Anukriti Phophalia

Software Engineer, Visa

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What will matter is that you did not give up and built your character and resilience.

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I enable businesses to get insights from their data and make recommendations. This enables them to make actionable decisions and grow. For this purpose I build data pipelines, APIs and web applications which gives my clients an easy to use platform for their business.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?

I am born in India in a family of doctors. However, I liked Mathematics and Chemistry in school, that interest made me pursue Engineering as opposed to Medicine. My parents always supported my decisions. I pursued Electronics and Communication Engineering then went abroad to complete a Masters. Software engineering happened by chance as I realized in my first job the power of data. My clients wanted the massive and cluttered data to be presented to them in simple and meaningful ways. I worked on tools which enabled visualization of this information. I call them data tales or data stories. Now I am building those tools and applications which enable further customization for a diverse audience. My role model are my parents who have taught me the philosophy of 'Learn, Unlearn and Relearn' as technologies continue to evolve.

WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"

I used to compare myself with others in gym class, in school, in university. Now I know better. In the world there are so many people each with their own unique qualities and abilities. Every individual is unique. You should never compare yourself to others. Your only goal should be to become a better version of yourself. Now I only compete with myself. Some days I win, Other days I lose. On the days I lose, I learn more. The other challenge with comparison is lack of confidence to pursue new things because of fear of failure. I wish younger me knew that taking risks and failing at things will be the best education of all.

WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?

I love working in STEM as no single day is like the previous day. I thrive knowing that there is so much for me to learn in my field. I cherish the little accomplishments. I look forward to interacting with colleagues where I can share my experiences and learn from them. On some days I get overwhelmed by how little I know. Those days I used my existing knowledge and skills to complete my deliverables.

BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?

My advice to young girls is to not be afraid of Science and Mathematics. Don’t learn to pass quizzes and exams. Learn to enjoy the lessons and understand how things work, why they work, how they are used. When you will be older you will realize it does not matter who came first in class or who was far behind, what will matter is that you did not give up and built your character and resilience.

INSPO / FUN FACT

Strive for excellence, not perfection.

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