“IF IT IS TO BE, IT IS UP TO ME”
Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
Hi! My name is Roshni Shah, I’m a rising Junior at Rutgers University and am double majoring in Computer Engineering & Computer Science. At Rutgers, I am a proud member of the Reily Douglas Engineering Living Learning Community and am involved in various Women in STEM programs on campus. I am also a two time NCWIT Award Recipient (2015 & 2016).
From a young age, I have always been interested in giving back to my community. In the same turn, technology has always been something I have been fascinated with. Thus in high school, when I had the opportunity to potentially combine these two interests through the AP Computer Science class, I jumped at the opportunity. Little did I know at the time, how much of an impact this class would really make on me! I’ve never been in a situation prior where I was the only girl in the class. Learning a brand new subject like CS is tough as it is, but being the only female in the class made me feel further isolated and discouraged at times. Though my love for CS triumphed, and this experience inspired me to advocate for promoting technology literacy especially for women.
In high school, I founded SheCodes, a female focused club designed to be a safe space for girls to talk about CS, collectively learn new things and work on cool projects. Soon after, I was asked by school administrators to help organize their first annual Hour of Code Assembly and speak about the power of technology. My efforts helped significantly increase female enrollment in CS courses! My love for STEM always has pushed me to help others and share the resources I have gained with others. Currently in college, there are various obstacles that I face but they are always overcome with my passion for STEM. Ever since my difficult experience learning CS in high school, I have taken so many initiatives in academics and extracurriculars which helped me find my interest and become more confident than before. I am hoping to always encourage others to go into STEM and hope everyone can see the benefits of technology in society.
Fun Fact: I love laser cutting to create puzzles, 3D objects and personalized items out of wood. I also love sports especially tennis!
What # would define your life journey?
Favorite website / app:
My favorite app is Snapchat and my favorite tech tool is the Apple Pencil
Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
Someone who inspires me is Sheryl Sandberg. She has set an example of what a strong, independent women is. From her book Lean In, she has given me so much motivation and empowerment. I hope to one day meet her to thank her for sharing her stories and for being an idol to many young women
Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
A challenge I faced was trying my hardest and not getting the results I wanted. This includes academically and throughout life. In my Computer Science classes in college, it was difficult to see that I went through every resource but still not able to get the outcome on projects. This led to me feeling lower about my abilities and feeling shyer in participating in class. However, I always kept looking back at what I did to see why I was not getting the results. After, continuously doing this I started to get a passion for overcoming obstacles.
My ideal job is working at a company that allows me to pursue my interest of art and tech to express my creativity. I would love to work on a product that empowers other creators like myself!
What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
One of my favorite quotes is, “If it’s to be, it’s up to me!”. In general this has been my approach to life and my academic career. I am always willing to take a chance and try new things, even if I fail trying, I know I will have learned something in the process.
Roshni Shah is an advocate, leader, and inspiration! She has received the following recognitions:
- National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) (twice!)
- Excellence in AP Computer Science
- Best Health Hack- Sponsored by Merck, HackRU
- Female Innovators Award-MongoDB
- Athlete of the Week