Alumni Spotlight: “Go-Getter Girl” Shinjini Das Is Making Her Dreams Come True
“A dream come true” is how ISyE graduate (and May 2014 Commencement speaker) Shinjini Das describes her past year. Das is a busy young woman who is clearly going places: She juggles a job with Deloitte in California as a business technology analyst, along with developing careers as a professional speaker and media personality through an increasing number of TV interviews, blog contributions to the Huffington Post and Elite Daily, and her growing social media presence, which includes reaching almost 7,000 followers on Twitter and Facebook in less than a year.
For Das, the breakthrough moment – and her favorite story from the past year – was getting her first piece published on Huffington Post this past January – a post called “5 Secrets of a Go-getter Girl.” “No one talks about this,” Das says. “No one says that being an ambitious woman is cool, at least that’s what I saw. … It’s not just ‘okay’ or ‘acceptable’ to be ambitious; it’s great to be ambitious, and why are we shying away from that?” The post garnered international attention and generated a cultural discussion. “People have blogged about this saying they have go-getter girls in their lives, and one woman blogged that … her husband is helping her embrace the go-getter in her.”
For Das, being a go-getter girl is more than just words: She embodies it – a process that began in high school and continued while she was at Georgia Tech. She chose industrial engineering as her major because of its combination of business and engineering, which would give her an “analytical background and foundation … the career paths were appealing,” she says. “ISyE being No. 1 also helped!” Each IE class emphasized leadership, the thought process being, she explains, “WHEN [rather than “if”] you become a business leader.”
She also pursued leadership in other ways at Georgia Tech, joining the public speaking club and conducting workshops, and becoming a student ambassador. In many ways, being a representative for Georgia Tech prepared Das to become her own personal brand ambassador. “That is literally my job now … representing something. Then it was representing Georgia Tech; now I’m representing my brand, what I stand for, my values, my thoughts … It’s very, very similar.”
Given that she is building her own personal brand, Das was asked if everyone should consider developing their own personal brand, and what some steps toward doing so might be. Her response was emphatic: Every person is in fact his or her own brand. The first step toward developing that is to “identify your value proposition: Who are you? Why should people buy your product?” The process requires time and thought – time and thought Das also put in for herself. “It’s not magic,” she notes. Next, “identify your goals. What do you want to do?” Your goals will determine your branding strategy. And finally, “identify and create an action plan.” She encourages people to not only “dream and take time to think” about these issues, but also “to act. Without an action plan, a dream is not a completed task.”
Das is continuing her pursuit of being a go-getter girl – and she’s seeing results. In November 2015, she will be honored as one of 50 global heroes for her work to empower youth and advocate for gender equality by a top United Nations partnership. Further, she will soon be profiled by the Institute of Industrial Engineers in “Final Five” for engaging in nontraditional work. In 2016, she will embark on her first national speaking tour.
Das is returning to Georgia Tech on Tuesday, October 6th as a guest lecturer for Professor Bill Todd’s Principles of Management Consulting class, where she will be speaking on “human factors in consulting … client skills, relationship skills … How do you deal effectively with so many different people?” After all, Das points out, “That is life. How do you get the most of out of every transaction?”
Industrial and Systems Engineering