’ (IFI) as the Head of Education. I was determined to create a practical curriculum for Indian students to learn and practice useful skills like critical thinking and creative problem solving, to complement the rigorous theory-heavy curriculum that is the norm here. In the 6 months I was there, we developed and ran Design Thinking based curricula for students and teachers.

But I found that only schools that were already thinking progressively (and had the resources to do so) were giving us a chance to run these courses at their institutions, and what I really wanted to be able to do was provide access to modern education to kids in rural areas where even the basic curriculum was not being achieved.

Since then, I have been working as a freelance web developer to support myself, while learning more about decentralised and distributed networks which could run offline and at low-cost. I’ve also discovered dozens of organisations in India doing amazing work in this sector and am collaborating with them on creating tools to help disadvantaged and differently-abled people to learn better. There is definitely a long way to go, but all the inspiring people I’ve met along the way have made me believe that it will be possible one day.

Alumni wisdom

There are always going to be a bazillion things going on at university, each one with its own merits. Trying to grab as many opportunities as possible could be counter-productive and lead you to burn out and not be able to take any of them. Sometimes saying no to something is actually more helpful than chasing after a vague distant opportunity.

Figure out what you primarily want to get out of your university experience – a first class degree, or to meet as many people as possible, to get lots of work experience, a research position after graduating etc. and try to maintain a healthy balance of going after that and also doing new, fun and relaxing things!

Student Profile

Year 2

It has been incredible! Firstly the extra year which I thought was a con actually turned out to be a blessing - I've gotten so much flexibility with what modules I get to take, and have even been able to take courses that interest me but are not directly related to Informatics, like Psychology and languages. Apart from that, there's so many extra-curricular opportunities through which I've met some incredible people. I've even had the opportunity to talk to lecturers and heads of school casually at Informatics events, which is really helpful because these are people who are at the forefront of their (and hopefully my) field. As for the future, I plan on trying to take what I've learnt here at Edinburgh back to India and use it to help the education sector, especially amongst people from rural areas and less privileged backgrounds.

Year 4

Dimple took part in our Girls in Tech video series.

Girls In Tech