Aakanksha Joshi

Data Scientist at IBM

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If you like solving problems using math and science, then you belong in STEM.

What do you do?

I work with IBM clients to address some of their biggest business challenges using data science and machine learning driven solutions.

Why did you choose this field?

When I was pursuing my Bachelor’s in Computer Science and planning my next steps, I came across the field of Data Science and the work that the United Nations Global Pulse had done using data. I was fascinated by how data was being used to solve such big challenges and decided to specialise in this field. I applied to multiple universities but Columbia University was my dream. And eventually that dream turned into reality - I joined Columbia University Data Science Institute’s Master of Science in Data Science program in 2017 and graduated in 2019. Today, as part of the Data Science Elite Team at IBM, I’m solving some of the biggest Enterprise challenges using Data Science, and loving it!

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

Reading this question actually made me smile. Back in school I was a shy and bookish person who was an academic scholar but never participated in extra-curricular activities. When I started college, I decided that needed to change, and started participating more pro-actively in things happening all around the campus. I still try to carry that pro-active attitude. That decision led to multiple leadership and excellence awards throughout undergraduate and graduate school. My younger self would have never imagined graduating from an Ivy League school, let alone graduating with two awards for student leadership and contribution beyond academics.

Why do you love working in STEM?

I love solving problems! I wake up everyday with the excitement to work with data and build data-driven solutions that will help solve someone’s pain points in a robust and scalable way.

Best advice for next generation?

If you like solving problems using math and science, then you belong in STEM. Think about the kind of challenges you want to be addressing 5 or 10 years from now and then start building the skills which will help you get there.

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

“Optimism, pessimism, forget that, we’re going to make it happen.”

NOMINATE a woman in STEM

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