Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

Success is a function of knowledge and your network. There are many ways to acquire knowledge but unlike mentorship don’t optimize for building personal connections. In this post, I highlight how to find/create mentorship opportunities to sharpen technical abilities and build a personal brand and solid network in the process.

While we all have heard “Pay it forward” several million times by now, not all of us really understand how to put it in practice.


This year I had the opportunity to become a professional mentor with the TechWomen program. I am thankful to LinkedIn and Center for Women’s Leadership Initiatives at Institute of International Education (IIE) for giving me this opportunity.

What is TechWomen?

TechWomen is a US-state sponsored program run by Center of Women’s Leadership Initiatives (CWLI) at Institute of International Education on behalf of US State Department. Participants include women in mid to senior level experience from countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Central and South Asia. …


LinkedIn Girl Geek Dinner Volunteers — Getting ready for the event.

Girl Geek Dinner, as the name suggests, is a dinner where Girl Geeks share their technical expertise, professional expertise, and career advice tailored toward women over dinner. It’s for Girl Geeks, by Girl Geeks, and of Girl Geeks!

In 2014, when I moved to the US from India to work for LinkedIn, I felt like an outsider, a stranger. Almost all the events I attended I felt like I didn’t belong… until I attended a Girl Geek Dinner. It was my first dinner, four months after I had moved to the Bay Area. I instantly felt like I belonged. Not…


It has been three years I moved to United States (thanks to LinkedIn, I had a comparatively smooth transition between countries). However, I still remember those first few months when I was completely new in United States and I felt like an outsider.

Picture Credit: Jeba Singh Emmanuel

I grew up in a small town in India and I only had North Indian friends until the time I moved here.

When I got here, I not only had difficulty talking with people even informally, as we had nothing in common. I had difficulty recalling or even pronouncing their name. Half of the time I didn’t…


Paola Elefante is a doctoral student at University of Helsinki (Inverse Problems Group). Her current research is on Dynamic X-ray Tomography. She has presented her work at various conferences and has won various scholarships for her work. She is a proud mother of a two and half year old daughter, who she sometimes takes with her to conferences!

Q: You have experience as an academic. Can you talk a little bit about your experience as a mother in the academia?

Yeah, well, I immediately became ten years older, when I became a mother. I accept it, it is nice and…


Valerie, PiMother

Valerie Tching is a senior engineer at SlideShare, LinkedIn who develops in Ruby and Javascript on the team that monetizes an awesome platform for sharing presentations. She is also a mother to a five year old boy and a two year old daughter.

I have seen her stay late at office on several occassions trying to ensure the last deploy was successful or debug a last moment bug in a product that has to be shipped on that day. I wondered, how is she able to maintain the work-life balance.

Here is a chit-chat that I had with her once…


While talking to my friend, who is pursuing her PhD in Optical Physics, we started discussing about professional women, working along with us and are also mothers.

When we tried to put ourself in their shoes, we realized how difficult it actually is. These women don’t actually take break, when they have headaches/backaches. When they reach home in the evening, they get into their mom role. Taking care of the kids, their meals, their homework, their clothes etc. Getting to bed late and getting up early!

We, who don’t have kids to take care of, are so used to our…

Neha Jain

I dream of a world where our nature and earth's nature are in harmony.

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