Khush Gupta, M&T’26 is in his second year as a computer science and finance major. Last summer, he was a recipient of the M&T Intern Fellowship Award and was able to gain valuable experience at a start-up as a result.

In the below Q&A, Khush talks about his summer experience and the benefits of working for a start-up.

Q: Tell me about your summer internship.

KG: I worked for a medical technology start-up called Advanced Health Academy, which predicts organ health using your blood test reports. The CEO of the company, Nilesh Bhandari is an M&T alumnus.

Q: What was your role at Advanced Health Academy?

KG: I was a software engineering intern. I spent the summer building out an API for them. An API is a code that allows you to integrate your data into other apps. Advanced Health Academy has an app and they wanted to be able to integrate it into other apps, like Samsung Health, so consumers can track factors related to their health, like heart rate, blood work, organ health, etc. I built the code and infrastructure that will allow them to integrate their technology into other health apps using a software development kit.

Q: Why did you find working for a start-up valuable?

KG: One of the biggest benefits of working for a start-up is the ability to create a zero-to-one product. You don’t get those kinds of opportunities when you work for a big corporation. The best part of the whole experience for me was that I was building a product I knew they were going to use so I had to put all my time and effort into it. It was a unique experience – especially if you want to be an entrepreneur. There are a lot of things you have to consider when building a product from the ground up.

Also, depending on the size of your start-up – mine was small – you have direct access to company leadership. I was able to talk to the CEO and CTO on a regular basis and had the opportunity to both discuss my ideas with them and learn from them, which enhanced my learning experience.

Q: Why did you apply to M&T?

KG: One of the biggest reasons I applied was to understand technology from a business perspective. I really want to be an entrepreneur and my learning in high school was very surface level from an engineering and business perspective. I want to be able to switch between different perspectives and understand the software and development side of things and then on the business side, learn how to market a product.

I did M&TSI as a summer student and I loved the program. We were able to create a technical product and understand how to market and scale it. After I completed the program, I decided I wanted to apply to be a student in the program full-time.

Q: How has your experience been so far as a full-time student in the program?
The best part about M&T has been the ability to take classes in both schools. The more you take classes on both the engineering and business sides, the more you see the connections between them. When you go from a very theoretical class to a more realistic class you start to think about how you can take an idea for a product and make it something someone would use.

Q: Do you have any advice for a younger or future M&T student?

KG: One of the mistakes I made during my first year at Penn was taking classes just because everyone else was. I wish I had taken some of the classes I’m taking right now earlier. My advice is to follow what you’re interested in, even if someone tells you it’s going to be difficult.