Recently, we had the honor to connect with and interview Go-Getter Girl Shinjini Das. This multimedia personality, millennial influence, keynote speaker, Huffington Post Contributor, brand spokesperson, and engineer was featured on ABC, FOX, NBC, CBS, and Sirius XM, and is rocking the social media world and making a huge positive difference in empowering women and girls. We love her enthusiasm, her unbridled passion and drive, and we are so inspired by her amazing journey.
You started out as a technology analyst in a huge company. How did you get from there to here?
It has definitely been quite the journey! I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Tech and spent the first portion of my career at a globally recognized management consulting firm specializing in technology consulting. Over the years, I built a repertoire in public speaking, and was keen to find a way to continue speaking throughout college and beyond. I will be honest with you in saying that it was the result of pure, unadulterated grit, an undying belief in self, as well as an unrelenting drive which led me to pursuing a parallel career in public speaking. As fortune would have had it, I was discovered on Twitter and recommended to sign with a media publicist, leading to the beginning of my transformative media career. I highly encourage all of the young girls reading to introspect and pinpoint the desired aspects and qualities of a meaningfully ideal life, then consciously pursue those aspects until they have been achieved.
So much has recently been written about how gender stereotypes are still causing women to leave STEM careers. How do you think we make real change?
This is a subject very close to my heart. I strongly believe that the future of global innovation is directly dependent on the number of girls who develop a robust comprehension and ability in STEM, specifically the science and engineering disciplines. We must inculcate a significantly more rigorous appreciation of the impact of science and engineering in the minds of young girls, in explaining that the potential impact spawned by a young girl’s application which she codes can be utilized to combat homelessness, increase access to equal educational opportunities, or teach children in underprivileged societies the foundations of mathematics. There is a vast range of impact to be created via a veritable and demonstrated expertise in technology, and we must foster this dialogue within the minds of young girls today to pursue them to develop an undying passion for STEM, so even when the career paths are ambiguous, and the roads difficult, they let their inner light guide them onwards.
What is a Go-Getter Girl? How do I become one?
A go-getter girl is, in essence, someone who makes life happen for her, not someone who waits for life to happen to her. She is resolutely empowered from within, fierce in the scale of her ambitions, and unapologetic in her desire to write one of the greatest stories ever written. Transitioning from a dreamer to a go-getter is more of a mental model shift than a physical one. Personally, I had to truly believe that I was capable of achieving my massive dreams before making any a reality. My greatest advice to all of the young women reading is to focus on building your ideal life, while noting each aspect which is present in this life. Simply create a list of goals to fulfill in order to achieve this ideal life, and take strong and resolute steps towards accomplishing each of these goals effectively and successfully. Soon, you will become a go-getter girl and in the process, be living a life you only dreamed of before! You can make it happen!
You do so many huge media appearances. Do you ever get nervous?
To tell you the truth, no, because I have forever dreamed of living this life, and to finally be entrusted with this opportunity is a great responsibility. I am incredibly passionate about leveraging my global media platform to create rippling effects of positive global change in advocating for the full emotional, financial, intellectual, physical, and psychological empowerment of women, as well as, an equal access to educational opportunities for all globally, as some of my most critical issues. I am extraordinarily grateful to be living this life, and I am in awe of destiny’s magic.
You are doing so much to ensure all women around the world get an education, working with names like Usher and the United Nations. Why does education matter?
Education provides the foundational knowledge on which to succeed in this world. The awareness, perspective, and ability to connect various viewpoints is only afforded through dedicated study of a domain whether Engineering, psychology, business, or biology. I am a vocal proponent of equal access to educational opportunities for all, because this is an area which should not be curtailed by socio-economic status, since every single child deserves the opportunity to be educated and given the opportunity to explore his or her unique interests in a nurturing environment. Innovation is only enabled through education, and if we are to constantly innovate as a society, which we must in order to remain relevant and affect change, we must ensure that each individual possesses the access to a quality education all around the world.
If you could do college again, is there anything you would do differently to prepare you for your media career?
Yes, ma’am. I have most definitely reflected on my past, and the one facet which comes to mind is that I would have explored out of my comfort zone in much greater depth much earlier. Instead of frequenting the same locations, I would have ventured out to various areas to meet a diverse variety of personalities and hear a multitude of perspectives in order to broaden my own personal as well as professional horizons. Success in the world of media is highly correlated with the ability to connect seemingly diverse points and create unique insights to share with global audiences, so the sheer growth in perspective that exploring earlier and in much greater depth would have provided me would have been tremendously beneficial for my growth!
What is your advice to young entrepreneurs?
Identify a concrete value proposition for your company in terms of the gap you are bridging and the concrete problem you and your team are making inroads to solve. Without a differentiated value proposition, a company is nonexistent, so it is critical that young entrepreneurs are in tune with their target audiences in building products or scaling services which exceed a core and demonstrated need among the user base. It is highly recommended to invest in market research upfront in surveying your target audience to determine the nature of the need in the marketplace which your specific product or solution can help to close. In addition, those companies which continue to remain engaged with the customer base are the ones which succeed in massive ways because users feel an emotionally genuine connection with the brand, and derive a great deal of value above and beyond what they initially expected from the company.
What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
What three words would your friends use to describe you? What three words would you use?
Friends would describe me as inspirational, empowering, and energetic. I would describe myself as an empowered, visionary leader.
What makes someone a great leader?
Extraordinary leaders are extraordinarily empathetic to the nature of their teams and seek to create the most optimally beneficial solutions for humanity. A great leader is an ardent visionary who empowers and inspires people to achieve beyond their greatest means and explore the deepest depths of their potential in creating tangible, positive global change. Unity, collaboration, and consensus are essential!