#ShareYourExperience with Vidhya Sridhar

vidhya

Meet yet another inspiring lady, Vidhya Sridhar, who is passionate about her work and hobbies. Womentorship is glad to share Vidhya’s powerful story in her very own words :).

“I completed my schooling from different parts of the country (and the world) since my parents had transferable jobs. I had an aptitude for Mathematics in school and this inadvertently led me to do an engineering degree. I did my B.Tech. in Electronics and Communication engineering from National Institute of Technology (NIT), Trichy. I went on to work for two years in a research centre in Chennai called CDOT-Alcatel Lucent Research centre – a telecommunications centre that specialised in WiMAX. During the course of two years, I had the opportunity to work across various teams in the company and I realised that a M.Sc. degree would possibly open more doors for me. In 2011, I quit and took up a M.Sc. offer at Imperial College London. The one year degree was a blur and I graduated with distinction and was awarded the outstanding achievement award for being the top of the class. I was very interested in pursuing the project I did during my M.Sc. towards a PhD. However, I did not get funding right away for a PhD. I went back to India and worked for a year in Broadcom Pvt. Ltd. in a completely new role, albeit still in telecommunications. Luckily, with help from my supervisor at Imperial, I managed to get a full scholarship towards a PhD at Imperial College London that year. It has been three years since I started my PhD at Imperial in 2013 and has been an eventful ride since then :).

I thank you for inviting me to share my story. Though I don’t believe I rank among the likes of the great women who have left their mark in one small way or the other – trust me I am not trying any fake humility here – I will attempt to share with you what I am passionate about and what I do. I love learning new things and I believe everything that I have done and do currently stems from this fact. I sincerely believe constant learning and possessing humility; can take one very far in life. I am passionate about a lot of things and I try to pursue them all in amounts that I can. I am currently pursuing my PhD where I specialise in Communications and Signal processing at Imperial College London.  I have managed to publish some good work in top notch journals and have had the opportunity to present my work at a various conferences.

I am also very passionate about music and believe that music, in any form, can soothe any pain/losses.I began to learn Carnatic music at the young age of nine. I am an active musician and have performed at a number of cultural centres like the Nehru Centre and BharatiyaVidyaBhavan in London. I am currently learning Hindustani classical vocal under the tutelage of Smt. Chandrima Mishra at the BharatiyaVidyaBhavan, London.

I have always wanted to do my bit to my fellow humans who may be less privileged than us. Over the years, I have come to strongly believe that reforming and improving the education system is the principal basis to address a number of problems that plague our country. While working in India, I volunteered with Asha for education (Chennai chapter) for two years where we attempted to set up computer infrastructure in schools in and around Chennai. After moving to Bangalore, I volunteered with LOTUS, a CSR initiative of Broadcom, where on weekends I taught hands-on science at government schools in the outskirts of Bangalore. These experiences were truly enriching and teaching will always be part of my plans when I return to India. In London, I briefly taught science to kids via skype through ‘evidyaloka’ and I hope to resume this soon. Currently, I am a Project Manager at the Asha for education – London chapter where I manage a project called Puvidham – a school for the underprivileged in Dharmapuri.

I also organise a number of fundraiser events here in London for our projects back home in India. As part of this, we started a group called “Team Asha” where we did two ultra marathon walking events – 50 km and 100 km. I am madly into walking and completed my first 100 km walk last year over the span of 48 hours from London to Brighton where we raised close to £2000. I am hoping to do a 106 km challenge next year around the Isle of Wight! :).On a completely different side of things, I am also very passionate about Zumba. A few years ago when I was totally out of shape, Zumba played a very important role in helping me to stick to a workout and making me realise that I am quite a decent dancer! After 4 years of Zumba, I am a certified Zumba instructor myself and enjoy giving classes or rather Zumba parties!

My idea of a perfect future is where I am juggling more problem solving, possibly through more interdisciplinary research, learning music and performing, teaching hands on science and mathematics to kids, doing ultra-marathons every year and of course Zumba-ing!I think I have droned on enough about myself – my only advice is please don’t let anything or anyone to dictate what you can and cannot do. We have the time to do a lot of things – trust me :).”

 

 

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