A New Horizon to Pursue

Pre-Graduation Post

“Diamond doesn’t shine, it reflects.”

Four years ago I was in a dim light figuring out where I should go, what I should do in life. I was afraid I couldn’t open the right door. At the age of 16, I made a life decision pursuing a Bachelor in Computer Science despite knowing that being a woman in tech is so challenging.

I walked a step further decided to drop out of my childhood dream school, IFL, and focused on tech only. I was shaking as monkey back then. Nothing was certain even if the decision I made here guarantee anything at all. Yet the only thing I knew was tech skill. I need skill to survive, to pull myself from second-hand shop to new brand store. I keep telling myself, diamond doesn’t shine, it reflects. Sneak out of the comfort zone, find a light where your diamond can shine far and beyond!!!

What University Taught Me about Life

“Classes and Deadlines to Meet”

Life as a freshman began in late 2015. I was so glad I have got place to go after high school. A gleam of passion and commitment burned in me. First of all, I couldn’t believe I was a full scholarship recipient of AUPP. The school which is well known for its American curriculum, high standard and international quality etc... If you asked me to refer back to the interview date, I would tell you preparation creates luck. Preparation and time made me so ready to conquer for this one scholarship spot. I didn’t care who competed with me, I just knew I must win.

University life crawled slowly for 4 years. I chose Business Administration as a major at first. But then I decided to study Computer Science. I believe the world of creation is with technology. It’s the way to move forward, to stay ahead. (I sound so competitive ><) Although, it’s not easy, I’m so grateful I made this decision. Never that this is a regret in my life.

Now it’s time to catch up with deadline and classes’ assignments. I’ve learnt how important it is to deliver tasks on time. I admit that I was not disciplined enough through out my undergrad journey. I fought against punctuality for the entire 4 years. There I learn how to initiate and lead. I was so grateful also for having so supportive seniors and juniors. There was the time, I need work experiences and school provided that to me. I first worked at the library, next at the IT department, and finally I ended up working at corporate office. To me, university is both school and workplace.

Projects for social contribution brought me experiences I could never forget. My friends and I joined hand to bring good deeds to society. We named our initiative “Humanity Helping Hands.” We traveled to Siem Reap and Ratanakiri to donate books, water filter and more. As a sophomore, my friend and I led another project sponsored by the World Vision Cambodia organization. We had game booth, and flash mob. Business competition exposed me for the first time to entrepreneurship. It was when I started thinking of running my own business. Through out this whole experience, I was so grateful for advice and guidance, professors gave and guided me. I couldn’t thank enough for these type of opportunities. Volunteer for Microsoft translator hub as a student in IT was also memorable. The list goes on and on.

Friendship is something more than important to mention. I don’t think I could cope with all sorts to failures and stresses without friends standing besides awaiting for my weak, tired soul. They cheered me up, supported me all the way long. These friends remind me of all types of moments — happy, proud, disappointed, up and down. If you asked me had I ever cried. The answer is definitely YES. I cried when I failed. I cried when I lost the game. I cried when I felt lost. I crawled always, picked myself and stand back up against those failures. I have never been afraid to fail and start the game over. No matter how hard I fell, it’s the best lesson to stand back up. Life is hard, I was so grateful I was stretched up like this during the university.

“Life is but a dream”. I dream a life I want to live at the age of 25. I dream a professional life I want to have by the age of 20. I dream a country I want to visit by the time I graduated. I imagine a life I live day by day. “See it, then be it” is a quote I entitle my life to. Nothing is merrier than seeing all these dreams turn into reality slowly and gently. Looking back, I love every single step I made, every turn I had, every individual I met which led the way to where I am here today. Imagine if I made a different choice, imagine if I met other people, life would not be the same.

This is a quote to sum up my university journey, “to live my life like water — cold, cool, calm, strong, hot, high and low; yet wherever it goes, it never goes backward.” Thanks you for everything.

A Woman in Tech

“A goal-driven life after graduation.”

Frenetic, challenging, competitive are few words to describe how it’s like to be a woman in tech. To grab a seat, claim my place, break the wall are just another way to describe this phenomenon.

To define developer in computer science or technology point-of-view is a person who build an application whether it’s for a mobile phone, web browser, or organization system. “It’s like magic,” my friend said. I totally agree with him. All you need to get a work done is a computer and time to seat in front of it. Being in this field requires a self-driven commitment, a very high one. Besides classes, there are online classes where true programming lessons are being taught. Tons of projects out there to explore and study. Technology moves so fast. This is already a challenging game, yet once we master in it, there is high value added toward success.

I explore in this digital field from programming, designing, to data analytics. A wide range of skills are available for me pursue. I suddenly fall in love in data since the first time I was exposed to it. Lean more to corporate side and business analysis, data is a driven tool for all types of informed, strategic decision making. Utilizing analytic tools enables me to see clearer the boundary between victory and surrender. Then I decided to dive deeper in this field.

This journey has just started. This time I explore digital technology in a professional way, from a whole new point-of-view. Being a woman in tech can be tough , especially when I am not affirmative. Being judged, doubted of my ability in producing a quality outcome is a scenario of glass ceiling to break through. Hence, exploration cannot take forever, time is ticking and at last I must decide to master in any of these tech skills.

“Shoot for the Moon, at least I get a star” I told my grand father. Interestingly he responded, “In science, a star is much bigger than the moon. Moon is just an Earth’s satellite.” He is absolutely right. The lesson is to widen the horizon, aim for a star which may settle for the Moon.

“I Believe There Is Far More Than This Out There”

My profile on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kanika-montha-6356bb114/

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