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Decision Theater bids farewell to 2021 graduates in virtual celebration.

May 13, 2021

The class of 2021, including seven Decision Theater undergraduate and graduate students, are the second class of students to graduate during a global pandemic. These students have continuously faced unprecedented circumstances, and still flourished and excelled as Decision Theater employees and now, ASU graduates.

Decision Theater celebrated the graduation of its student employees in May 2021 through an all-office party hosted on Zoom. Supervisors and staff came together from all teams to speak on the performance and accomplishments of each student. Graduates received Decision Theater alumni certificates and were invited to say a few words about their time at Decision Theater and their plans for the future. 

Virtual game hosted on Zoom


During this virtual party, graduates noted that they often referenced their work at Decision Theater in their academic and professional venues, and that Decision Theater played a major part in their future opportunities. Ashish Padakannaya from the Software Development team noted that, “My manager Ramesh was always accommodating and emphasized using modern and cutting-edge stacks for all our projects which was an added bonus. My academic projects almost always had overlap with the work at DT and helped a great deal with my interviews as well. The level of ownership and creative freedom is unparalleled and if I could turn back time, I'd do it all over again, only sooner!”

Ashish’s sentiments were echoed by both staff and graduates. The contributions of our graduates have had a significant impact on the projects created by Decision Theater, and their work has been recognized on an international scale. Anay Gupta, a student from the Software Development team, reflected on how his supervisor Erzhena brought him on early in his undergraduate career and allowed him the opportunity for exceptional growth, including participating in building a model for Conservation International (CI) and traveling to Washington DC to see it presented at a CI board meeting. He states that, “Decision Theater provided me a haven to build, fail, learn, and rebuild all while working on momentous applications. DT gave me the chance to develop my skills, prove myself and go farther than I could have imagined as an undergrad and I hope to pay it forward in everything I do.”

Anay and Mani Kandan, a former Decision Theater employee, have gone on to create a startup to focus on legal technology and automating law firm management. Anay will also be starting full time at Visa Inc. Vishnu Teja Yalakuntla and Alex Makoviecki also credited Decision Theater as instrumental to their success at landing jobs at Amazon and Amazon Web Services.

Staff and students reflected on the many opportunities to collaborate and collectively create solutions, whose impact was unhindered by even the pandemic. Afterwards, attendees engaged in a final battle of wits by playing virtual games together, a Decision Theater tradition, as a last farewell to the graduates.

We would like to congratulate the following graduates: 

Avinash Bhojwani

Anay Gupta

Renu Kadolkar

Alex Makoviecki

Ashish Padakannaya

Bhavya Talluri

Vishnu Teja Yalakuntla


Post Written by Emily Pham