Today we meet Jasleen Sondhi who recently graduated with a Master of Science in Data Science from Christ University in India.
Responses have been edited for clarity and length.
Tell us your degree and what university you attend?
I will graduate with a Master of Science in Data Science (MSc Data Science) from Christ University, in India.
When did you join the Student Ambassadors community?
I joined the Microsoft Learn Student Ambassadors community right amid the pandemic. I was pursuing my bachelor’s degree in physics, mathematics, and Computer Science at the time. I was unmotivated due to the pandemic and recovering from a medical condition and was just looking for something to help me feel aligned with my goals, and growth. That is when I stumbled across the MLSA program and was accepted in August 2020.
What was being a Student Ambassador like?
Being a Student Ambassador for the Microsoft Learn Student Ambassador program was an exciting and rewarding experience. As a Student Ambassador, I had the opportunity to represent Microsoft and promote the company's educational resources to fellow students on my campus and beyond.
As a woman in tech from India, being a Student Ambassador also allowed me to break stereotypes and challenge gender norms in the field. Women are still underrepresented in the technology industry in India, and being a Student Ambassador gave me a platform to inspire and empower other girls to pursue their interests in tech.
Throughout my time as a Student Ambassador, I also gained valuable leadership, communication, and teamwork skills that have helped me in my academic and professional endeavours.
Making friends in any new program can be a daunting task, but I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly and easily I was able to connect with other Student Ambassadors from around the world.
At the beginning of the program, we were given access to an online community where we could interact with each other, share our ideas, and collaborate on projects. Through this platform, I was able to engage in meaningful conversations with other Student Ambassadors and build relationships with individuals who shared similar interests and passions.
Jasleen at the Microsoft Bangalore Office on a field visit for MLSAs organized by Deepak Rajendran.
Was there a specific experience you had while you were in the program that had a profound impact on you and why? For example – being involved in a Social Impact Project, Networking with a Cloud Advocate or MVP (Microsoft Most Valuable Professional), Mentoring another Student Ambassador?
Oh, there is not just one!
My work on the Social Impact Project with Vidushi Gupta and Sayantani Dey on an app that was built solely using Power Apps and the Microsoft environment, was truly a revolutionary experience and a testament to our technical expertise and ability to leverage the latest technologies for social good. The app itself, designed to help women find the safest walking route using street light data, was a brilliant idea that addressed a critical social issue in India. Our work on Safety Pins was a shining example of how technology can be used to create positive social change and make a real difference in people's lives.
You can learn more about Safety Pins through the GitHub Repo here: https://github.com/Vidushi-Gupta/SafetyPins. Additional contributors include Student Ambassadors Vidushi Gupta and Sayantani Deb.
Additionally, the experiences of working with Jasmine Greenway, Senior Academic Cloud Advocate at Microsoft, on the R Lessons for Data Science of Beginners course, and presenting the Clustering module in R with Carlotta Castelluccio, Cloud Developer Advocate, on Learn Live were truly exceptional. Collaborating with Jasmine on the Beginners course gave me the opportunity to learn from the best in the field and create a course that truly meets the needs of beginners in data science. Presenting the Clustering module in R with Carlotta Castelluccio on Learn Live helped me gain the ability to effectively communicate complex concepts in a live setting, enhancing my technical knowledge and communication skills.
Lastly, mentoring Pashilkar and helping her host an event on “NLP using Tensorflow” was a rewarding experience that allowed me to share my knowledge and expertise in Data Science. Aside from technical support, mentoring Shradha also involved providing guidance on soft skills, networking, and forging a career path in data science. I also helped her upgrade to the Beta milestone from Alpha, which was a true example of growing together.
Jasleen giving a presentation on hackathons and SafetyPins to Data Science students at Christ University in India
Tell us about a technology you had the opportunity to gain a skillset in during your time as a Student Ambassador? How has this skill you acquired helped you in your post-university journey?
Learning Data Science and Cloud Computing skills in the Microsoft Learn Student Ambassador program was a crucial step in my career development, and it is no surprise that it helped me secure an internship as a Data Analyst at HSBC in the final semester of my degree.
The program provided me with access to innovative tools and technologies and allowed me to learn from some of the best in the field.
Jasleen hosting a Git and Github workshop to Data Science Undergrad and Postgrad students at Christ University in India.
What is something you want all students, globally, to know about the Microsoft Learn Student Ambassador Program
The Microsoft Learn Student Ambassador program is a fantastic opportunity for students worldwide to gain valuable technical skills, connect with like-minded peers, and build their professional network. It provides students with access to a wealth of resources, including innovative tools and technologies, hands-on experience, and mentorship from industry experts. So, if you have the opportunity to apply, go for it and never look back.
What advice would you give to new Student Ambassadors, who are just starting off in the program?
As seen a lot on my Twitter feed, “Come for the swag, stay for the community!”
For new Student Ambassadors who are just starting off in the program, my advice would be to make the most of this fantastic opportunity. Here are some specific tips that can help you succeed:
Be proactive: Ask questions, talk to other ambassadors, and connect with people who have been in the program before you.
Develop your technical skills: Learn a lot and implement a lot. Do not be afraid of starting up new initiatives that you think would make a difference.
Network: Building connections with fellow Student Ambassadors and industry professionals is essential for success in any field. Attend events, join communities, and be active on social media to connect with others and expand your network.
Be creative and innovative: Use your skills and expertise to develop new ideas and solutions that can make a positive impact in your community.
Share a favorite quote with us! It can be from a movie, a song, a book, someone you know personally. Tell us why you chose this. What does it mean for you?
Before my love for tech came into the picture, I was married to English Literature! This quote is my favorite "Do not go gentle into that good night" by Dylan Thomas. It also had a feature in one of my favourite movies, Interstellar.
The quote can mean a lot of things to a lot of people but to me it’s inspirational. It motivates me to not give up and keep working towards my goal/ideal life/passion despite the inevitability of everything in the universe in the larger scheme of things. In short, fight complacency and go after what you want. It’s always worth it and so are you!
Tell us something interesting about you, about your journey:
When I started off the program, I was completely clueless and unsure of the future. The program, first, gave me a feeling of belonging as I made some friends for life. Surrounding myself with people like that gave me the necessary push to convert my adversity into strength. The interesting thing is that growing up, people around me kept telling me that I would be a great teacher/mentor, but I never believed them. But, coming out on the other side of the program, I have emerged as an eloquent public speaker and a talented, fun mentor. Between that and my confidence that I belong in tech, this program made sure that I learned a lot and had the time of my life while being an undergrad and postgrad student.
You can follow Jasleen at the following social media platforms to learn more about her journey: