August 8, 2020 Anita LeBlanc
In this time of unprecedented change, Aparna Bagri finds a piece of advice she received from one of her Washtenaw Community College instructors 27 years ago especially helpful: “Stay optimistic, stay connected and stay focused.”
Welcoming change over the years has made Bagri’s life a happy and prosperous one.
She met enormous change in 1994, moving from her native India to Ann Arbor to join her now-husband, Samir.
While adapting to a new marriage, and an unfamiliar country and culture, she had to also adjust to a new home, faces and friends.
Just 21 years old at the time, equipped with her bachelor’s degree in home economics, Bagri was eager to continue her education, but uncertain about her college choice and potential course of study.
She found both at Washtenaw Community College.
“The computer science section in the catalog and the various programming language classes intrigued me. I had some experience using personal computers, but I didn’t know much about programming,” she said.
“I told the WCC admissions counselor that I wasn’t sure if computer programming was the field I wanted to pursue, but the counselor encouraged me to try a programming class to see if I liked it. I liked his suggestion and so I enrolled. I absolutely loved it and never looked back.”
Bagri ultimately graduated in 1996 with her associate degree in Computer Science Programming and SDLC Methodologies.
“WCC helped me secure my very first job, a summer internship at a premiere software company in Ann Arbor. At the end of my internship, the company offered me a full-time position, and I became part of their software development team,” Bagri recalled.
“Since then, I have had the opportunity to work with various technologies in different industries over the years, project management, data management and tech-stack optimization.”
She said what she most enjoys today is helping organizations optimize their use of technology to drive human-centered and data-driven decision-making.
Bagri now has ample opportunity to do what she loves best through DataVine, the consulting and technology services company she founded in 2019 that caters to the recruiting, staffing and workforce industries.
Always enthusiastic about learning and adding to her skill set, she is continuing her education as a member of LEAD, Stanford University’s highly selective graduate school of business online program.
While she treasures the academics she acquired at WCC, she has equal esteem for the faculty and staff who helped her.
“WCC will always be close to my heart,” she said warmly.
Bagri and her husband recently paid homage to the college by establishing a Washtenaw Community College Foundation endowment to aid WCC students in their education.