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 Ambassadorscommunity, and what they’re up to now.
Today we’d like to introduce Nandita Gaur who is from India and recently graduated from ABES Engineering College with a degree in Computer Science and Engineering.
Responses have been edited for clarity and length.
When you joined the Student Ambassador community in 2019, did you have specific goals you wanted to reach, such as a particular skill or quality? What were they? Did you achieve them? How has the program impacted you in general?
Microsoft has always been my dream organization, so when I got to know about this amazing program by Microsoft for students, I had to join. Before joining the community, my goals were oriented towards my personal growth. I wanted to enhance my resume by learning new skills, meet new people around the globe working on various technologies, and meet people of Microsoft. Now that I have graduated from this program, I have grown so much as a person. I have achieved all my goals. In fact, a lot more than that. I am a lot more confident in public speaking skills as compared to before. I have learned about Cloud Computing, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence, gained knowledge about various Microsoft products, and I have met various impactful personalities around the globe.
The Student Ambassadors community has impacted me so much. My mindset has changed. I have realized that emphasizing just only on the personal growth is not going to help you much in the life. It’s all about making an impact. It’s about how many people are going to get benefitted by the work you do.
What are the accomplishments that you’re the proudest of and why?
I have conducted many events, thus impacting a lot of people, but one thing that I am truly proud of is winning the Azure Developer Stories contest, a blogging contest held in April 2020 wherein we had to document a project based on Machine Learning. I didn’t really know Machine Learning before this contest, but since it was declared during lockdown, I had all the time to study. So I referred to Microsoft Learn and based on all the knowledge I gathered from it, I made a project on COVID-19 Analysis using Python. I just couldn’t believe it when the results were announced. I was declared winner among all the Student Ambassadors of India. This boosted my confidence a lot.
“Nothing is tough; all it takes is some dedication.”
I was too reluctant to start Machine Learning then because it covers a lot of mathematics, something which I tried to avoid for as long as possible. I couldn't find good resources to study Machine Learning online, and this contest by the Student Ambassador community introduced me to a well-structured course on Microsoft Learn on Machine Learning. I had no reason to procrastinate. I had the all the resources. I had to start learning.
I am really proud of all the learning I have gathered about Machine Learning and fighting the habit of procrastination.
What do you have planned after graduation?
I will be working as a Support Engineer with the Microsoft India CE&S team on Dynamics 365. I also plan to keep mentoring the students of my college so that they can achieve more than they think they can.
If you could redo your time as a Student Ambassador, is there anything you would have done differently?
I could have made much more connections. Although I have made a lot of friends, I was reluctant in the beginning to talk to anyone. I didn’t prefer speaking much. If I had spoken more, then I would have probably got the chance to be a speaker at Microsoft Build or Ignite.
If you were to describe the community to a student who is interested in joining, what would you say about it to convince him or her to join?
It is a wonderful opportunity that grooms your personality and helps you evolve as a person. You get to meet talented people across the globe and learn various technologies with them and make strong connections that may help you in your career. You get to know what’s going inside Microsoft and about the Microsoft mission, its culture and values, and you build a close connection with Microsoft employees who mentor you in making projects, provide you valuable career tips, and also provide you with various speaking opportunities at international conferences. You will know what’s going around the world in the field of technology and have a clearer picture of how technology can be used to create an impact in this world.
What advice would you give to new Student Ambassadors?
Push aside your inhibitions and start talking around. Start discussions, involve yourself in conversations, and conduct useful events that may help the students of your local community at University.
Just organizing events is not helpful. You have to attend sessions too. All the speakers from Microsoft are immensely talented professionals who have interesting knowledge to offer that is going to help you at every point in your career. You have a lot to take and to offer. So take full advantage of the opportunities that the Student Ambassadors team is offering you.
Do you have a motto in life, a guiding principle that drives you?
During lockdown I was much too demotivated. There was a lot of negativity in the environment. To top it off, placement season for post-graduation job was overhead. I had lost my productivity because of all the chaos around and felt like I am making no progress in life. Luckily I landed on this song called “Hall of Fame” by an Irish band “The Script”. It is an inspirational song that says you can do anything you set your mind to as long as you believe in yourself and try. It motivated me to get up and start working, so I made this song my guiding principle.
What is one random fact few people know about you?
I am good at palmistry. My classmates in the high school consulted with me, showing their hands to me to know about their future, personality, and what could be done to improve it. Even teachers too! I enjoyed this fame but eventually realized that this does not help with anything except unnecessary worrying among the folks for their future. When I moved to college, I kept this skill as a secret. Actually, I have given up this job completely, so please don’t consult me for this (LOL).