Scholarship Finalist Invited to Googleplex

March 28, 2008

Aditi Suhas Pendharkar, a first-year graduate student at the College of Engineering's Information Networking Institute (INI), has been selected as a Google Anita Borg Scholarship finalist, an award given to women who excel in computer science, technology and leadership. Aditi will receive $1000 and will attend the 2008 Google Scholars' Retreat at Googleplex in Mountain View, California in early April. Scholarship recipients and finalists from around the world will attend the event's workshops and presentations.

"All the scholarship recipients will have the chance to meet and network," said Aditi, who is pursuing a Master of Science in Information Networking.

Industry exposure has led to promising opportunities for Aditi in the past. Last fall, the INI awarded her a trip to the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference, where she met a Google employee who later told her about the scholarship program.

For her scholarship application, Aditi wrote essays on her work experience as an electronics engineer for India's Ministry of Defense and as an intern for Bhabha Atomic Research Center, two positions where she earned leadership roles. Now a full-time student, Aditi continues to look for areas of industry that could benefit from the analytical and problem-solving skills she has acquired thorough her engineering studies and hands-on experience.

In her other application essays, Aditi presented ideas to improve quality of life and professional opportunities for women through the use of virtual communities and mobile applications. All of the essays were detailed proposals backed by technology. She worked hard to prove she had not only visionary ideas but also the knowledge to implement them.

"I come from a strong technical background, and I want to apply that to real life problems," said Aditi. "That's one of the reasons I chose the INI because it gives you a very good interdisciplinary education in business, strategy and policy that goes hand-in-hand with technology."

With one year under her belt, Aditi still has time make the most of her graduate studies.

"As an international student, the university gives you so many opportunities. Carnegie Mellon is about more than just getting grades, a degree and a job," said Aditi. "There is the whole Carnegie Mellon experience out there."

The doors continue to open for her. She was recently elected the 2008-2009 Chair of the student organization Women@INI (WINI), which runs academic, social and outreach events. Having two papers selected for publication at conferences, one in Maryland and the other in Dubai, Aditi was able to obtain funding from the Graduate Student Assembly to present her paper in Maryland. Aditi has a knack for finding opportunities. No doubt, her next challenge is waiting for her at the Google Scholars' Retreat.