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  • Writer's pictureSandy Jiang

FinTech Female Fridays: Meet UIUC student Drshika Asher

Drshika Asher is a rising junior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying computer science and minoring in Technology & Management with the Hoeft T&M program. In the past, Drshika has interned with Microsoft, Cargill, and Enterprise Works. "I’ve been wanting to learn more about the FinTech industry, which has lead me to pursue my minor to learn more about finance and tech." Drshika says.

Drshika is currently a research Intern with Microsoft. "I've done some undergraduate research at my college, which led me to finding and applying for this opportunity." Her current project is novel inter-device interactions for users with blindness/low vision." She adds: "Accessibility is one of my passions so I’m really enjoying working on this."

Interning at Microsoft, Drshika feels the culture there is very diverse and inclusive. She says: "I work with people from a variety of countries, ethnic backgrounds, and ability levels. I’m learning so much from the project I’m on as well as from my colleagues. "

Drshika's interaction with the Fintech industry started when she led a partnership with Jane Street, IMC and Capital One and her school’s chapter of ACM (Association for Computing Machinery, a student club at UIUC). "I got to hear about their unique businesses, internship opportunities and what roles software engineers play in their bottom line. That experience has definitely piqued my interest in the industry which led me to join NYC Fintech Women."

When invited to share recruiting advice with her peer students, Drshika shares: "As an intern, I think the best job decision I made was taking risks and applying for things that I wasn’t completely qualified for. I wouldn’t be at Microsoft otherwise. The worst job decision I made was procrastinating technical interview prep."

As a woman in the technical field, Drshika adds: "A lot of women in technology feel the imposter syndrome when it comes to technical knowledge, and I fall in that boat. So, when my friend encouraged me to apply to be a course assistant, I didn’t think I was going to pass it. But when I got the job and got to help students, I realized that I did know my stuff and that helping other students made me feel more confident about my skills. I’m now a head TA for that course and I’m really enjoying it!"

More on Drshika

Current job title: Student

Current company: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Current location: Champaign, IL, USA

What is the most important lesson you have learned from a mistake you’ve made in the past?

One lesson that has stuck with me is not overcommitting. When I was overcommitted, I was the most sleep deprived, I had the worst grades and was generally not a fun person to be around. Being mindful of where I put my energy and taking time to do nothing has really helped me be more productive and impactful in work and school.

Do you have any productivity hacks? What keeps you motivated? How do you maintain a work/life balance?

I don’t think it’s possible for any of us to be productive 100% of the time. But making a list of the key things that drive me in life and trying to make small daily progress towards those really helps me feel motivated and grounded. I’m strict about work life balance, so I will turn off my laptop once I’ve finished my work hours. I do try to work with my natural body clock in terms of when I start and stop work though.

Daily Diary

Typical College day

7 am – Wake up!

7:30 am – Morning Meditation/Journaling: I like to start my day with some gratitude since it’s super easy to get jaded and sad during school.

8 am – Get ready, have quick breakfast

9 am – 11am : Get a deep work session in

11am – 3pm: Classes

4pm – Some exercise! I usually go on a run or do some yoga

5pm – 8pm: I’ll probably either do some more deep work or go to a club meeting. These days I save this time slot for some research.

After dinner – I will hang out with friends before bed 

Typical weekend:

7 am – Wake up!

7:30 am – Morning Meditation/Journaling

8 am – Get ready, have quick breakfast

9 am – 11am : Go on a rapid cleaning spree, usually weekend mornings are the best for this since none of my friends really wants to hang out then

12pm – Grab lunch with friends

1-5pm – Deep work, I use this time to knock out some school work

6pm – Party! I try to force myself not to work on one weekend evening. But if I don’t have a social engagement, I’ll meal prep some stuff for the week.

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