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HOW NISHI CHAUHAN PAVED HER OWN WAY TO SUCCESS

Having born in a middle-class family, Nishi Chauhan has always aspired to work in a top company. She always had a dream to be in IIT but when she didn't get selected, she didn't give up. She had other ideas by joining in a normal college. In the second year of her college, she got charmed by coding, and life has never been the same again.

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Read all about her story.

Being the eldest child in the family comes with some extra responsibilities. I belong to a very normal, middle-class, joint Rajput family. So, let me start my story when I was in class X. This was the class when your career starts taking a direction. I was always interested in Maths and I always had a dream of working in some amazing company that is going to pay me a lot so that I can buy things which my parents were sacrificing every day for us. I had a dream of getting into IIT because I always thought that once you get into some IIT, life becomes very easy and you get an ample of opportunities.

Being a civil engineer, my father knew about how the IIT-JEE exam works and what had to be done to get into IIT. Even he had a dream that his daughter should be in one of the reputed IITs. So, we both decided that I should take up some coaching classes for JEE in the city. Now the real challenge comes. The coaching was around 20km from my home and I had to travel in the night because we had classes scheduled that way. The girl who was asked to come back home before it got dark now needs permission from her grandfather to be back by around 10.30 PM. It was tough. It was very difficult to convince my grandfather about the same as no one from my family went so far and traveled in the night to take some coaching classes especially girls. But my parents were always by my side.

They made him sure that they are going to figure out something about the travel part and there is nothing to be worried about. I will be safe. It took a while for him to understand and allow me the same. We went to the coaching and paid the huge fees demanded in the hopes of getting into some IIT. The start of the coaching was pretty much what was expected. I got into one of the top batches and then everything was going smooth.

Now comes the twist in the story. I suffered from typhoid and chickenpox in my 11th and 12th respectively. That kind of affected my flow towards the study and I think I couldn't manage more. Whenever I used to study, I kept in mind that no matter what happens I am not going to take a drop and give it another try. I will give it my all in these two years because I don’t want to regret after two years that “if I studied that time then…” and wanted to be confident that I gave it my all. Now comes the day, when the JEE Mains and JEE Advanced results came out and I was all shattered. My parents were broken. But I had decided something for me before (No Drop Year) and I had to stick to it. The thing which I learned in those two years is patience, hard work, consistency, and time management and that stayed with me to date.

CODING WAS MY PRIORITY

I told my parents that if I have the talent, I will make it from any college. IIT tag is not required for that. After saying these big words, I knew it is not that easy to live up to them. It is going to be very tough. I took admission to MPs one of the best colleges in my desired computer science branch but of course that college was not comparable to some IIT. I was not happy but then, I knew I didn't have any other option. I enjoyed my first year of college like anything. I wanted to just take out all the negativity that I had after JEE and wanted to start fresh. From my second year, I knew now that it was high time to start doing something because when I was enjoying in the first year, people were working on their coding skills and were doing something or the other. I didn’t know where to start. So, I thought let’s start coding. I didn’t know how to code in the first year but I knew I kind of enjoyed it. I just needed a little guidance. I went to some coaching to keep me going and then I started practicing on my own. I knew it is going to be very frustrating in my initial days but I didn't give up. The coding part was sorted until then. I had a flow and I was practicing quite frequently. My confidence boosted up when I gave an online challenge by Goldman Sachs and was called by them for a face-to-face interview to Bangalore. I couldn’t make it through but that gave a lot of confidence.

GOING AN EXTRA SMILE

I always had in me that I need to do something which keeps me apart from what others are doing. Something exclusive. I saw some of my friends going to some meetups that were held in the city where they were getting knowledge as well as pizzas and that too in free. I was so excited about both free knowledge and free pizza and decided that I am going to attend all of them. I started going into the meetups. I didn’t understand much what is happening for some days. I just wanted to keep a flow. I knew if I stopped coming, I will have this image that I don’t understand anything from these meetups. So, I kept going. I started understanding things gradually and I got to know the importance of communities. During one of the meetups, I had an opportunity to meet Anubha Maneshwar, Founder of the Girlscript foundation. I interacted with her and she offered me the position of Chapter lead of my city. This was the first time that I was offered something so big. I said yes immediately and started working for it. I had a plan, reached out to people, made volunteers, organized meetups, managed the food, the venue, etc. It was such an amazing experience.

