This blog is one part of my experience with the Google Women Techmakers APAC Scholarship program. I will primarily talk about the selection procedure in this blog and the remaining part of my experience with the 2020 APAC Scholars’ Virtual Retreat will be covered in the next blog!
Assuming that a lot of you clicked on this blog without knowing me personally, here is a little bit about who I am.
Hi! I am Rajwrita Nath, a second-year CSE undergrad from Netaji Subhash Engineering College, Kolkata, India. I work as the moderator for Manning Publications Co. and I was selected as the summer research intern for IIT Kharagpur ( Thanks to the pandemic, the internship is postponed one entire semester ). I love mathematics and statistics and hence a machine learning enthusiast. I have a platform for sharing art memories and more, Kolkata 70. I love writing blogs and I am a part of several tech communities in Kolkata like Google Developers Group Kolkata, Women Techmakers Kolkata, and Developer Students Club NSEC.
The WTM Scholarship applications started around the month of May. In the first round, I had to fill up elaborate answers on my journey in the field of tech and along with that, I had to submit details of my academic scores in college.
Some of the questions which resonated with me and hence, I chose them were:
What problems are caused by a lack of diversity and inclusion in computing? How can these problems be addressed?
What computing technology are you excited about, and how is it changing your region?
The answers eventually brought about my story which I wanted to put out through this program. Following which I was selected for Google’s Online Challenge. The online test focussed on testing the candidate’s skill in C++, OOPS, Algorithms, etc. Based on the online challenge and the answers that were previously submitted, we were evaluated. The test was conducted on May 16th. I had brushed up my concepts and appeared for the test. A quick revision of the topics that were taught in the first year of college and a binge of Indian Youtubers making any topic a cakewalk :D
Finally, on June 5th I got a mail from Rishi Alapati on behalf of the WTM team confirming my selection for the interview round. I had one previous experience of attending an interview before for the Developers Students Club application. The mail clearly specified that I would be asked questions about my application, my profile, problem-solving skills, leadership, community engagement, and interest in technology (There won’t be any coding or technical questions).
The call went smoothly, it was more like a friendly conversation than a serious interview. It was the perfect opportunity for me to share my journey in the field of technology and how I started. Another interesting thing that came up was when he asked me about my entrepreneurial venture Kolkata 70. It honestly made me believe that any effort made at whichever stage in life isn't small and insignificant. I was also asked about my internships and I had the opportunity to discuss more on how I started small with a content writing internship that I used to do in between college classes and slowly grew to my current role as a Moderator at Manning Publications Co.
Apart from that, I was asked what sets me apart in a room of people and what I do to ensure women are encouraged and motivated in their strive to reach heights in tech.
There are a few things I would love to emphasize in this process of selection. Be true to yourself and to the people you are sharing your story with. Believe that your opinions are strong enough and are worthy enough to be heard. Your story and hustle are worth the acknowledgment. Have a strong voice to put your opinions across a room where you might not be wanted, have a voice stronger, to stand up for people around you who might feel lost in the crowd.
Be a part of communities that foster growth and development. I owe a huge part of receiving this scholarship to Women Techmakers Kolkata. I’ve met some of the most remarkable people in this field through the opportunities that were given to me through the communities in Kolkata that I am a part of like GDG Kolkata, WTM Kolkata, and my college club DSC NSEC.
This is the start of a long road full of more such opportunities and rewards! I hope to do my part of being a support and mentor for women in tech and through combined efforts as a community, I wish to be a part of bringing about a change and fulfill the vision of Anita Borg’s vision of gender equality in tech.
The next blog will be about my virtual retreat and getting to interact with the community of WTM scholars. Here are my portfolio and GitHub links if you would love to know more about me and the work that I am doing.
Stay tuned :)