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Celebrating International Womens Day With SAS!

 “Why are you taking a Computing degree?”

“Why do you have to put yourself in a rigorous field?”  

These were the questions Harshini Jayakumar, Systems Engineer Intern at SAS, was asked as an 18-year-old when she decided to study Computing and Data Analytics at university.

“The perception was that it was a challenging and male-dominated field,” she says. “In the end, what won out was the urge to challenge myself.”

In celebration of International Womens Day and to showcase the incredible women that form an essential part of their STEM teams, Harshini joins us to share her experience and career journey so far.

Keep reading to discover her inspiring career journey!

Words by Harshini Jayakumar

When I’m asked why I chose to study and pursue a career in STEM, the answer is simple. I believed in breaking the stigma against women in technology and creating positive change by becoming an example others could look to. I strived to create an identity in this creative field and hope I will inspire many other women to pursue STEM as a career path.

To engage and provide exposure to other women about technology and coding in India, I participated in a non-profit organisation called TheGirlCode, where women partnered with local schools to mentor and tutor young women in coding. We aimed to help young girls discover their interest in this field by providing them the skillset and tools for success.

Given my opportunity to study at a top-ranking university – The University of Sydney – I aimed to use the resources and networking opportunities to discover my role in the industry. I connected with Engineering Mentoring Head Anne Burnett, who helped to develop my leadership and mentoring skills by training me to be a Peer Mentor for new students.

Additionally, I gained valuable guidance from mentors Aaron Ngan and Tina Wyer by participating in university-partnered external programs like Australia Interchange Program. Through the program, I was trained to apply my core skills to the external world, where we identified a lack of resources and networking between international and domestic students post-Covid and proposed a technological solution with a business value. At the end of the program, I connected with a larger community that helped reshape my professional and personal skills.

I wanted to further my impact in the real world by undertaking an internship. My interest in AI, data analytics and software introduced me to SAS. The main factor that intrigued me to apply to SAS was their passion for simplifying analytics and solutions to a wider audience outside the technology community. Integrating businesses with data analytics and ModelOps heightened my desire to learn from the company.

Upon successful recruitment, I was introduced to a wonderful team where I was welcomed and taught many innovative things that have shaped me today. The best aspect I love about working with SAS is the work culture. Regardless of age and gender, every company member values my ideas and opinions, which further drives my motivation. The SAS community environment enabled me to engage in a comfortable and enthusiastic growing space.

Being a woman in the tech space, I was able to identify and broaden my goals at SAS. The women at SAS have inspired me in many ways, including their professionalism and how we lift each other. I could completely empathise with all the women across multiple industries, and I’m proud to say that I am now part of the broader community too.

By constantly challenging myself, I have created an identity for myself. One quote that has pushed me to do my best daily is, “If you cannot lead yourself, how can you lead others?” Before leading others, you have to lead yourself first.”

I believe it is essential for every woman to push and prove herself first constantly. It is through extreme challenges and difficulties that we rediscover ourselves.

Throughout my career, I wish to inspire women and create a positive change in society, helping them attain the exposure that I have received.

Find Out More

SAS is on a mission to realise its vision of a world where everyone can make better decisions, grounded in trusted data and assisted by the power of analytics. And they want YOU to help them do it!

Check out the complete employer profile on Explore Careers now.

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