“I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there. And I also hope that you will choose to make some of that trouble on behalf of women.” – Nora Ephron
Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
A little bit about me: I’m a Bay Area gal who reads a lot of books, travels a ton, and attempts to reteach herself the piano every vacation. My favorite form of procrastination is to clean my room or the kitchen but I can never bring myself to touch that small pile of clothes on my chair. I grew up singing and dancing and now I study Computer Science and Economics at NYU. I’m notorious for sitting in on classes that I’m not enrolled in, some of which include a screenwriting class, photography class, a fundamentals of data science class, and an interior design class.
What # would define your life journey?
#mybeatmydrum : there came a certain point in college where I got so involved in school and work that I didn’t see I was doing too many things for other people than focusing on making sure I was learning and applying new skills. I started to do things at my pace and making sure I was presenting the best version of myself.
Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
My dance teacher inspires me all the time, and even though I see her maybe once a year, she’s taught me grace, humility, and what motivates me to concentrate. My mom has helped drill into me the healthy lifestyle/knowing what makes me concentrate. So whether it’s eating right, or going back to dance for exercise, I owe them a lot.
Song that makes you want to dance:
Right now it’s Capsize but I have an entire list of Bollywood Bangerz on my Soundcloud that always make me want to dance (https://soundcloud.com/sanjna-verma/sets/bwood-mixes)
Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
I’ve been trying to figure out if you can get artificial intelligence to compose music but that means I’m teaching myself the basics of machine learning to get me there. It’s honestly really hard to teach yourself material, and what I’ve realized from watching my peers is that each person can single out a person that talked them through a certain piece of information or subject. The best way to learn computer science is having a mentor like that, so while my technical challenge is learning ML and AI in the context of music, my life challenge is finding a CS mentor who I can talk through and understand the material with.
Ideal job — CEO of a startup that has a vision of sustainability and technology// in 10 years, I don’t really know where I’ll be but I know that in ten years time I hope to have built on top of my CS foundations to be a really cool and thoughtful engineer, shatter a glass ceiling or two along the way, and keep up with my dad-joke-esque puns.
What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
if you have an inkling for an idea or experience just do it. My professor once emailed me “Never let school interfere with your life. Seems like a wonderful opportunity, and I wish you much luck.” and it was a profound note that made me realize that people will always be rooting for your success if you are actively pursuing it. If you fail, you still have learned and walked away with an incredible experience — something that school doesn’t always show you. So complement your education by acting on your ambitions. Oh and wear a watch. You save so much time when you have a watch (if I check the time on my phone, I get distracted by messages and alerts). Plus, it’s a classy addition 🙂