Tips to Be the Best You Can Be

Aishwarya is a globetrotting individual who has moved across the continents in her life so far. A student of mechanical engineering at UNSW, she holds a myriad of interests within STEM ranging from R&D to coding. She has recently won her first hackathon and has definitely caught the hackthon-bug.

What were the first few steps you took to pursue your field in STEM?
I took engineering drawing courses starting in high school. As my teacher back then said, it is the language to communicate engineering ideas, so that gave me a taste of what lies ahead. Other than that, I always enjoyed fixing things and putting them together.

What message do you have for girls who aspire to be like you?
Never give up. No matter what gets in your way, always push through. It’s okay to slow down and take a break, but if it’s something you want, always come back to it. Don’t be afraid to fail, more often than not, it’s a learning experience and you can always get back up from it. Also, don’t shy away from getting help. Some of us get intimidated to do so because of what others may think, but no one really thinks much about it, and usually getting help puts you ahead of a lot of people.

What has been the most rewarding about your career/interest?
It has enabled me to meet so many passionate people and learn about their stories and their approach towards life.

What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Anxiety and Imposter syndrome.

How do you maintain positivity and motivation despite obstacles or barriers?
The simple trick that has worked for me is to simply show up. Once I’m actually there, I often figure out how to go about managing everything else, and there on I try to remind myself that I can do it and I am a capable person. In terms of dealing with anxiety, I’ve got help and a support system around me to keep me going.

Is it ever too late to enter a STEM field if you've started out on a different path?
I sincerely think it’s never late. If you hold the interest for it, you can always jump into STEM field. A lot of ideas and thoughts from other fields might in fact be helpful in how you see and understand various STEM concepts because you will have a unique perspective and that may very well give you an edge over others.

What motto or core values do you live by?
At the end of the day, what really matters is whether or not you’re good to everyone. Empathy is the single most powerful thing because it opens gateways to truly connect with people.

What message do you have for girls who aspire to be like you but don't believe that it's possible?
The trick is in simply showing up and then you figure things out as you go. So go ahead and take that baby step!

Do you have a passion for the Arts or anything involving creativity? What are your thoughts on the integration of art and STEM and if applicable, how do you integrate the Arts with STEM?
I most certainly do. If not engineering, I would have probably pursued Industrial Design or Fine Arts. Growing up, I have always loved sketching, and I still do. It’s almost therapeutic for me to draw, and also, it helps me exercise my creativity. Creativity, I believe, is very important in STEM, because that is what allows us to push boundaries and bring about newer and more effective solutions to problems.

Have Anything in Common?