Nikita Sivakumar Hello everyone!
My name is Nikita Sivakumar and I just graduated from NIT-Trichy.
I was one of the Venkat Panchapakesan Scholars and it was one of the best experiences of my life.
I would love to answer any questions you guys might have on the topic.
Could you brief up top 3 things why one should apply this Scholarship? You can also mention the after Scholarship experience too.
1)Exposure to how Computer Science has careers that can fuse so well with your passions (Not all of us have coding as our passion)
2)Meeting successful women and men in the field and the freedom to ask them anything you want
3)The free food, the touring around, meeting 5 other interesting individuals and basically, networking
4)If you’re lucky, some opportunities might come your way during the socializing
What quality do you think a candidate should definitely have to get this scholarship
Nikita Sivakumar: Clarity about what they want and who they are as a person. Good values. I think that’s basically the most important.
Would you recommend this program?
Nikita Sivakumar Definitely!
Who were your Letter of Recommenders? How did you go about choosing them? How was the process like?
Nikita Sivakumar I had 2 of my course professors submit LOR’s for me. Both are professors who know me well.
I think that picking a Prof who likes you and is willing to brag about you is more important than the status of the Prof. But this is just my opinion.
I was interning in Bangalore at the time, so I emailed them and asked them if I could submit their names for the scholarship’s LOR section.
They agreed and I informed them a few important updates on what I was doing and why I wanted the scholarship and sent them a link of the scholarship.
That helped them prepare a write up which they then sent before the deadline.
What are some of the things for college students to explore while in college? Could you give some insights
What is the impact that the scholarship has created in your life? How are you using the 225USD Project grant?
Nikita Sivakumar I felt very motivated and hopeful post the 1 week we spent there. I remember feeling like I could also do something like these people here. Meeting Susan Ma’am was the cherry on top and I remember how lucky I felt to be there and learning so much.
With the money, I helped organise events for smaller colleges in the area.
Could you mention some of activities which you were part of in college? Have you won any other Scholarship/Opportunities while in college?
Nikita Sivakumar In college, I was part of a social responsibility team which I spoke about here and there in the essay. I also take part in dance and sports competitions which I remember referring to while speaking about team skills (I don’t exactly recollect). I spoke about my interest in Computer Science and how I wish to fuse that with my interest in social responsibility.
Nope, no other scholarships while in college.
What advice will you give a First year/second year CSE student
Nikita Sivakumar One of the scholars was a second year girl actually. She might be able to better answer this question. But, I think the best thing is that you have an opportunity of interning at Google/Youtube if you play your cards right. That is the best part.
What advice do you give on writing the essays for application?
Nikita Sivakumar First, think of what you want to write. Jot down points and what should go in each Para.
Write it in a flow. Forget about editing, spellings, grammar when writing the first time.
Once the skeleton is out there, do the editing.
Get someone close to you to review it.
What do you ‘think’ was why your application stood apart from rest of students applied? Some tips too:)
Nikita Sivakumar I am not sure if I stood out and if I did, how I did. But I think that the fact that I tried to be honest with my achievements and didn’t fake anything. Also, as I said earlier, being practical with your ideas.
Could you share some of momentous(also Fun) occasions you had in the Silicon Valley Retreat?
Nikita Sivakumar Aha Felix, I think you should answer this 😛 For me, our outings prior to the retreat where we would use our food and gift cards and spend it on nice food 😀 Also, of course, the times we spent with our in-charge Deepak and the beautiful people we met. Also, the free YouTube Tees we took plenty of!
What preparations you did before applying for the scholarship
Nikita Sivakumar Nothing actually. I applied pretty last minute. I luckily got 2 recos and managed to wrap up the application in a day. So, don’t do this 😛
How fancy should the resume be? Since I’m only in my first year my resume does not have a lot of things. Only 1 or 2 certifications and I don’t have much to provide for leadership experiences? Can you please give suggestions?
Nikita Sivakumar Considering you’ve not been through a lot of college, I think it’s fair enough to not have a loaded resume. Don’t fret about it. Just put your work so far that you think is suitable. I heard somewhere that you need a page for every decade of experience so I think all of us should have just a nice 1 page resume. Leadership could be something in school that you took up also, I think. If nothing, don’t find the need to put something there. Just put up anything that you did that is significant. You never know what might cut it 😉
In the second essay , they ask you to write about your struggles and things . But my case is pretty normal , as in there isn’t much struggle involved . What should I write in the second essay then ? Any suggestions ?
Nikita Sivakumar I think in that case, talk about any cultural differences you’ve been exposed to? Or probably some sexism your sibling/friend has faced? Or something that opened you to think differently. Or you could talk about how you are lucky to not have faced too many problems and are grateful. Whatever you do, be genuine. They see through it.
Hello! Starting off, congratulations on your win! My question is regarding the video, for better chances of selection is it better if we specify our contributions to the society in the video, or should we emphasis on what we would do with the scholarship amount. 🙂
Nikita Sivakumar Hi,
So in my 1 minute video, I spoke about a vision I have. It is just one minute long so you might think that cramming as much as you can in that time frame is what will fill it up with enough content for them to pick you. I think that, on the contrary, speaking at a calm pace with a clear depiction of a practical, yet unique idea as to how to use the money is important. I think they are looking for two things: genuineness and practicality of the idea.
Hope that helps!