This is the next installment of our blog series highlighting Microsoft Learn Student Ambassadors who achieved the Gold milestone and have recently graduated from university. Each blog in the series features a different student and highlights their accomplishments, their experience with the Student Ambassadors community, and what they’re up to now.
Today we meet Ayush Chauhan who is from India and graduated in December from JECRC University located in the city of Jaipur in Rajasthan in India. All the students interviewed so far have been very forthcoming in sharing their history and their experience, but Ayush kicked off the interview with a declarative “I have lots of things to say”, which was terrific!
Responses have been edited for clarity and length.
When you became a Student Ambassador in 2017, did you have specific goals you wanted to reach, such as attaining a particular skill or quality? What were they? Did you achieve them?
I applied on the Student Ambassador website. I was just obsessed with Microsoft from the Windows Lumia age, and I didn't know what the future was holding for me. My goal was to be able to write code or build software that will help people, or that will impact the developer and different communities. When I was creating a video to submit on the application, it was the first time I got my hands on Node.js & Bot framework. I learned it using Microsoft Docs, and I have never stopped learning since then. So yes, I was able to achieve my goal.
How has being in the Student Ambassador community impacted you in general besides helping you develop additional tech skills?
I landed my first internship in the second year just because of the bot I developed for my Student Ambassador application.
Being in this program, I got to learn from experts, and it has impacted my life because I was winning competitions, around 10 hackathons. It gave me huge confidence too that I can build anything I can think of and go on any stage to represent it. Microsoft has impacted me a lot in three years. It has accelerated my learning and ability to build anything I can imagine.
What were the accomplishments that you're the proudest of? And please give us details.
I won the 2018 India Capgemini Tech Challenge. I was in my third year at university, and over 3,500 working professionals participated in the Azure category. We had to build a chatbot, so I built a SAAS to help book writers to format or digitalize their writings without needing to wait for a person to write. It was the first time I realized that I can do anything, and age and appearance don’t matter. The only thing that matters is hard work and practice.
I built a dataset of 100 women’s colleges to help with the diversity and inclusion in our events. It created an opportunity to invite 5000+ STEM students to participate in global events and feel included in the tech community.
I was proud of the projects that I built in hackathons whether I won them or not. They involved everything from helping elder people with IoT home automation, to a chatbot for newborn children’s parents that can resolve their queries, and much more.
You graduated a couple few months ago. So what have you been up to since graduation?
After graduation I joined the School of Accelerated Learning, a startup [editor’s note: India’s first-ever hybrid coding bootcamp for millennials looking to build tech-focused careers]. I have been working to build quality and relevant education for the tech world. So, it is exactly what I believe in. It’s exactly how this program has empowered me to do. We don’t believe in theoretical curriculums or traditional classrooms. We believe in getting everyone ready for the future despite them being from diverse backgrounds. We tell them how to build industry-driven products by themselves. We explain them concepts, we try to build their mindset. We do activities that help them grow their innovation and built a tech-enabled environment that nurtures their growth mindset.
And I was working in the open-source community. Every time you go on GitHub and see a repository with a “deploy to Azure button” - I made that button, I redesigned it.
If you could redo things, is there anything you would have done differently while you were a Student Ambassador? Or would you have done things the same?
I don't think I would try to redo something because what’s happened, happened. My failures made me what I am today.
If you were to describe the Student Ambassadors community to a student who is interested in joining, what would you say to them?
I'll say “Hey, do you want to make some cool like-minded friends from all over the world? Do you want to gain knowledge and experience the future of productivity with Microsoft? Do want to have the benefits of Visual Studio Enterprise subscriptions?. Also do you want to learn from industry experts and also get a Microsoft certification? Well, this program has covered all of these benefits in a single package, so you won't stop learning because of less resources or no exposure.”
What advice would you give to new Student Ambassadors?
Always have the audacity to curiously ask questions. There is always a solution of how you can solve a hard-coded error. For that you need to avoid a know-it-all mindset. Don't just react on knowledge you’ve heard or seen. Go a step ahead, try to learn it all, implement it all. Whatever you want to build, whatever you see, whatever you want to know or add to your skill set, you should just go and learn it all. Learning is something that doesn't expire with age.
What is your motto in life, your guiding principle?
I go with the flow always. I never say no to any opportunity even if I know I'll be failing. I wake up every day knowing there’s something for me to learn. Nothing worth having comes easy. There’s so much love and energy to get up and run again, even after you fall if you love what you do. Also, I take care of burnouts. It’s surprising how something you love so much can hurt you a lot. I take breaks to recover, so I play games and listen to music in that time.
Good luck to you in the future, Ayush!
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