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I had to quit Girlscript due to some personal issues. After Girlscript, I started getting involved in various communities in my city like GDG, WTM, etc. I started interacting with some community leaders and it was all fun. I came across a few wonderful women who inspired me every day. After all this, Microsoft Student Partner community applications came out and I was selected as an MSP and that came into my life with all the best possible things. In February 2019, due to all my contributions, the MSP community selected me to represent India in the MSP Asia Pacific Summit held in Sydney, Australia. I was among the top 20 people selected from the Asia Pacific region and I was the first one in my family who went abroad just at the age of 20. My parents were so proud of me. It was an amazing feeling. After this, in December 2019, MSP community gave me the topmost badge of it i.e., the Gold Badge. They also featured me on their social media platforms like Instagram, twitter. MSP Community is very close to my heart and I’ll always love and thank it for whatever it has given me.

Link to those posts :
CLICK HERE
CLICK HERE

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HOW I LANDED IN AMERICAN EXPRESS

Like everybody, I was searching for some summer internships in some good firm so that I could get a PPO and have my fourth year sorted. But it was not that easy as it seemed to be. Sometimes the eligibility said that only tier-1 students should apply, sometimes my application was not selected just because I didn't belong to some Tier-1 college, sometimes the written round, sometimes the interview. I was rejected by many big companies. Things were not getting as they were expected. I was losing hope. I thought my plan isn't working. But instead of sitting back and crying, I decided something for me again. I realized the importance of "Brand" and thought that I should target GATE now and go into some IIT. Now when I was taking my GATE classes, my core CS subjects were getting stronger.

I started having a good command over subjects like Computer System and Organization, Database Management System, Computer Networks, etc. So, now along with basic coding, I knew core subjects as well which prepared me fully for the interviews. Though I was not targeting any company that time I thought, to have a backup always works. So, I decided to sit in my college placements. Fortunately, I was placed in the first company that came to the college. I was relieved that now I have a backup. But still, I was focusing on the GATE exam only. Suddenly one day, I received a mail from Google saying that I have been selected for the Get Ahead APAC program which is going to prepare me for interviews by the googlers. I was very excited about it and I started attending all the sessions and solved all the problems. Along with this, I applied to GHCI which was again a turning point of my career. I was selected as a student scholar and was invited to the conference. It was one of the most amazing experiences I had.

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Meeting such talented, inspiring, wonderful women always gives me happiness and a zeal to do something in my life. I knew that I was going to have an opportunity for a Career Fair as well. So, before going there, I brushed up my skills because this was the last chance to get into something big. I went there and was called for an interview with American Express then and there. I gave several rounds of interview and I was selected. I was on cloud nine. Getting selected in American Express was like a dream come true. Even after that, I was approached by several different firms but I liked the team, the work that Amex gave me and so I didn't think of going anywhere else. I didn't appear for my GATE exam because I knew that I already got what I was looking for after GATE. Everything was a full maze and finally and fortunately, I reached where I always wanted to reach. I know this is not the end but it is an amazing start for me.

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LEARNING FROM MY JOURNEY

1) Having “Plan A” as well as “Plan B” works because you make plans based on what you are looking for. It is like a tree where you can choose any branch and move forward.
2) Try to do something which not everybody does. Try going the extra mile. Stop being a part of the ‘crowd’.
3) You are responsible for where you are now and only you can get yourself out of there.
4) It is okay to change your priorities at any given point of time if your end goal is clear.
5) Have faith. Not every day is your day.
6) Just keep walking. Stopping for a while is okay but stopping indefinitely is not good.
7) My college life came with some emotional challenges but I didn’t let that affect my goal and my aspirations.
8) Networking is the key.
9) You are not going to get everything in one go, you have to keep doing that till you get it.
10) Rejection is merely a redirection.
11) Make yourself a priority once in a while. It’s not selfish. It’s necessary.

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