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 Hemshree Madaan who is from India and recently graduated from Bharati Vidhyapeeth’s College of Engineering in New Delhi.
Responses have been edited for clarity and length.
When you joined the Student Ambassadors 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?
The only goal of mine when I joined the famous Microsoft Learn Student Ambassadors program was to empower and help every individual in their professional journey. This was inspired by Microsoft, as I loved how the company enables individuals to go above and beyond.
I started to set achievable goals to help the community folks with collaborative learning. During my tenure, I realized that the growth we can achieve alone is linear while the growth which happens along with the community is exponential, driving me more towards community building.
Through this journey of mine, I also learnt the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion. On noticing the lesser participation of women in our community, I started to take more collaborative and inclusive initiatives to encourage women to pursue their technical interests. This not only helped many of my peers from less represented groups to gain the required skills and confidence to begin the pursuit of their career in tech but also helped them to seek mentorship with amazing mentors out there.
It has been an awesome journey.
In the program, what was the one accomplishment that you’re the proudest of and why?
In April 2020, I conducted an event that was intended to increase the participation of women in the Student Ambassador program. Along with some fellow Student Ambassadors, I organized a three-day event where we featured Pablo Veramendi (Global Program Manager of Microsoft Learn Student Ambassadors Program and Imagine Cup), Aparna Mittal (Microsoft Community Program Manager), Miri Rodriguez (Microsoft Head of Global Internship Program) and Dona Sarkar (Director of Technology – Microsoft Accessibility).
The event started with amazing keynotes by the speakers, and after the successful completion of this event, Miri and Dona provided a mentorship opportunity to three lucky women attendees. I never saw such huge participation of women from within the community, around 300. Through this event, I got to know the importance of taking small initiatives. To create an impact, all you need to do is to take initiatives. We just have to step out of our comfort zone and have faith in ourselves.
Is there another accomplishment you’d like to discuss?
Being a Gold Microsoft Learn Student Ambassador, I have been able to conduct multiple workshops, sessions and hackathons. Not just that, I’ve also been able to guide my fellow community folks to explore new ideas and engage in the community. I still remember how nervous I was while conducting my first event. But as soon as I started engaging with the community more, this fear of the unknown vanished. I became the person that I used to dream about becoming someday.
What do you have planned now that you’ve graduated? What’s next for you?
I’ll be starting my corporate journey, as I’m planning to gain some professional experience, though one of my future goals is to pursue graduate studies and then get into the field of Data Science and Business Analytics as I’m highly impressed by the insights which data can provide.
Along with this, I plan to continue contributing to the community and helping those who are juggling with the struggles I used to face.
If you could redo your time with the Student Ambassadors community, is there anything you would have done differently?
I joined when my sophomore year was about to end. The only thing that I would redo is to join the program in my freshman year. This would have given me even more opportunities to contribute to the community. Furthermore, who knows what more cherished moments I could have experienced.
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?
If you’re passionate about technology and want to explore it in depth, this program is for you. It offers a plethora of opportunities to upskill yourself, gain technical and interpersonal skills, and create an impact.
Trust me, this community brings surreal experiences and uplifting people under one roof. With super talented folks and supportive program managers, this program can offer the push you need to start your professional journey.
What advice would you give to new Student Ambassadors?
When you help the community, the community helps you back. Keep contributing to the community as much as possible because we rise by lifting others. Be an active part of the community and help others as much as you can.
Generally, most of us are confined to our comfort zone. Pushing yourself is the key. Surround yourself with people who have an uplifting mindset. The community is abundant with people with whom you can connect and grow.
It is hard to accept failure, but it takes even more courage to keep trying after you fail. Always remember one thing - we never lose, we either win or we learn. Experience is the absolute teacher.
Knowledge sharing can take you places. Initially, you won’t realize the wonders it can do, but eventually you will see this in the long run. If you know something, explain it to the folks around you because experience sharing is also a key part of the communities.
Don’t underestimate the power of collaboration. As a Student Ambassador, there will be numerous occasions where you’ll get the opportunity to collaborate with your fellow mates. In this manner, you can meet and learn with the community members.
Do you have a motto in life, a guiding principle that drives you?
“Grow through what you go through!"
Situations can be complex at times but you must develop yourself through the experience. Having a growth mindset in every situation helps you bloom wherever you are planted.
What is one random fact few people know about you?
I love exploring new places, and you can find me travelling. I am also fond of calligraphy, and I generally practice it in my leisure time.
Best of luck to you in your future endeavors, Hemshree!