Akriti Dhasmana, a Next Genius Scholar fulfilled her dream of working at Chartbeat.
Akriti Dhasmana has pursued her graduation from Union College, New York, with a double major in Computer Science & English and a minor in Mathematics.
Akriti learned about The Next Genius Scholarship Program while she was schooling at Amity International School, New Delhi. For her, Next Genius was the only way to go to the US for further studies because her family did not have sufficient funds. This was a blessing for her because she got to pursue her dreams and career. She mentioned that she actively participated in many extracurricular activities at her school, which helped her application at Union stand out.
On being interviewed about her choice of selecting Union College in the Next Genius Level 2, Akriti shared, “The reason I chose Union is that it is a liberal arts college and not just limited to STEM. They allow you to double major and there is a small classroom structure”.
When she was asked about her experience of settling in at Union College, she said, “It was challenging to go to a new place, learn about their culture and understand what is acceptable and unacceptable there. However, Union does a great job of providing resources for this, such as the ‘International Students Orientation’, which is held for all international students enrolling at Union and starts one week before the larger orientation for all incoming students. It is a great way to gel with others. I could relate a lot to the other international students”.
Akriti has been proactive throughout her time at Union College. She has engaged in many activities and left no opportunity of doing something extraordinary. She was involved with different activities on campus and led various clubs, so she could interact more with other students. She was the editor-in-chief of the college newspaper and the President of ACMW (Association of Computer Machinery for Women), the only Computer Science club on campus, which was the most rewarding role for her.
Apart from these achievements, Akriti aced her academics too. According to her, “The US education system is very different from the one in India. In the US, they focus more on actual learning and communicating with professors, which helps in developing soft and hard skills that are necessary for your future career”. She excelled in Technology, Math and English. During her first summer at Union, she did research with her Computer Science advisor and continued to work with him for two years. This helped her to get an internship during her sophomore year with IBM because they were hiring someone essentially from Union for that role, which worked out for her.
Additionally, out of her passion for growing, Akriti got to do the Hack New York fellowship, which is another opportunity for students to work with start-ups. She has done two jobs on campus. She has relied heavily on the Fellowships Office at Union for more internship opportunities through their resume and interview preparation workshops. She was even a student assistant and computer lab assistant for a brief period on campus. Akriti mentioned, “Balancing in between so many things is exhausting at times, but planning and organizing in advance makes them doable".
For her future plans after graduation, she is in the process of applying for scholarships and fellowships for grad school. If not that, then she would look for a job and work for a while first. She has also been considering a few PhD programs. Currently, she is working as a Data Engineer at Chartbeat. She is very grateful to the Union Fellowships Office and the Dean for motivating and supporting her throughout.
While concluding, she shared some tips for future Next Genius applicants. She said, “Be open to learning diverse subjects and have diverse interests. You should be a jack of all trades. Start your internships from the sophomore year itself. Remember to be as productive as you can and make the most out of everything”. To apply for the Next Genius Scholarship Program, visit www.next-genius.com.