inspiration · women who reign

Women Who Reign: Aishwarya Mandyam

“Nobody has everything but everybody has something.”
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Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I’m a rising sophomore at the University of Washington studying Computer Science and Neural Engineering. In my spare time I enjoy dancing, lifting, getting Fitbit steps and playing with dogs.

What # would define your life journey?
#DoMore definitely. It is simple, yet a philosophy that pushes me forward every day. How can I do more to fulfill my aspirations and support others? It’s a question that I try to answer every day.

Favorite website / app:
OneNote is an application that I use nearly every day. I initially started using it because of work, but it proves to be very useful when I want to write something down in my own handwriting and my Surface Book can store all of it with ease. I’m excited to see where it will go in the future!

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
I recently met Dona Sarkar, a distinguished engineer at Microsoft. I’m very early in my career but her words will always resonate with me. Something I struggle with is how to build my image as a computer scientist that loves fashion and dressing up, but Dona makes it very simple. Dress however you want, act however you want, and let people know that you’re also a badass software engineer.

Song that makes you want to dance:
Anything Bhangra related (if you don’t know what that is, look it up). You just can’t help but break out into some obscure choreography you learned off a video online.
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Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
Three years ago I became incredibly ill and even though I am healthy today, that sickness has defined many aspects of my life. When I was released from the hospital, I was weaker, more tired, and more dejected than I had ever been in my life. However, I work towards making myself strong, healthier and more determined every single day. It’s quite difficult to build yourself back up from nearly nothing, but with a lot of help from my doctors, family and friends, I rebuilt my perseverance and will to push forwards. It is not who I am today but the grit I have to keep building myself that defines me.

Ideal Job:
Research is the most invigorating part of my day at school, and I hope to be pursuing/completing a Phd in the next 10 years. I currently research in Ubiquitous Computing and Neural Engineering and it is the best application of my studies towards something I am passionate about. I started to study Computer Science because I wanted to engineer for Medicine, and right now, research is my platform to do so.

What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Everyone has 24 hours in their day and you differentiate yourself based on what you do in those 24 hours. Once you have an idea about what you want to accomplish, work toward it every day because consistency is the key. Remember to smile through it all though!

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