Upon meeting Jyoti, as her friends call her, you will see a smile and hear laughter. She is always encouraging and supportive of her friends because she feels support and guidance from those around her.
Coming over to the U.S. only seven years ago was very challenging and difficult for Jyoti. Changes in culture, climate and a myriad of tectonic shifts can be crushing to a young teenager. Gandhi says, “My friends, family, and mentors inspire me. If it wasn’t for them believing in me, I wouldn’t be the person I am. When I moved to the U.S. in 10th grade, I used to be really shy and had no clue about anything in the American culture.”
Overcoming her shyness and cultural awkwardness, Gandhi joined various clubs in college and became a leader in many of them. After being the vice-president of the SASE (Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers) Colorado School of Mines chapter, she helped start SASE chapters at University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado State University and University of Colorado Denver as a way to encourage others to step up as leaders and gain valuable experiences.
On being able to develop into the leader that she is, Gandhi states, “With the help of my high school physics teacher, my MEP director, and my college best friend, I have learned that I have all the support in the world, to accomplish my goals and be who I want to be. They have helped boost my confidence to go after things I care about and not be shy or scared.”
In her most challenging leadership role yet, Gandhi is the assistant chair of SASE’s National Conference Committee,
which hosts the largest career fair for Asian Americans in the U.S. The 2013 conference expects to draw 1,000 participants and over 50 companies. As the assistant chair, she oversees all aspects of the conference and serves as a leader to the various subcommittees that make the conference and career fair happen. She continues to accept larger responsibilities to make a bigger impact in people’s lives.
As she enters her final year at the CSM and is finishing her Mechanical Engineering degree, she has taken on the Collegiate Wind Competition to represent CSM for her senior design project. The national competition seeks to develop the most efficient and effective wind turbine to move the U.S. into more renewable energies and away from fossil fuels.
In her life, Gandhi finds a strong role model in her mom. “She is a very strong woman and has always been
super supportive of all my decisions in life. I wish to have the courage that she possesses whenever she faces a challenge in life and to be as caring and loving as she is to others.”
Valuing her heritage, Gandhi says, “I believe that it has helped me because of the opportunities that are available for being associated with an identity of an Asian American.
It has made me more aware of the difficulties and problems that Asian Americans or Indian Americans face in daily lives, and how to cope with them and grow every day trying to balance the two cultural clashes.”
While most leaders lead with their loud voice and aggressive stance, Gandhi leads with her smile and laughter.
About Jyotsana Gandhi
Senior, Mechanical Engineering, Colorado School of Mines
Hometown: Faridabad, India
Describes herself as: Curious, Outgoing, Vegetarian
Quote she lives by: “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Hobbies/interests: Badminton, volleyball, tennis, watching movies, traveling, chilling with friends
Dream job: Running my own engineering firm that provides clean drinking water and electricity to developing countries