Saying that Harshitha A.V.L. is passionate does not do justice to her character. This Hyderabad-based women engineer goes out of her way to help people, mentor them and give them a direction. Why? Because she knows what it’s like being directionless, meandering about without a clue of where she is headed.
Only 22 years old, she has taken it upon herself to guide those in need of guidance as much as possible. She is who we call a true leader. And this is her story.
A versatile child
Harshitha’s mother is an academician and her father, an accountant. Both of them have been working on computer-related roles throughout their careers. So, choosing to study computer science engineering came very naturally to Harshitha. What helped nurture the interest were the programming languages taught at school every year.
While in school, Harshitha was very versatile. You would find her either journaling – something she still does, or painting or playing basketball or debating. She also had a yearning to lead others around her.
When it came to academics, she was always in the top three. In fact, in 10th grade, she was named the Best Student of the Year.
Am I good enough?
This is a question that plagues a lot of us, from time to time. It was in her plus two that Harshitha, too, faced this question. From a topper in her 10th grade, Harshitha became a fairly average student in her plus two.
She worked hard, but the results were nowhere to be seen. She couldn’t crack the JEEs and her dream of getting into IIT or NIT went kaput. It was a very difficult time indeed.
What helped was coding. Harshitha recalls that in her first year of college—Vasavi College of Engineering—coding helped her find herself. The outside world didn’t matter. What mattered was the thrill she felt when she tinkered with lines of code.
The initial feelings of self-doubt gave way to more positive feelings and this transition was reflected in Harshitha’s college work. She won the Future Leader Award in her 2nd year.
In her third year, she developed an application that has more than a 1000+ downloads. In addition to that, Harshitha was also one of the 172 students in the Developer Student Club by Google Developer.
What she still lacked was a sense of direction – a mentor who’d show her how to use her skills the best way possible. And that was when WE, offered by TalentSprint, supported by Google came into her life.
Supported by Google, WE aims at bridging the alarming gender gap in India’s technology sector by nurturing and training 600+ women engineers by 2022. Harshitha was selected for the program and she was off to the month-long bootcamp.
She recalls being intimidated in her first week and feared what would happen if she couldn’t perform.
But, Harshitha soon found that her fears were baseless. She says, “at WE I got what I had been long searching for… mentors. Whenever I felt self-doubt, I would talk to my mentors and they would teach us the skills required to learn anything fast…that helped in my internship later.”
Harshitha recounts an incident where she was asked to present a paper she had written. Although terrifying, the experience helped her gain confidence.
After the bootcamp
Back from the bootcamp, Harshitha was armed with self-confidence and the ability to learn things fast. As a result, her placement went seamlessly and she had offers from Oracle, TCS Digital and ServiceNow. When she was confused on what to take up, her mentors helped.
Today, she is working at Oracle and doing everything she can to give back to the community. She has now taken up the role of a mentor herself, guiding the next batch of WE students.
As far as future plans go, Harshitha would eventually like to work on an AI interface that saves lives by detecting ailments early on.
Passionate, helpful and versatile, Harshitha is a leader in the true sense and we are very proud of her.