Sakshi Rambhia’s mom pawned mangalsutra to send her to the US

Sakshi Rambhia’s mother mortgaged her mangalsutra to fund her daughter’s dream study in the US. And Sakshi didn’t let her down. She completed a Computer Science degree from New York Institute of Technology with flying colors, got an associate product manager internship at Google US – one of 45 students globally selected to lead Google across engineering, design, marketing, and beyond to launch impactful. projects – and is now set to join a master’s program in management science and engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.
Sakshi grew up in a tiny one-room-plus-kitchen house in Mumbai with her parents and grandparents. “In school, I used to read books from Oxford University and I used to think if I went to such universities, I would get a lot of books to read. I also wanted to escape all the fights at home, “she says.
During her 12th standard, she received the Yale Young Global Scholars Scholarship and spent time in Connecticut for a three-week program in applied science and engineering. That convinced her family that she was serious about her dreams. During the same period, Sakshi created a speech-to-text mobile application, which had a translation feature supporting more than 90 languages. “I liked what I made for my grandparents, and that’s one of the reasons for choosing a computer science course,” she says.
After her 12th standard, she freelanced to earn money to go abroad. She made chatbots, Shopify websites, digital marketing. “That could pay off a small portion of my tuition and deposit, and my mother took out a loan that helped me cover my first year. Luckily, I had an uncle in New York then. I looked for colleges in New York so I don’t have to spend my accommodation, “says Sakshi.
First year students can’t work, so in college, she volunteers for programs like coordinating STEM activities for low-income students. This helped her build a good reputation. So, after one semester, when there was an opportunity to work with the United Nations on a website, she got selected.
That led her to the UN headquarters, where she got to meet diplomats and others from all over the world. “It’s very difficult for international students to get on-campus jobs, but through networking, I’ve got three campus jobs in the first year as well as external scholarships. With that I could pay my tuition fee and other expenses from the second year onwards, “says Sakshi.
During her final year, she did internships at Microsoft, Tesla and Audience GenomicsGeneral Chat Chat Lounge Internship selections were also rigorous – resume review, phone screening, multiple on-site interview rounds, written assignment. “I think I got some validation because of my volunteering,” says Sakshi.
Sakshi has also established an initiative called Scholarship Track, a platform for students to access scholarships, fellowships and internships. She says she wants to come back to India at some point and contribute to the education space and social innovation.

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