How I became a techie: Priya Goverdhan

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How I became a techie: Priya Goverdhan

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"I always tell kids: Don't fear technology, embrace it." Read Priya's story here: @Qualcomm_GA #STEM
Monday, May 2, 2016 - 12:00pm

CAMPAIGN: Inclusion and Diversity


“I always tell kids: Don’t fear technology, embrace it. And when in doubt, ask.” —Priya Goverdhan

My parents are doctors. My sister was already in medical school by the time I was in 12th grade, so I just thought that I would be a doctor. I realized that I loved math more than science. When I was in high school, we would have a lot of power outages. I was always curious about how electricity flowed in the wires at home and how it moved from the power station all the way to the house.

Once I started studying engineering, within a year, I had to disappoint my dad and tell him that I wouldn’t be taking the med-school entrance exam. I was going to stay in engineering, because I liked it so much.

I ended up coming to the United States for a Master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering. I had about six months or so before school started, so I worked at a computer center. They had a summer camp for kids. I had so much fun talking to these kids about computer basics and the DOS operating system. The most important thing I learned was that each kid is different. Their curiosity and the way they asked questions, the type of questions they asked—it just amazed me.

Shortly after I came to Qualcomm, I joined the board of a group called Qualcomm Women in Science and Engineering (QWISE). They do amazing work, and for the last two years, I’ve been an outreach lead for the group. With QWISE, I’ve been a mentor and panelist for several programs at Qualcomm aimed at female high school and college students. In addition to these programs, I also led QBuds, a summer mentorship program under QWISE, that pairs female interns with female Qualcomm employees for support. I’ve also had the opportunity to go to a charter school in Chula Vista, a city in San Diego County, and talk to about 30 eighth-grade kids about careers, technology, and to provide basic advice.

I’m always very impressed with these kids—how much they know, how much they’re learning, and how they find the time to do so many things and excel. Technology is never going to go away.  It’s always going to be there no matter what career these kids choose in the future.

Priya Goverdhan is a senior component engineer at Qualcomm Technologies,Inc.. When she’s not busy ushering in the next generation of techies, you can find her working with memory chips. And, even after 13 years in the industry, she still gets excited at the latest up-and-coming technology.