What brought you to the US?
“Like the majority of the Indian students who come to the USA I too was most attracted by the high-quality of education and the international value placed on U.S degrees in STEM. I completed my Masters in Computer Science from Indiana University, Bloomington. ”
Tell us a bit about yourself and your career path? OR About your Early Years?
“I am a Software Engineer who originally hails from Mumbai, India. Being a 90’s kid who grew up in a time when technology was really catching up speed and the World Wide Web was connecting the entire human race with a click of a button, I was fascinated and baffled at the same time by the only three Personal Computers shared by my entire school back in Mumbai. Times have changed and we have come a long way but my faith and confidence in technology as being the topmost facilitator in enhancing and bettering the lives of today’s and future generations has only multiplied ten folds. It was this zest that revolved around me that directed me to take Computer Science Courses in High School which eventually led to my decision of pursuing a bachelor’s in computer science from the University of Mumbai. I moved to the USA after my bachelor’s to pursue my Masters. (I saw the first snow in my life when I was on campus). I lived in Bloomington, Indiana for my studies and also lived in Cleveland, Ohio and Denver, Colorado for my summer internships. After graduation, I moved from Bloomington, Indiana to Chicago, Illinois for my first job and then eventually moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to live up to my Silicon Valley dream to work for one of the high-tech companies – TESLA. Right now, I work as a developer in Workday, Pleasanton.”
What do you love doing when not working?
“I love reading books and consider myself a bibliophile. Reading is something that comes naturally to me. Books I am currently reading are more focused on my personal development and state of mind. I love traveling and make every effort to travel the country from my busy schedule as its soul-refreshing.
Topics I really care about are Gender Equality, Women Empowerment, and Women in Tech. I truly believe that if you want to lift any society to be a podium of equitable opportunities, better families and stronger economic growth you have to educate and empower girls and plus provide them with equal opportunities to eliminate problems like gender and pay gaps especially in some fields like Technology. ”
What has your experience been as an Expat Woman in the USA?
“Being an expat in the USA who was constantly transitioning from one city to another in my initial years was challenging but helped me grow as an individual who got a better perspective of people and surroundings around me and also a conscious mind to understand and help others.”
Why did you become a member of The Expat Woman Club and what do you like most about being a member?
“Being an immigrant and a woman I could easily connect myself to the Expat Woman Club and at the same time really appreciate the efforts put in by the founders and volunteers who work towards providing an environment where women network and share experiences and knowledge with the sole purpose to support, influence and empower each other. I have attended multiple events hosted in San Francisco in the past year and love being a part of this amazing community. ”
What is the one piece of advice you would like to share with women who are relocating to the US or are planning to relocate here?
“Coming to the USA from India and then again traveling to different cities was altogether a different challenge for me. It’s challenging to move to another country with a completely different culture and adapt to its ways of living. CHANGE is scary but it is the need of the hour in this fast-moving and technology-driven world. Don’t be scared to go out and ask for help, there are a lot of communities like The Expat Woman Club ready to embrace you. The USA is truly a land filled with opportunities and if you strive for something you can make it.”
How can The Expat Woman network support your endeavors or how can you support our network?
“Currently trying my hand at mentoring and volunteering. I would love to connect with anyone who is looking to collaborate on this. I would also like to be a contributor in mentoring or empowering women in tech. I am very interested in public speaking and see myself doing that in the future.”
What is the one piece of advice you would like to share with other women in tech across the globe?
“There are still a lot of misconceptions of technology being an industry-only for men It is still largely dominated by men (My personal experience? I am and was the only female coder in my team in all the 3 companies I worked for). But there have been a lot of efforts put forth by different groups and organizations to wipe out this misunderstanding and encourage young girls to choose more Science and Technology studies. Technology is the present and future, it is a hot sector which is penetrating every section of the economy and hence it will be exciting to see more women leading here. It’s a long way for the US but we all can do this TOGETHER.”
Connect with me on Akshada Kadam