Bachelor of Electrical and Computer Systems
CEO at Robogals Global, Graduate at Telstra
Our second profile is on the lovely Ami Pasricha. I met Ami a while back when she was still an undergrad student, but even then it was clear to see that she was a very motivated and clever person who was on her way to do great things!
During her time at Monash, she won a tonne of awards; 1st place in the Telstra University Challenge, world finalist for the Shell Ideas 360 competition, and a Student Recognition Prize awarded by the Monash Faculty of Engineering, to name a few. She was also awarded an API Bursary and a Women in Engineering Scholarship. On top of all of that, she's consistently been involved in volunteer work (with the Monash Faculty of Engineering and Wired, a student society for IT students at Monash). Most recently, she's started work as a graduate at Telstra, alongside becoming the global CEO for Robogals, a volunteer-run organisation that promotes women in STEMM by providing interactive engineering based workshops for young women in primary school and high school.
I'm out of breath just reading that list, much less living it, so I'll let Ami take over and tell us a bit more about her path and motivations!
What is your involvement in engineering?
I am a recent engineering graduate in electrical and computer systems engineering from Monash University. Currently, I am a graduate at Telstra rotating through the Networks Technology Graduate Program. My work at Telstra involves looking at ways to incorporate the latest technology innovations to improve existing engineering platforms. Earlier this year, I joined an international not for profit organisation, Robogals, as their global CEO. Encouraging and empowering young women to pursue engineering is a cause that is close to my heart. At Robogals, I work with amazing people from all around the world to help create a global culture diversity and inclusion in engineering.
What inspired you to go into your field?
Before I started studying engineering, I didn't know much about the field of what exactly engineers did. Throughout high-school , I really enjoyed mathematics and problem solving, so when it came to choosing my career, these two things were important to me. Soon after I began my engineering degree, I realised that engineering is about developing innovative solutions to existing problems and bringing crazy ideas to life! Even though I went into an area I wasn't too familiar with, I've come to love engineering and looking back, I couldn't imagine myself doing anything else.
What challenges have you faced as a woman in STEMM?
I've been fortunate to have not experienced many challenges as a woman in STEMM. As a recent graduate, my experience in STEMM has mainly been through university, and I have always felt encouraged by my lecturers and peers. In my professional career, my biggest challenge was transitioning from university to the corporate industry, and while I've grown to feel more comfortable in my new role, it was quite overwhelming in the start. Despite this, I am surrounded by a fantastic support network, consisting of university and industry mentors from a variety of backgrounds, ages & genders, who have helped ease this transition.
What advice would you give to young women in STEMM?
As a young woman in STEMM, I often find myself and my other female colleagues holding back during meetings and not asking questions and answering questions they are more than qualified to answer. My advice to young women (including myself) in STEMM is to be assertive and develop the confidence to voice your opinion. Make the most of opportunities presented and get involved in things that you are passionate about.
Finally, what's something (unusual) that keeps you going every day?
Watermelon - It's my favourite food. Since university, I've eaten a slice of watermelon almost every day, and it's something I always look forward to! Aside from that, I enjoy the rush of adrenaline associated with making presentations, and often, I seek out opportunities to present to senior managers, directors and boards, as well as young students.
For more information about Ami's various endeavours, check out this article about the first-prize winning app she helped create for the Telstra University Challenge, this article about Ami taking over as the Robogals CEO, and her team's pitch for the Shell Ideas 360 competition. Check out the Robogals organisation too - a great way to promote women in STEMM!