The first Senior Wisdom as we end the semester comes from J Haro, Canada Goose hater, NYFW runway designer, and particle astrophysicist.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: J Haro, SEAS, Computer Science – Digital Systems, I don’t have a hometown

Claim to fame: Not sure. I had my first NYFW runway as a designer in 2017, spoke at various international cybersecurity conferences throughout the years, collaborated with the South Korean entertainment industry, and worked on a lot of projects/businesses like the Uni-Ke collaborative, a sub-label, UNODA youth, and a privacy-preserving startup. None of that is part of Columbia though, and I think I’ve flown under the radar at school for the most part. So no claim to fame.

Where are you going? Home is wherever I’m at for the moment, so it’s not like I have anything to go back to. I’m currently looking for a job within my technical interests, but I am limited to working in a few cities (New York, Seoul, Tokyo, maybe LA) and having to take off a few weeks out of the year because of the fashion thing, so that makes things harder. It’s kind of stressful.

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2024?
1. Apparently everyone loves Canada Goose when Moncler or Mackage are arguably better stylistic choices and equally functional for NYC weather. I don’t get it.
2. Work on your interests as much as you work on school. I thought I wanted to do academic research until I tried it. At that point, I started worrying less about grades and more about creating something that would help me grow and not make me feel dead on the inside. Doing independent research with and without a supervisor proved to be much more fulfilling, and most of the opportunities and experiences I’ve had have had little to do with standard academics (I have had some classes that prompted research or technical projects, those would be the exception, since they showed me different perspectives on issues like cyber arms or differential privacy).
3. If you’re on full financial aid (I’m Questbridge), you might tend to feel excluded. It’s okay. I chose to deal with this by working on my own things. I’d say it’s worked out pretty well.

“Back in my day…” JJ’s cheese sticks were better

Favorite Columbia controversy? Don’t have time for that.

What was your favorite class at Columbia? Particle Astrophysics, maybe Technology and Reincarnation. Both were heavy on theoretical physics and taught by enthusiastic professors. Any of Bellovin’s classes are also right there at the top.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Neither of these would be a huge sacrifice.

Whom would you like to thank? At Columbia… Paul Blaer, S. King, and A. Espana. I have a very distinct character, but they seemed to be okay with me, so that’s nice. Prof. Bellovin too. Outside of that, many people who have worked with me, but those are too many to name. Also my mom.

One thing to do before graduating: (I’m assuming this is an advice section?) Fail at something. Maybe not a class, but something. Stop taking the easy route. This is life in sandbox mode. Learn how to fail before you’re out of it.

Any regrets? nah

Photo by J Haro