What is it that quality that sets apart the extraordinary from the ordinary? Is it hard work? No definitely not, Hard work is an important factor but not the most important one as every single person who wants his/her dreams to be fulfilled works really very hard. Then what quality is it? You will find your answer in this beautiful quote written by Oprah Winfrey

 “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”  Passion is like an inner driving force helping you through the ups and down’s helping you continue on the path of your dreams until it is achieved.

Hamida’s driving force was also her passion and love towards what she wanted to achieve in life. Her journey is inspiring for every single individual. Let’s read more about her journey, her achievements, and her experiences.

What’s in store for you guys in this interview? 

INTERVIEW:)

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Could be your story. Feel free to write about anything fun, deep, emotional, or motivating!

Talking about myself is one of my favorite parts of any interaction.  

I am a woman of many traits, but what tops it all is me being an artist and a community advocate. I have over 15 years of experience working in those domains. I delve into various mediums, from drawings to illustrations, to photography, to costume designing, to stop-motion animation, to writing, to community building. I also have an undefined interest in education, which is proven by the fact that I am currently pursuing my third master’s degree in information systems leading to a Ph.D. in the Fall.

My interests are numerous and vary from business management to design engineering to user experience. I enjoy coding and learning different programming languages. I aim to incorporate all of these passions for the betterment of the community with continuous dedication and vigor.

I believe in community building and advocacy more than anything and incorporating creativity and technology into it. I am currently working on an app, Teardrop: Storytelling for Gender Justice, which highlights the narratives associated with domestic violence, abuse, and trauma via data analytics and interactive visualizations. It will be launched very soon. For more information on my social and art-technical driven projects, visit https://hamidakhatri.com/.

2. Any failures or rejections?

I had many failures and rejections and I believe it’s a part of life one should always celebrate both success and failure. Talking about a few of the major rejections, I was rejected to receive a Fulbright Scholarship back in 2014. My dreams were shattered but I picked myself up and worked hard in building my portfolio. It was good that I was rejected because it made me realize that I had a lot to work on myself, my weaknesses, and turn them into strengths. I managed to receive the highest scholarship from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2015, which is when I moved to the US. Since then I have received multiple opportunities for growth via awards and fellowships.

I have been rejected for jobs, but then again I picked myself up, worked hard in building my resume, and sharpening my interview skills. I managed to get a PM job in New York. I worked for an architectural signage company and it was an amazing experience for me.

I have been rejected by my own community for being a woman who is career-oriented and takes a stance at being independent. I come from Pakistan where patriarchy lives and breathes. I fought many battles to remove those barriers and be where I want to be with sheer determination and perseverance.

3. Major accomplishments.

– First Position for Open Data Pakistan COVID-19 Hackathon

– Recipient of Student Scholarship for Grace Hopper Celebration 2020 by Anita Borg Technology     Institute for Women

– Recipient of Launch Artist in Baltimore Award of $10,000

– Recipient of The Pollination Project Fund

– Recipient of France-Merrick Opportunity Fund

– Recipient of Elizabeth ‘Libby’ Bowerman Fellowship

– Recipient of Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Fellowship

– Recipient of Harrisburg University Travel Award

– Recipient of Abu Shamim Areff Best Research Award

– Recipient of Overall Distinction Award

– Finalist for the Maryland Institute College of Art Animation Festival

– Nominee for Outstanding Achievement for Leadership Award

– Nominee for Fred Lazarus Leadership for Social Change Award

4. Why do you think you were selected?

I was selected because of my dedication to learning and growing in the career that I have chosen for myself. I recently transitioned to the tech domain from a design and business background. I have been welcomed with open arms by Pakistani Women in Computing (PWiC) who informed me of Anita Borg and GHC. I have been part of PWiC for the past three months and my dedication to supporting women in tech has grown immensely. I learned that asking for help is okay. I was rejected by many but some gave me really good tips to follow.

In terms of my application, my resume was short and to the point, my answers were crisp, and the content showed how important GHC is for my career growth, which helped me receive the scholarship.

  5.   Any advice you would like to give future applicants?

5. Any advice you would like to give future applicants?

Don’t stress. Be honest. Be strategic. Share tangible wins.

While talking about selflessness what is the first image that comes to your mind? Your mother isn’t it? Women have always proved the power of selflessness whether it be while working in a home kitchen or in a tech community. Hamida in her response has agreed to mentor future scholars helping them achieve their dreams, inspiring them, and helping them grow. In the end “Do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life”. Keep learning and Keep growing.

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Written by Sneha Sharma

I am a people's person, a bibliophile, a writer and a woman in tech. I am too much into coffee and conversation. Connecting and learning together is my belief.....Connect me on my Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sneha-kumari-825b5219a/

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