“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.” by Robert Frost.
Side note: Frost taught at Amherst College and Nabanita current goes to UMass Amherst. [The Amherst Connection]
Meet Nabanita, a graduate student at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. When she was in college, she was lonely and lost connections when older friends graduated. Read on to find out how to she found her place and made life-changing connections!
Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I had interned at Microsoft Research Cairo in my undergrad and Microsoft Redmond last year (after my 1st year Masters). In my undergrad, I was awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year award after my junior year after my first built Windows phone app hit 10K downloads in first 3 weeks. My current chrome extension – Project FiB – http://projectfib.azurewebsites.net/
Fun Fact: When I feel too stressed, I love to play songs and start dancing randomly in my room.
What # would define your life journey?
Favorite website / app:
I love Quora (just reading all the answers to different sort of questions) and any tech news website like Techcrunch. My favorite app would be Instagram (because it lets me share my journey through various moments snapped at different times) and Chess.com (Lets me challenge random people for a quick game of chess).
Tools would be Jupyter notebooks and Azure Machine Learning – Testing Python and Machine Learning models have never been easy.
Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
My parents inspire me. They have been through really difficult times and have created this amazing life for my sister and me. They symbolize that no matter where you come from, it’s what you think and do, that decides where you should belong.
Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
When I moved to the US for my Masters, there was no one I knew in my university. I still tried my best to connect with people and make friends. Unfortunately the people I became friends with, graduated or transferred to other schools. I start to feel too lonely. I started to go to Hackathons to feel less lonely and meet new people. At the hackathons, I met people who shared the same passion of solving difficult problems and helping people. They didn’t think my ideas were “too ambitious” and instead came forward to join my team.
I went on to win 3 hackathons – One at MIT Media Lab’s Largest AR/VR Hackathon, another at University of Washington and the last one was at HackPrinceton – also the project which went viral – FiB, the chrome extension which detects fake news on Facebook and was all over the Internet and news sites like Mashable, The Next Web, Business Insider, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Fortune, Microsoft blog etc.
Something that involves solving different challenging problems on regular basis (especially ones which the general crowd thinks, that it is impossible to solve like Moonshot projects), which affects a greater number of lives in a very positive way. Also something which involves talking to a lot of people and travelling to different places!
What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Be confident about yourself and your quirkiness and what makes you, you. Don’t try to be anyone else, just follow what you deeply believe, your goals, go to places you want to go, even if it’s alone, and be what you want to be. You will find the right people on your life track when you are doing all these things. Also if anyone tries to pull you down, be yourself more, that will KILL them. Your actions will define what you will be in the future, work hard and enjoy your journey.