Sabrina Kundu is a rising senior studying computer science at Virginia Commonwealth University, a public research university in Richmond, Virginia. She is a resident of Arlington, Virginia. In her free time, she likes to invest her money and read books recommended by the virtual book clubs that she’s a member of.
Her passion for engineering and technology, as well as her high performance in academia, has earned her a spot as a recipient of the prestigious Grace Hopper Celebration Student Scholarship. As a scholar, Kundu received advice about networking, resumes, and career fairs.
She reveals, “I learned a lot of new things that no one has ever told me before and it’s helped me tremendously during this recruiting season. I’m super grateful to be a GHC Scholar.”
Key takeaways of the interview:
- About Sabrina
- The Application Process
- Why does Sabrina think she was Selected?
- The best part about being a GHC scholar
- Advice for Future Applicants
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself
My name is Sabrina. I’m from Arlington, Virginia and I’m attending university in Richmond, Virginia. For scholarships or any goals in my life, I always tell myself to keep my eyes on the prize. It is so easy to get distracted, get pulled into the drama, get involved in activities or opportunities that don’t even help me reach my goals and allow other people to control my life if I don’t stay disciplined and set strict boundaries.
It’s important that you do things one step at a time and to make sure every step is going to get you closer to what you want. That is why I’ve learned to say no to a lot of opportunities because those activities really wouldn’t have given me any real long-term benefit. And now I’m conscientious about what activities I do, and I make sure it is absolutely worth my energy. I suggest that you focus on managing your energy, instead of your time, and you will achieve your goals much faster.
2. What do you like to do in your free time?
I’m really into investing. I like to read articles about it and watch videos. I started learning at 19 when I got my first payment. It seemed super risky at first, but once I saw the results, I immediately regretted stashing all my money into a savings account for those past 19 years. Time is so precious. I didn’t have anyone in my family to learn from, so I heavily relied on advice from YouTubers, articles, and sometimes friends.
I’m also into book clubs. I participated in a virtual one this summer and read “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis. She’s given some solid advice that I’ve applied to my life and seen it work its magic. Currently, I’m reading “Scrum – The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time” by Jeff Sutherland. This is a great read for anyone looking to improve their life at work and at home.
3. What are some of your major accomplishments?
I was a Grace Hopper Celebration 2020 Scholar and a Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit 2019 Scholar.
4. Describe the application process
There’s an online portal for applicants, so I applied online, submitted two 250-word essays, and received a recommendation letter from a professor.
5. Why do you think you were selected?
I was selected because of my past experiences as a developer in the tech industry, my high academic excellence and student organization involvement at my university.
6. What is the best part about being a GHC scholar?
The workshops that I get access to are the best part of being a GHC Scholar. The mentors give you no-bullshit, solid advice about resumes, cover letters, interviews, career fairs, LinkedIn profiles, and networking that recruiters will not go into detail about during their company webinars. You’re not going to hear the repetitive “put your education at the top of your resume” and “send a thank you note to your interviewer” types of advice.
I learned a lot of new things that no one has ever told me before and it’s helped me tremendously during this recruiting season. So I’m super grateful to be a GHC Scholar.
I’m excited to see how the virtual GHC conference plays out this September. This is my first year attending the celebration, but I’ve heard only amazing things about it. I hope the virtual career fair will be as efficient and effective as it was in-person, and maybe a little more.
7. Any advice you would like to give future applicants?
Find a professor at your university and really connect with them. This is how you’ll receive amazing recommendation letters for any scholarship that you’re applying to.
Sabrina Kundu is one of the many inspiring females in engineering and technology who continues to inspire females who are debating about pursuing careers in STEM. As a recipient of the Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC’20) Student Scholarship, Kundu has received a lot of advice, which she can impart to the next generation of females. As an intelligent female who educates herself through investing and reading books, Kundu is a role model for younger students to prioritize their education. As a Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit 2019 Scholar, she is a young leader who will unequivocally change the world in the future!