Born in Bihar — one of the poorest states of India — Arpita Jha’s journey to Microsoft wasn’t easy. Despite India leading the world in producing female graduates in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines, it still ranks 19th in employing them.
For Arpita Jha, the journey wasn’t any different. Hailing from a small town and in a family where her father could barely make enough to send her and her siblings to school, obtaining higher education seemed like a distant dream.
“When I expressed my wish to pursue higher education, my father said he can’t afford my education further. Fortunately, my brother stepped up. He took out a loan for my studies, lent me his 9-year-old laptop and told me that he believed in me and I shouldn’t let this opportunity slip away,” said Arpita.
“From that day, I did not let any opportunity slip [through] my hands,” she added. She studied hard to excel in college. She won the Smart India Hackathon — the world’s biggest software and hardware hackathon — in 2019 and received internship opportunities from many U.S.-based companies.
“My major breakthrough came when I received the Udacity and Bertelsmann Tech Scholarship. Due to this scholarship and the knowledge I gained from the Cloud Developer using Microsoft Azure Nanodegree program, I got an internship offer from Microsoft!” she exclaimed.
“Being from a tier-three engineering college in India, I could never even imagine myself as a part of an organization like Microsoft. But yes, I can say now, whatever situation you might be in, never give up and always keep chasing your dreams,” she said.
Watch her story here:
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