This series highlights Microsoft Learn Student Ambassadors who achieved the Gold milestone and have recently graduated from university. Each blog features a different student and highlights their accomplishments, their experience with the Student Ambassadors community, and what they’re up to now.
Today we’d like to introduce Riya Mistry, who is from India and recently graduated from the Dharmsinh Desai Institute of Technology.
Responses have been edited for clarity and length.
When you became a Student Ambassador in 2019 in your third year of college, did you have any specific goals you wanted to reach, like attain a skill or work on a particular quality? What were they, and did being a Student Ambassador help you achieve them?How has being in the community impacted you in general?
Since the idea of global tech communities was not well known in my local college communities, my main goal was to first get familiar with the learning, growth, and opportunities provided by the Student Ambassadors community and then help to expand the reach of it to my college and people around me. The main technology that I was passionate about initially was cloud computing, and joining this community helped me greatly in terms of learning about Azure. I now even have the certification in it, so I was able to achieve that goal. Also, in general, being a member of this community helped me gain more confidence to speak up in public, which I had feared the most.
What were some of the accomplishments that you're proudest of and why?
There are many accomplishments, but the one I am most proud about was the day when it was announced that I had reached the Gold milestone [editor's note: this is the highest level one can attain as a Student Ambassador]. After joining this community and then getting to know about the different milestones, I never thought I would be able to reach the Gold one. Apparently, my hard work and passion for the community caught the attention of the program’s Community Program Managers, who recommended that I be promoted to the status of Gold Ambassador.
The second accomplishment is the event which I hosted, “Introduction to Apache Spark”. It was approximately a 1.5hr event and had the highest number of attendees out of events organized in my institution, even in the lockdown; attendees showed keen interest in learning until the very end. It felt like a huge accomplishment that I had helped people to get familiar with something new.
What do you have planned after graduation? What’s next for you?
I have joined as a Software Engineer Intern at Crest Data Systems, a leading provider of custom solutions in the areas of data analytics, cybersecurity, ITOps/AIOps, DevOps, and cloud￼. I help them with security analytics and automation projects to detect real-time threats using cloud technology. In my free time, I do a little bit of coding and give back to the community by conducting sessions and helping others new in the Student Ambassadors program to get familiar with what is required.
If you could redo your time in the Student Ambassador community, is there anything you would have done differently?
I am mostly satisfied with the time and opportunities I had being in the program, so I don't think I would redo anything, although I do feel if something can be changed, I might have joined the community a little bit earlier, in my 2nd year of college.
If you were to describe the community to a student who is considering joining, what would you say to convince them to join?
If you love to be around a community of like-minded people, if you love new technology and like to explore each and every new thing you hear, then this is the best place you can join. Come be a part of the most diverse community where you will learn communication, management, marketing--and don’t forget--technical skills. It’s the best experience someone could wish for as a student.
And what advice would you give to new Student Ambassadors?
My advice to new Student Ambassadors is to keep learning new things, talk to folks, ask questions if you have any. There are plenty of people here to help you out in the community. And most importantly, be active in the program, as opportunities are innumerable each and every day. Organize your first event, take part in Hackathons, and contribute to your best to give back to the community.
Do you have a motto in life, a guiding principle that drives you?
My motto for life is "Every expert was once a beginner". That helps me learn and explore new things without having the fear of failure.
Lastly, on a lighter note, can you share a random fun fact about yourself that few people are aware of?
Apart from technology, I enjoy cooking and trying different cuisines and creating my own version of it. Also anything is delicious when cheese is added to it! Bit of a cheese lover.
Thank you, Riya, and good luck to you in all your future endeavors!