Samridhi Shrivastava

Since I was little, I was a girl with big dreams. I always felt dreams are what define us. But as I grew older, I realized people were often typecast in a particular frame based on various things like their genders, where they come from, etc. My first-hand experience of this stereotype was when I moved out of my hometown, that is Patna, to Indore for studies. I would get comments like “Oh! You don’t sound/look like a Bihari”, or “Aren’t you preparing for govt exams?” etc. I was someone who took pride in the culture and heritage of the place I belonged to, so the discrimination based on my background was tough to deal with. Though I had a good college life and time flew by. Suddenly we were in our last year of college and the placement season was on. I still remember the day of the pool campus drive of one of the reputed MNCs. Our teachers had high expectations from us and since students at other colleges were also there the competition was tough. I cleared the first round and had to travel to another city for the next rounds. My teachers were skeptical of this and had already told me that if I didn’t get the offer, they won’t send students to campus drives as it was an additional cost to the college. I had hopes of my friends and juniors on my shoulders. This made me nervous. Finally, the results got declared, and I was got selected for the Job.

I began my IT journey with great enthusiasm. It was my first job, and I was ready to give my 100% to it. I had good colleagues and mentors but slowly I realized people had this notion that girls weren’t smart enough to code. More than often, I wouldn’t get opportunities because my leads didn’t trust me with responsibilities. Here I was trying my best but more than often was getting cornered just because of my gender. Women had started making their mark in IT long back and most of the things were alright at least on the surface. Yet there were these instances of discrimination. I decided to change the game for good as I had enough of this. I would take up difficult deliverables, stretch my work hours and work on weekends too. I had to make my mark in the men dominated industry. I worked on weekends for months on critical projects to finally get recognized. It paid off very well and I received my first on-site offer to the states. As much as I was elated by the offer, I was also confused. I had just been married and started a new life with my husband in Pune. We had bought our first home and designed everything with love and care. It was hard to leave everything behind and go on to pursue the American dream. My husband encouraged me to go on with the decision without worrying about anything else.

And so, I hopped on the flight alone leaving my loved ones behind. The struggles began as soon as I landed. I was directly assigned to the client’s location and there wasn’t anyone else from my company to get me acquainted with things. Each morning I would wake up alone in the apartment and the battle from arranging the breakfast to getting to the office right on time would start. Every minute I missed things back home. The workload in the office was a bit too much as I had just joined here. I was the only link between the client and the offshore team. I kept on working hard and soon my work started getting appreciated. The struggles on my personal account were still there but I was satisfied that I was accomplishing my goals. After a few months my husband decided to come to the US, and I was overwhelmed by his decision. His career graph was going well back in India, but he opted to leave all that behind for me and search for a new job. The COVID pandemic has already hit the world, so getting a job in such a situation seemed hard. Anyhow, it took a few months to get the job due to delays in work authorization. Both of our parents were a great support to us in tough times like these. We have made our little paradise here and keep exploring the country. As we both love to travel, it has become our favorite thing to do on breaks. As I love cooking, I have started a new venture here with the support of my husband. We are having the time of our life, but we still miss our home. The idea of the American dream is different for everyone and so before going after it just take a moment back and ask yourself what you really want or it’s just the peer pressure. Think of all the things you will be leaving behind and will all the struggles be worth it?

Moving on to the future plans, I am looking forward to going back to India and start something of my own in the food industry that will be in addition to the blogging that I currently do. I believe it’s been my calling to make a way as an entrepreneur and leverage my IT expertise there. After all the struggles I have gone through one thing is for sure I am not afraid to fall. This makes me hopeful of my next venture.

Total Work Experience : 8 Years ( L&T Infotech, Synechron)

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