Raji Arasu had one key message for young women at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in India last month: Be passionate about what you do.
Raji, StubHub’s chief technology officer, was a keynote speaker at the conference in Bangalore. Grace Hopper Celebrations are a series of conferences designed to bring the research and career interests of women in computing to the forefront. They are co-sponsored by the Anita Borg Institute for Women in Technology, of which eBay Inc. is a member. The first Grace Hopper Celebration in India was held in 2010, and it is the largest such conference in the country.
In her address to students considering a career in technology, Raji encouraged them to think about what they could do that would be impactful for themselves, their career and the world around them. If you don’t believe in what you’re doing and it’s not what you want, she said, go do something else.
Acknowledging that women in India often feel they must compromise between career and family, Raji, who graduated from university in India, spoke emotionally about having the right support system in place. Whether it is a husband, parents, siblings, children or even friends, having people to back you up is critical, she said.
Raji also offered these tips:
- Identify what helps you grow
- Dare to be different
- Seek knowledge, stay curious
- Find your purpose
- Think big
After Raji’s speech, students lined up to greet her and ask for advice. Many declared that they wanted to be just like her: someone who is passionate about and dedicated to her career, who looks to have an impact in the world around her and who, in turn, inspires others.