inspiration · women who reign

Women Who Reign: Nikhila Beesetti

“You can waste your lives drawing lines. Or you can live your life crossing them.” – Shonda Rhimes

Happy Monday Reigners! Meet Nikhila Beesetti, a sophomore at Purdue University. Read on to see how she never thought she would be studying what she’s doing now and the event that changed it all, whose work and message inspires her, and her advice on not being afraid. She’ll be working at Hewlett-Packard (HP) as a Hyperscale Server Engineering Intern this summer at Houston, Texas!
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Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
Hello everyone! My name is Nikki Beesetti, and I’m a sophomore studying Electrical Engineering at Purdue University. On campus, I’m involved with research in Bioinformatics and Computer Science, and I’m also a part of sorority called Alpha Omicron Pi.

Fun Fact about me: I actually came into college thinking I would pursue Pre Med/Chemical Engineering in hopes of becoming a Doctor. Never in a million years did I imagine myself pursuing Electrical Engineering or enjoy coding.

My interest in Electrical Engineering happened after I attended a Hackathon. I didn’t even know what a Hackathon was until one of my friends in Computer Science told me about it and urged me to go to. I really didn’t understand the concept of a Hackathon at the time. So in my head, I pictured a bunch of brainiac, Computer Science students huddled around their computers planning on hacking into the CS department’s website to take revenge on them for their notorious exams.

Clearly I was very very misinformed on what a hackathon was or what hackers do. Actual “hackers” don’t break into things. Hackers are like artists, they make things not break them. And hackathons are where innovative ideas and creations come to life.

I learned more from that Hackathon than I have in some of my semester-long engineering classes. And my team and I even won first place for best usage of API’s! After that Hackathon, I developed an interest in coding and hardware. So, I switched my major to Electrical Engineering that summer.
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What # would define your life journey?
#YOLO because I love trying new things and spontaneity. I’m the kind of person who usually goes with the flow, and I really like that about myself because I think always having a definite plan all the time can restrict you and forces you to think in only one direction.

Favorite website / app:
Facebook Messenger and Spotify

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted (if any):
Elon Musk. Elon because I think he’s the coolest person ever, and what he’s doing with SpaceX and Tesla is awesome! He’s inspiring because he’s always had these ideas about colonizing Mars and creating fully electric vehicles. People thought he was crazy and insane for having these ideas, but he proved everyone wrong when he launched the Model S, the first ever fully electric-vehicle, and when the Falcon 9 returned to earth. He’s inspiring to me because he sends the message of thinking outside the conventional way of things and staying true to yourself even when everyone around you thinks your ideas are insane. He is 10/10 on goals.

Song that makes you want to dance:
I like Tuh-Carnage
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Technical challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
I’m conducting research at Purdue on Bioinformatics and Computer Science. My last project involved converting a FORTRAN code in C. The code was about determining protein structures. I had no experience whatsoever in FORTRAN and the original code was over 4,000 lines long! I was very overwhelmed with the project, and I honestly was very ready to quit the project because of how time consuming and difficult it was. I was on the phone with my Dad that day, and he was the one who convinced me to keep continuing the project. He told me to think about the long term results of doing research and how invaluable the experience would be. So I stuck through with it and eventually after 2 months, I was able to convert the entire program into C. I improved efficiency within the code, eliminated errors, and I’ll be presenting my research this spring at my college’s annual research symposium!

Ideal Job:
I think there’s a huge growth in the field of electric power and power electronics. These fields are starting to make a comeback and are slowly becoming the future. A lot of automotive companies have already moved or are looking towards manufacturing fully electric vehicles. There is a huge advantage and need for electric vehicles in the future, especially with the current conditions with the environment on Earth. Electric vehicles present something very valuable that traditional cars don’t: they don’t emit CO2. CO2 is the main contributor of global warming, glaciers melting, and an increase in the Earth’s temperature. By having all vehicles be electric, we can make earth more sustainable and decrease the effects of global warming. I’m really interested in this field, and I’ve always wanted to make a positive difference in the world. So for me an ideal job would be a position where I could work on making electrical vehicles a universal concept and make a difference towards the environment.

What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
My biggest knowledge I’d like to give to other women would be to not be afraid of trying new things. When I came into college, I had no interest in programming or Electrical Engineering. I was very set on becoming a doctor and was very resistant to anything other than medicine. But once I changed my mindset a little, attended Hackathons, and taught myself how to code, I started to see a future for myself in Electrical Engineering, and honestly it has opened so many doors for myself. Especially learning to code. It’s such a good skill to have, and I can’t even tell you how many recruiters were impressed with the fact that I taught myself how to code and created my own website from scratch in a summer. So my message is surround yourself with different ideas and people, you never know what hidden passions and interests it can bring out in you.
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