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Monthly Archives: September 2017

It’s official. The winner of the first annual VMware Achieve Scholarship is Nupur Banerjee, a Junior Computer Science major from Harvey Mudd College. The Achieve scholarship was created to provide a female student studying Computer Science or Computer Engineering $10,000 USD towards tuition and fees. Our goal with this scholarship is to support and inspire the broader community of women in technology.

Nupur truly embodies everything VMware was looking for in the recipient of the scholarship. When we asked her to describe herself in three words, she responded with caring, passionate and committed. These traits were not only evident on her application, but also shined when we had the chance to meet her in person. Even though her Computer Science classes, extracurricular activities, and volunteer roles keep her quite busy, Nupur still finds time to feed her other passions. She enjoys swing dancing, volleyball, singing and even playing the guitar. Growing up in the Bay Area, Nupur was exposed to the tech industry early on, but has made sure not to ignore the other passions that make her who she is.

While Nupur was visiting our VMware headquarters, we had the opportunity to get to know her even better – let’s just say we continued to be impressed and amazed. Read through the Q&A below to get to know this year’s VMware Achieve Scholarship winner, Nupur Banerjee!

 Q: You are currently enrolled at Harvey Mudd College. Why did you choose to go to school there? A: Harvey Mudd places value in learning, and not just in your specific field of study but rather a well-rounded approach to learning and education. A wide range of subjects are offered and encouraged to ensure students have a broad range of experience. The school genuinely wants students to make an impact on the world.  The ability to explore multiple subject areas allows me to understand how different fields overlap. I feel like this will be important once I enter the professional workplace.

Q: Did you always know you wanted to study Computer Science? A: Actually, no. I initially thought I wanted to go to medical school. It was during my freshman year of high school that I realized this was not the path I wanted to take. With the encouragement of my parents, who are both in tech, I took a course in Computer Science and I was hooked.

Q: Who is your current role model? A: Sheryl Sandberg. She recognizes there is a problem with underrepresentation of women in tech and she is actively doing things to address the problem. She also pushes others to do more and inspired me personally to actively make a difference in my own life and the lives of other women pursuing tech

Q: Let’s say it’s graduation day. What’s next? A: I am currently thinking about what is the best next step for me. I toss around the idea of both grad school and going immediately into the workplace.  If I had to say what I am leaning towards as of now, it would be entering the workplace and finding a role focusing on machine learning since that is my true passion. Ultimately, I just want to find a good fit and make the world a better place.

Q: What has been your personal experience as a woman pursuing a degree in Computer Science? A: Honestly at first, I did not notice any issues or problems. Then one day, my mom asked me how many girls were in my Computer Science class. When I started counting, I realized the answer was only 4. It was at that moment that I realized women really are underrepresented in Computer Science and tech, and I was motivated to get more girls to learn about these fields.

Q: You have many accolades. Can you tell us which one you are most proud of and why? A: Science Bus. This is a community outreach program where students from Harvey Mudd go to local elementary schools to teach STEM lessons. Many of the students we meet have parents who did not go to college and have very little exposure to STEM. I get to witness them realize the potential they have, which is very rewarding. One specific story that has stuck with me is when I asked the students to draw a picture of a scientist. All of them drew male figures in lab coats. By the end of the course, they were drawing themselves, their teachers, women, etc. They truly learned that anyone can have a STEM career!

Q: If you could give another female considering studying Computer Science a few words of wisdom, what would they be? A: I’d encourage them to try Computer Science with an open mind, and to do their best to surround themselves with people who encourage and support their professional interests and passions. Find a mentor or role model to learn from. In addition, try to be a mentor to someone else, regardless of where you are in your path, and do your best to reach out to other females in CS who are younger/less experienced, and share your experiences and advice.

Q: What motivated you to apply for the VMware Achieve Scholarship? A: When I first heard about the scholarship I did some research on VMware and realized the company does a lot for women in tech which aligns with my values and passions. By applying for the scholarship and hopefully winning, I hoped it would allow me to be a part of VMware’s diversity efforts. Also, school is expensive. To help with the financial burden, I work an on-campus job, however, this takes away from other volunteer and academic passions I could be pursuing.

Q: What did winning the VMware Achieve scholarship mean to you? A: Winning this scholarship gives me the opportunity to focus more on my volunteer activities, through my work with the Society of Women Engineers and Science Bus, and to focus less on the financial burden caused by school.

We want to congratulate Nupur on this wonderful accomplishment and we look forward to supporting her while she continues to impact those around her and pursue her dreams.

To Learn more about VMware Achieve and to be the first to know when applications open in 2018 visit here