Senior Wisdom: Zach van Schouwen

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Senior Wisdom
continues with Bwog’s very own webmaster/graduating SEAS senior, Zach van Schouwen.

Name, School: Zach van Schouwen, SEAS

Claim to fame:

I’m the campus tech czar—plus I’m a first-generation Bwogger and therefore guaranteed a podium in the Senior Wisdom series.

Post-grad plans:

Like everyone else in the computer science department, I’ll be working at Goldman Sachs. Eventually, a graduate career in city planning.

Preferred swim test stroke?

The engineer! … I don’t take that test.

What are three things you learned at Columbia?

* Hungarian Pastry Shop was better before it was in the NYT.

* I’m terrified by ambitious people with resources and social skills.

* I really dodged a bullet by not getting into Princeton.

Justify your existence in 30 words or less.

My hand is in every computer here. When I leave, all software will grind to a halt; you’ll have to form lines in the gym to register for classes.

What was your favorite controversy in your time at Columbia?

When the Minutemen hit, I was woken up—for the second time that night by journalism. Since then, I’ve made it a rule to monitor all campus drama from the safety of a bed in an undisclosed location in the outer boroughs.

What Columbia memory best exemplifies your college experience?

A junior-year programming seminar with 12 students that I’d been skipping for four straight weeks. When I finally came in, feeling guilty, there was nobody but me and the instructor. Staring awkwardly at each other for two hours.

Which prof do you think would be the best kisser?

Comp sci majors aren’t exactly known for our studly professors, but Hannah Arendt taught here awhile back… yum!

What percentage of seniors do you think are virgins?

I think a better question is what percentage of virgins are Columbia seniors. That number’s probably well over 75%, globally.

Would you rather permanently give up oral sex or cheese?

Well, I already don’t eat cheese.

Days on Campus memory?

I was the Carman Orthodox floor’s shabbas-goy, and spent the rest of the time getting lost in Brooklyn and in the CEPSR powerhouse. So it was exactly like every other day I spent at Columbia.


I’m leaving CU a year early—and left the campus permanently, six months into my freshman year—so naturally I’ve got some legitimate regrets. But it’s cheaper and easier to give some old standards: I wish I’d taken more liberal arts courses, wish I’d gotten out more, and sometimes—only sometimes!—wish I’d gone to a college where people played frisbee and talked to each other.

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  1. cc '10  

    these have been really great senior wisdoms, keep it up!!

  2. senior  

    i wish I'd gone to a college where people played frisbee and talked to each other too.

  3. ummmm  

    i like this kid!

  4. zvs

    you're awesome, Zach! Sorry to see you go...

  5. ...  

    leaving a year early and left the campus permanently six months into your freshman year...

    what does that mean? you took a super heavy load and got everything done in three years? you moved off campus? you dropped out? sounds both complicated and interesting, 'splain!

    • ZvS  

      Well-guessed. I both moved off campus and took a super-heavy courseload and got everything done in three years.

      • ...  

        cool! well if urban planning is your thing, you might want to take a look at mark gorton's lime group. they're run a hedge fund, a brokerage, limewire (!) and an urban planning non-profit.

        just like doing it for the big boys, except less bureaucracy and perhaps potential to blend interests...

  6. AH!  

    so this is the famous ZvS

    also, why are these so much better than the bwog personal ads?

  7. cc08  

    "Comp sci majors aren't exactly known for our studly professors"

    I beg to differ:


  8. backslider  

    this is the realest, this dude is as real as it fuckin gets.

  9. i have

    it on good authority that when ZvS brings all technology on campus to a grinding halt, class registration will be done on low plaza and not at the gym.

    just an fyi. the lines will be really long!

  10. Anonymous  

    this kid seems super sweet

  11. hope

    is there any way we can play frisbee and talk to each other here?

  12. yay!  

    zach you're wonderful!

  13. lime group

    actually, the open planning project by the lime group is more for open source software - not urban planning. but urban planners with software skills are a hot commodity.

  14. why not  

    find some funny seniors to interview?

  15. Anonymous  

    have there been no female senior wisdom profiles/??

  16. no dice  

    already tried before. bwog is powerful.

  17. Anonymous

    Fare thee well, sir.

  18. Michelle

    This is your mother. I didn't know you were graduating.

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