Saqi featured me on her Reigninit women engineers appreciation blog so, I wanted to do the same and share with you guys an inspiring story of another women engineer inspiring others to find THEIR inner engineer.
Between post about hackathons, company acquisitions, and conference tips, I hope to build a little corner of encouragement and positive perspectives.
Tell us a little about yourself along with a fun fact.
My name is Saqi Mehta and professionally I love to wear a lot of hats: Career Counselor, Writer, Manager, and Women in Tech + Diversity advocate :)
I started off my career working at MIT and later on Harvard Business School (Boston pride!) as a Career Counselor and Coach for engineering + business students. I loved seeing all of these companies come in to recruit and wanted to experience the other side of it, so eventually went to VMware, The Walt Disney Company, and now Square. I now lead the University Recruiting Team and help to bring in the next generation of talent to the company in the form of interns + new grads. I honestly think I have one of the best jobs at the company as I get to travel to different parts of the country and am invigorated by the education space and meeting so many passionate students like you!
Fun fact: My favorite sport is trapeze flying: I've done it in NYC and highly recommend it...no prior skill required :)
What # (hashtag) would define your life journey?
Soul Cycle! I'm obsessed with their high energy workouts and love booking bikes on their app :)
Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted (if any):
Outside of work I co-founded ReigningIt, which profiles women in tech. I'm so inspired to read their stories everyday :) I've learned that no matter what your background or past experience is, it's never too late to learn something new. Follow your dreams and wish big as something bigger and better than what you imagined may come true for yourself.
Song that makes you want to dance:
Shut Up And Dance by Walk The Moon
Technical and/or life challenge you've faced and how you overcame it:
I've moved many, many times: attended at least 14 schools before college and have lived in 7 states. It was tough to adjust to new environments and classmates, but over time it's taught me to be tough and embrace uncertainty - something that's helped me a great deal in the workforce!
Ideal job / where you see yourself :
I'd love to be my own boss! I envision starting my own company where I can consult on recruiting, career counseling, and diversity. I'd also love to see ReigningIt grow into its own force, perhaps with an annual conference like GraceHopper!
If you could help Women Engineers in Training flourish upon entering the industry, how would you do so?
I'd like to think I do this everyday through my work, but there is still way more to be done. All companies should start a mentorship or buddy program to pair women together for any questions or technical help. We need to support professional development like attending conferences like GHC and Blavity. Companies need internal programs like Lunch & Learns, Tech Talks, and Hack Weeks to support Talent Development. Last but not least, remember that there is no "I" in "Team" - when one woman succeeds, we all succeed collectively!
Thank you Saqi for your time!
Grammarly yours, SemirahD