“If you’re lucky enough to be different, don’t ever change!”- Taylor Swift
Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
Hi! I am a sophomore studying Computer Science at the University at Buffalo. I am an international student from a city called Pune in India and I came to the United States in Fall 2015 to pursue my undergraduate studies. I am currently a Resident Advisor, Microsoft Student Partner and an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant for a CS class at UB.
I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan!!! I LOVE music and dance! A LOT!! I’m always dancing in my room and while doing homework. It’s weird, if I hear music, I will instantly start dancing (irrespective of location) and my friends get pretty embarrassed sometimes!
I love meeting new people and talking to them so it wasn’t super hard for me to adjust to a new country and a new school because I am pretty friendly. I want to travel to as many places I can and explore.
I am crazy about quotes. I have motivational quotes all over my room. My screensaver is a quote, the wallpaper for my phone and laptop is a quote too!
I love getting involved on campus in different clubs, organizations and events. I am currently an Executive Board member for UB Scientista which is a club that fosters a community of women in tech. I prefer organizing events rather than attending them. (Backstage is so much more fun)
Over Spring Break, I went on an Alternative Spring Break Trip to Clarkston, GA to work with refugee settlements and all I can say is that the trip was an eye-opening experience. It was a very eventful week and really made me think about what I wanted to do in my life in the future.
In terms of my academics, I am still exploring my options in Computer Science. I am really excited about VR and Artificial Intelligence and can’t wait to take a class and learn more about them.
Fun Fact: I have a very funny way of laughing. It’s hard to explain; it’s usually a continuous laughter for a stretch of about 2 mins and eventually I’ll end up rolling on the floor. My friends will tell you more about it! xD I also have a brown belt in Karate!
What # would define your life journey?
Favorite website / app:
I love Medium and Quora a lot! I read a lot of articles and responses daily and it really helps me study human behavior and get to read different viewpoints on a particular topic.
codepen.io is a very cool website for anyone who is interested in front-end development.
I had the opportunity to work with the Oculus DK2 at a hackathon and I absolutely love it!!
Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
My parents obviously! My dad works and my mom is a housewife. They’ve always been very encouraging and supportive of what I do and never really stopped me from doing what I wanted to do whether it was academics or extracurriculars. They have both inspired me in very different ways. My dad works very hard every day to support our family and that inspires me to keep working hard to achieve my goals and dreams. He spends majority of the day at work or business tours so my mom was around a lot more than him. She has definitely had a stronger impact on my personality and the person I am today in terms of my values, beliefs, etc. I grew up in a very typical Indian family. Growing up, my parents were quite strict about where I could go and what I could do and now that I think of it, I’m glad I was brought up that way because that upbringing is a major part of the person I am today.
This might sound cliche but my friends inspire me everyday too! I consider myself very lucky to be surrounded by a group of people who are all so good at what they do and their company motivates me to do better. I have probably looked at all of them and mumbled “I want to be like you.” 😛
Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
Nothing really, I’m at a very early stage in my career and I haven’t had any major setbacks or challenges that I’ve had to face yet.
That’s an interesting question because the answer keeps changing every day. 😛 I am very passionate about technology, education and people. I don’t know what I’ll be doing in the future or where I will be but I can imagine myself working for the benefit of other people and helping them in whatever way possible. So I guess, a job that has a perfect blend of the three things I’m passionate about!
What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Don’t be afraid to be you and don’t compare yourself to others. You will meet a lot of people who will be smarter than you and better than you but they will never be YOU and that is what will set you apart from the crowd. “Be an original, not a copy.”
Learn more about Harshita!