The first word that comes to mind after hearing Poojitha Bijjam’s story is ‘trouble-shooter’. She is someone who loves solving problems – coding and non-coding alike. In fact, she loves it so much that she spends her free time looking for problems to solve. She also believes in motivating people around her by setting an example. This is her story.
A family of engineers
Born and brought up in Hyderabad, Poojitha knew early on in her life that she wanted to be an engineer. Watching her father – an electronics and electrical engineer – work was perhaps the catalyst to her being interested in the subject.
Poojitha says that she never really liked circuits much; what she did love was computers. She did her intermediate from one of the best and strictest schools in Hyderabad – Sri Chaitanya Junior College.
Poojitha describes her high school experience with some amount of woe balanced with gratitude. She says that in school the sole focus was on academics and, so she became a bookworm. While this situation was not ideal for a robust social life, it did help her score a whopping 97.8% in her 12th boards.
Her amazing marks secured her a seat at Vasavi College of Engineering, Hyderabad in computer science engineering.
College life was fairly different from school life. While in school, studies were the only focus, in college Poojitha could enjoy other activities such as being a part of the Toastmaster’s Club, Quiz Club, Science Club, etc.
As someone who believes in self-learning, Poojitha constantly picked up new things. This trait of constant upskilling is something she credits to her grandfather – an entrepreneur who taught her the value of being self-motivated.
TalentSprint’s Women Engineers program, supported by Google
At the end of her third year at college, the placement cell told the students about TalentSprint’s WE program. Supported by Google, this program trains women engineers from all across the country and makes them industry-ready. The intent is to bridge the gender divide in India’s technology sector and create world-class engineers.
When Poojitha heard about the program, she knew she had to try for it. She got through the interview and it was time for her to attend the month-long bootcamp at TalentSprint.
From her college, few other girls were selected to be a part of the program and among them were her friends. As you can imagine, she felt right at home at the bootcamp.
Learnings from WE
At the bootcamp, the girls are taught how to write clean codes that are industry-ready. Poojitha says, “we learned some crucial coding principles at the bootcamp. It was very different from learning how to code in college…in college, teachers would just give us a book and ask us to go through it. But here at WE, we had to self-learn, understand and implement whatever we learned within days. That helped a lot. Also, Asokan was a great teacher.” Poojitha was referring to Asokan Pichai – the Chief Learning Officer at TalentSprint.
Added to that, the girls were taught competitive programming – something they didn’t learn in college. Poojitha recalls that after class every day, the girls were given two coding problems to solve. Later, they would discuss how they approached and went about solving these problems with each other.
“Everyone thinks very differently and this exercise helped me understand the different ways in which a problem can be solved,” Poojitha recalls. Her communication skills also improved. She claims she became much more outspoken and confident after the bootcamp.
A job in Cisco
After the bootcamp, Poojitha applied for a 6-month internship at Cisco. She had to undergo 7-8 rounds of interview before getting selected.
“WE had made my foundation strong and I could recognise and categorise different algorithms and solve them easily. This helped crack the interview,” says Poojitha.
Today, she has a full-time job with Cisco as a consulting engineer. Sometime in the near future, she’d like to become a senior engineer, lead a team and work on her own project. With her motivation and passion for learning, we know she’ll overcome any and every obstacle that comes her way.