Shreya Kar is a Master’s student at RWTH Aachen University, pursuing Software Systems Engineering with a focus on Data Science and Process Mining. A recipient of the prestigious WeTech Goldman Sachs scholarship, her passion lies in data science. She also enjoys learning languages and can speak up to 7!
The Women Enhancing Technology (WeTech) Goldman Sachs Global Scholarship and Mentorship program, initiated by the Institute of International Education and Goldman Sachs aims to develop women leaders in the field of information, communication, and technology.
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- Shreya Kar’s background
- Major accomplishments
- Application process
- What made Shreya’s application stand out?
- Scholarship experience
- Failures and rejections that Shreya faced along the way
- Advice for future applicants
1. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a graduate student at RWTH Aachen University, Germany. I am working towards a degree in Software Systems Engineering with a focus on Data Science. Just like many 17-year olds, I had no clue what I wanted to study at university and I just stumbled upon Computer Engineering because I enjoyed my CS course during my 11th and 12th grade and I thought “Why not?”
It was sometime during my fifth semester while I was attending the GHCI conference when I truly had my watershed moment. I was introduced to the field of Data Science and heard some amazing Indian women in STEM talk about their contributions to the field. I was so fascinated and knew this is what I want to do in the long run. Ever since then, I have been steadily working towards expanding my knowledge in the field via higher education and hands-on experience. Another interesting fact about me is that I am a polyglot and I speak about 7 languages!
2. Could you tell us about your major accomplishments?
- Recipient of CBSE Inspire Scholarship
- Recipient of WeTech Goldman Sachs Scholarship
- Finalist in Master Plan 2015 ( IIM Ahmedabad)
3. Could you give us a brief description of the application process?
I wrote a statement of purpose and asked two professors to give me a letter of recommendation.
4. Why do you think you were selected?
I was honest about myself. I spoke about overcoming personal hardships in my life which could have shown my resilience and I think the desire to constantly learn was evident in my SOP.
5. Could you tell us a bit about your experience?
I had a wonderful mentor who guided me and the weekly assignments such as personality tests really helped me understand my interests better. Personally, I was in a dilemma at the time whether to study further or start working. The mentorship program in many ways helped me to take this decision
6. Any failures or rejections?
Many job rejections and university rejections. But, a great learning experience!
7. Any advice you would like to give future applicants?
Don’t chase a dream job or grades!
Work on projects, get hands-on experience, develop a real passion, and try to learn as many new things as possible through the various available mediums such as YouTube, Books, or Podcasts. Try to fundamentally understand a concept and ask yourself “Why am I learning this?”, which is unfortunately not encouraged by the Indian Education system. I think that is what really takes you places in life. A scholarship or a dream job will be a byproduct if you approach your education in this manner.
According to Shreya, honesty and curiosity are two qualities that a person should have in order to achieve their goals. She firmly believes that if a person develops a passion for learning, then nothing can stop them from turning their dreams into reality. So for all the future aspirants out there, be passionate about what you set out to do because, at the end of the day, that is what gets you places!