Story of Supraja: A girl who codes
People can be roughly divided into those who talk and those who do. The second category is the rarer one. Why? Because doers are easily missed in a room full of people with loud voices.
Supraja Udayagiri is one such doer and her story starts in the quant little village of B Kodur, located in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. She likes to call herself a bookworm, an introvert who has a sharp mind and gentle manners.
In the first meeting, you’d never guess that this girl landed her first job with Amazon at the package of 30 lakhs CTC, fresh out of engineering college.
From the beginning
Supraja had humble beginnings. Her parents run a kirana store in Kodur and she has a younger brother who is currently in degree college.
The village of Kodur has very few lines in its Wikipedia description and is limited in what it can offer potentially brilliant students. Supraja’s mother recognised her daughter’s potential early in life and sent her to Nadyala, the nearby town for her schooling. She was in Grade 6 when she started her life as a hostel dweller.
While in school, Supraja had 2 plans.
Plan A: inspired by her uncle, she wanted to become a software engineer and land a job in an MNC. Her mother found out about a course in BVRIT and urged her to try for it. She’d need a student loan.
Had the loan not been approved, she would study to become a Chartered Accountant. “I’m good with maths and it costs much less.”
But her brilliance was not ignored. The bank manager was aware that she achieved a rank of 7070 in her college exam and helped her get 90% of the money she’d need to study in BVRIT.
And on she went to Hyderabad, a step closer to her dream.
The Hyderabad Chapter and TalentSprint
Supraja’s course was demanding. 10 hours away from home, she would need to take an overnight bus, if she wished to see her parents.
Despite the loneliness and the long hours, she managed to bag 2 internships. It was in her 2nd year that she was introduced to the Women In Software Engineering (WISE) program. Launched by TalentSprint, the program aims to skill and empower 1000 young women graduates who aspire for advanced technical roles in the global IT sector.
“This was a 300-hour program that introduced students to many modules like developing Java applications and competitive coding – all of which prepared us for cracking interviews with big MNCs. It also gave me the confidence that I lacked,” she said.
This was where Supraja had her first brush with public speaking. Her team developed a program that would solve the Minesweeper game. She had to present this in a seminar room full of 200 odd people. As expected, she aced this exercise with flying colours.
Landing her first break
For landing a job, Supraja was prepared. She participated in the nation-wide competition conducted by Amazon to recruit potential female employees. Out of 400 plus candidates, she was one of 3 selected for the job.
The village of Kodur is proud of their daughter and she is a local celebrity. When asked about what’s next, she humbly says that she’d like to do something for the upliftment of the community.
If she can spare any money, she’d like to travel and maybe work abroad for a few years. But in the end, she would like to come back home.
Supraja’s story is a stellar example of how perseverance beats all odds and hard work pays off. Wouldn’t you say?