The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us how human beings are a part of nature and in no way above it. But when global leaders neglect climate issues, what can a student in data science do to help battle these issues? How can data scientists crunch numbers and save the environment?
Hima Bindu Bhardwaj is pursuing MS in Data Science at Columbia University. She’s passionate about technology and strives to make a deep impact on the world using her work, particularly in issues around climate change. Recipient of a number of prestigious scholarships like GHC Student Scholarship, WeTech-Qualcomm Global Scholarship, IEEE Richard E Merwin Scholarship, Shardashish Interschool Fellowship, and the Prime Minister’s Scholarship.
Read on to know what her journey so far has been like, how she embarked on it, and the things you should keep in mind if you’re also passionate like her!
Grace Hopper Conference
GHC is the world’s largest gathering of women technologists.
- Exclusive scholars-only professional development workshops and career trainings
- Exclusive scholars-only premium Slack workspace
- Facilitated virtual networking opportunities with peers and GHC sponsors
- Free one-year AnitaB.org membership
- Fully funded trip to attend the Conference
GHC India Student Scholarship
GHCI Student Scholarships are awarded to deserving women students from computing, engineering and IT backgrounds.
- Opportunity to attend the GHCI conference which includes the full conference registration fee and meals along with travel reimbursement for outstation students.
- Access to GHCI’s Career Fair to explore internships as well as full-time job opportunities with global technology organizations.
- A chance to submit their resume to the GHCI Resume Database, which is viewed by the GHCI Sponsor organizations.
WeTech-Qualcomm Global Scholarship
The WeTech Qualcomm Global Scholars Program aims to help women and girls enter and succeed in technology careers. Through the various WeTech initiatives, Qualcomm reaches women and girls at each step along the path from early education to a career in STEM.
- A scholarship amount for the school year.
- 6-month virtual mentorship with experienced mentors from Qualcomm.
- Academic scholarship on completion of the mentorship to assist with the cost of undergraduate education.
IEEE Richard E Merwin Scholarship
The IEEE Computer Society offers $40,000 in student scholarships, starting from $1,000 and above to recognize and reward active student volunteer leaders in student branches or chapters who show promise in their academic and professional efforts. This scholarship was created in honor of the late Richard E. Merwin, past president of the IEEE Computer Society, to recognize and reward student leadership.
Included in the interview:
Give us an overview of the Scholarship(s) that you have won.
GHC Student Scholarship, GHC India Student Scholarship, WeTech-Qualcomm Global Scholarship, IEEE Richard E Merwin Scholarship, Shardashish Interschool Fellowship, Prime Minister’s Scholarship
Describe the application process in brief.
Most of these scholarships involved writing essays/answering questions based on my work and passion for technology. They also looked for demonstrated leadership, academics, and initiatives taken in the tech field. One of these scholarships particularly looked for demonstrated passion and commitment to using technology for India and its future.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. It could be your story. Feel free to write about anything fun, deep, emotional, or motivating!
I am currently a graduate student pursuing an MS in Data Science at Columbia University, New York. I am passionate about producing tangible results using the power of computation and data, and I am particularly interested in working with data that reflect issues around climate and the environment. I believe more tech-enthusiasts from my generation should care about the environment and use their skills to address challenges associated with it. I really love being part of tech and women communities.
What are your major accomplishments?
Few of my accomplishments include – getting to pursue my masters in Data Science from my dream program, performing research under a world-famous professor whom I had dreamed of working with, winning scholarships from international bodies like IEEE, TED, Qualcomm, GHC, etc and the Prime Minister of India, and staying sane and focused through the crazy ups and downs.
Why do you think you were selected?
1. I have been genuinely passionate about the tech field and my work in it. I have always focused on growing and learning.
2. I have been genuine in my applications and answers. I think reviewers can see through anything that doesn’t seem genuine.
3. I like writing. So writing these answers was always exciting to me – it never seemed challenging. I always loved describing my work, vision, and passion. What you have done should translate well into your words and make an impact in the reviewer’s mind. Please don’t worry if you don’t necessarily love writing. It’s a skill and you can definitely nail your answers after some iterations. Getting it reviewed from your friends/mentors always helps. Also, most of the time, there’s a word limit to your answers, so just try to make the best of the real estate you have got.
4. I put in efforts in the whole package, not just my answers. Many times, these applications consisted of LORs, resume, work samples, etc in addition to essays. So try to share your story through each item in your application.
Any failures or rejections?
Many, I have lost count. 🙂 But I always try to have a zestful attitude towards life, and not repeat mistakes.
Can you tell us a bit about your experience?
I have had wonderful opportunities through these scholarships. I have met/connected with inspiring, hard-working people, attended amazing sessions, and workshops. I met my current mentor through one of these opportunities. These scholarships have helped me grow immensely.
Any advice you would like to give future applicants?
Try to do good work, be (almost) painfully frank in your applications, get in touch with past scholars to get insights, and make the most of such opportunities that come your way.
So that was Hima’s inspirational journey so far! We hope that this interview has helped you in some way or the other. Hima is willing to mentor future applicants and is interested to host a live QnA with us! Keep an eye on our blog for the live and more mentorship opportunities. Stay in the loop for updates on scholarships, interview series, live QnAs, and much more! Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest updates directly in your inbox!
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