Women Who Reign: Anjali Kanthilal
“You can’t fall if you don’t climb. But there’s no joy in living your whole life on the ground.”
Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
Hi! My name is Anjali 🙂 I am a Computer Science student at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
2 fun facts about me… I love dancing and being a part of hackathons!! I am currently on the UCSC Bollywood Kahaani Dance Team (https://www.facebook.com/ucsckahaani), and Co-Director of HACK UCSC (hackucsc.com).
What # would define your life journey?
Favorite website / app:
I love the idea of sharing your life’s journey or passions through a sequence of pictures and videos.
Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
As cliche as it may sound, my mom has been through it all with me. She inspires and motivates me to be the best version of myself. Even during the lowest of lows and the highest of highs, she keeps me grounded, focused, and never loses hope in me. She’s the best to gossip with, rant to, or just ask for any kind of advice — be it when I’m stressing over technical interviews, worried about dance tryouts or even just what to eat for lunch.
She has this saying, “where there is a will, there is a way.” She is always teaching me to think out of the box, step out of my comfort zone, and shows me that everyone has an incredible amount of potential to be anybody they chose to be. She makes me want to be the best version of myself. Love you mom!
Song that makes you want to dance:
Can’t Stop the Feeling — Justin Timberlake
Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
In terms of technical challenges, I’ve always struggled with my coding skills. I never feel like I’m good enough and have switched my major 3 times trying to figure out what best represents my future goals. Sometimes, I feel unmotivated and like giving up, but I’ve realized that those breakthrough moments of finally understanding a project, or when your program compiles, is my adrenaline. Surrounding yourself with people who make you want to be better has helped me in reaching my full potential. This past summer, I had the incredibly opportunity to intern at Qualcomm. School and work are so different, and being able to show off my skills, doing a great job, and receiving great reviews has showed me not to shy away from CS when things get hard, but to push forward. Have a “you can do it” attitude! My sister says, 10% chance can lead to 100% success and she couldn’t be more right!
Though I’m only 20, I’ve had incredible life so far. My parents are both avid travelers and have passed that along to my sisters and me. So far, I’ve touched every continent except Antarctica! As glorious as this may sounds though, in a way, I’ve seen so much in life that is different than how I grew up. I had the chance to do this for my Girls Scout Gold Award where I got to go to rural India for a month through Agastya International Foundation and teach students science and technology. That summer experience changed my life and since then, I’ve been a bit unsure as to how, where, or what exactly I want to do after college. With thats said, I do hope that in the future, I will be able to bring change in a child’s education and be able to give them the same #blessed life I’ve received.
What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Be yourself! Don’t shy away from a challenge, don’t change yourself because of society or others. Stay true to who you are. If you can dream it, believe it and achieve it! You can do it!