Aishwarya Mitra (Class of 2020)
by Alex Zhang
TAMStar of the week Aishwarya Mitra spoke with us about her creative endeavors and her time at TAMS.
Aishwarya, you were on the robotics team last year and you are now a JETS exec! Tell me a bit about what that experience has been like. Was working with robotics what you expected?
Aishwarya: Overall it has been really rewarding to see [myself and my board] grow from last year! We are laser-focused towards achieving the goals that we’ve set but are also super keen on training our juniors! Working with the board has made me more assertive when I feel a different way while maintaining respect and cordiality. Though the circumstances were very different than expected, the results and journey have been exceptional.
That's great to hear. What other things about your senior year have challenged your expectations? How is your life different now than it was when you first came to TAMS?
Aishwarya: I thought that our seniors’ decisions and advice going into this year would be enough to get me through [senior year]. I have learned that I have to figure out solutions that work for me, though [those solutions may not] have worked for [my seniors].
Aishwarya: TAMS has helped me mature from judging people at the outset by first impressions [and] test scores. I have learned that, given the proper response and critiques, I can become close to people I never thought I would hang out with.
So you and I actually went to DECA together! What was that experience like? Would you recommend DECA, and to whom would you recommend it?
Aishwarya: DECA was super fun and I would recommend it to not only [anyone who] might want to become an entrepreneur, but [also] anyone who might want to join [an] industry. There are focus[es] for people of varied interests.
Aishwarya: The stress culture is much less prevalent in college [DECA], [which allows] for more time to actually learn about your field [rather] than just cramming material.
Remind me what event you participated in.
Aishwarya: Business Ethics Case Study.
And was that a field that you found interesting before doing DECA? Why did you choose that subject?
Aishwarya: I chose it because I want to work (in broad terms) at the intersection of engineering and biotech where there are many ethical issues. Also shoutout to Ananya Kodali, my amazing DECA partner!
I definitely agree that it was a great experience. You and I actually had a chance to go to Disneyland together at ICDC, so I definitely agree that it helped me get closer to people I don't usually get a chance to talk to.
You've also spoken at TEDx events, right?
You can see Aishwarya’s talk here: https://youtu.be/GpoyAqTNZRw.
Tell me how you got started with that! What inspired you to go speak?
Aishwarya: I met a girl from a really underprivileged area in summer school. [She] was one of the few [people in her situation] who had parents who chose to prioritize her education over her getting a job.
Aishwarya: I want to create a system where everyone can go to school while helping their communities sustain their current economies (by building water-carrying robotics, GMOs, etc). So I have created an organization that creates syllabi with this mission in mind, and [that] is the subject of my talk!
Aishwarya: I was an organizer in the past so being on the other side as a speaker was amazing.
So in addition to speaking you also write poetry. Tell me about that. Why did you start and what do you write about?
Aishwarya: I started writing poetry as a way to try and find solutions to the many stresses in my life. [The poems] were mainly characterized by hope, though some convey what the lack of such hope can do to [a person].
Aishwarya: But now, I am much less reliant on poetry emotionally and just treat it as an art form that I indulge in reading as well as writing.
And I've also seen pictures of visual art that you've done on your social media! Tell me what that means to you.
Aishwarya: [It means] the world to me! Second to friends and family of course. [My art shows] others how I see the world. When I can’t tell them, I show them instead.
Thanks for speaking with us!