“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow”

Anthony J D’Angelo

This is exactly what Vani Gupta, a Master’s student at the University of Hyderabad, has emulated in her life. She is one of the few women around the world who have been selected to attend the prestigious Grace Hopper’s Celebration 2020. Her unending passion for learning and a strong desire to make a difference in her community are two attributes that seem to be the driving force behind her success. 

The Grace Hopper Celebration calls together one of the biggest gatherings of women in technology in the world. It is organized by the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology and the Association of Computing Machinery and aims to empower women in technology. They offer scholarships to both students and faculty. 

To learn more, click here.

Keep reading to get a deeper insight into the application process and Vani’s journey to becoming a GHC’20 scholar!

Key points of the interview:

INTERVIEW

  • Could you tell us a little about yourself and your story?

I have always been very keen on making new connections. I feel like I cannot move forward in the industry without having a good network and connections where I learn from their experiences. I strongly believe in the idea of a community that has always helped me. I was very good at problem-solving from the start. That’s what helped me move forward and grab opportunities. This gave an edge to me among a huge pool of applicants. 

There is nothing special about me, just another human trying to make a difference!

  • What was the application process like? 

The application form consisted of a few personal questions and my technical skills and experience. I was also asked about my demographic and other educational information. 

Then there are two general essay questions:

  • Why do you want to attend GHC? How will it impact you?
  • How will you share your experience with others?

These are basic questions and may change from one person to another. After this, I had to submit my resume and a letter of recommendation from my professor. That concluded the application process.

  • In your opinion, what made you stand out among the other applicants?

I feel like I was selected because my technical skills stood out from other applicants. Also, I had done some community work like reviewing scholarships for other organizations and helping students in their assignments. 

I also feel that my professor knows me very well along with my expertise and  he gave a remarkable letter of recommendation which was the tiebreaker.

  • What are some of the major accomplishments in your life?

I have won 3 different state-level coding competitions at the University of Delhi. I was awarded the prestigious Grace hopper scholarship and recently the Microsoft Azure Machine Learning Scholarship.

I was also a scholarship recipient from my college as I was an academic achiever right from the start.

  • Have you experienced any failures or rejections?

I always bite off more than I can chew! This is something that often results in missing big opportunities. Since failure is inevitable, I had to sometimes leave some opportunities in the middle to finish the work at hand. 

I often find myself stuck up with loads of work in less time and this is the only failure I experience very often.

  • What advice would you give to future applicants?

Be honest. Never lie on your resume, like NEVER! 

It is very easy to get caught since the reviewer is often highly experienced. This will not only disqualify you but will also give you a bad reputation. 

I have been very open to what I know and what I don’t. The reviewers dig down to each piece of information you give since there are thousands of applications and they want to reward only the deserving ones.

Also, make sure to gain good technical knowledge and expertise before applying. 

Skills matter a lot, but not more than your personality!

Vani Gupta’s journey teaches us that anyone can achieve their goals as long as they keep learning and contributing to their community. 

So keep learning!

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