Kaarthika Thakker is currently an associate product management intern at YouTube and last summer, she was an engineering practicum intern at Google. Outside of tech, she is passionate about music, working as a station manager of her college radio station, and social issues. Her dream is to find a way to leverage tech to deal with issues like housing inequality, gentrification, and displacement.
When Kaarthika went to college, she wanted to make an impact on social issues, so she studied sociology and economics and did diversity and inclusion research in a psychology lab freshman year. When she took an intro computer science class, she fell in love, although it took her until her junior year to officially declare as a Computer Science major. She sees so much opportunity to do good within the tech industry and wants to mobilize people and resources within tech to focus on the impact technology is having on the local community.
“My favorite class in high school was Physics, although when I took it, I was the youngest student and one of only two girls in a class of forty people. When I went to Rice University for college, I wanted to make an impact on social issues, so I studied sociology and economics. But then I took an introductory Computer Science class and absolutely fell in love.
As much as I loved Computer Science, it took me until my junior year to officially declare it as my major because I never saw myself as an engineer. I always thought I wasn’t the “type” because I was into art/music/social issues and I didn’t “fit in” to the stereotype. But now I see so much opportunity to do good within the tech industry. I want to mobilize people to care more about the impact tech is having on local communities.”
Source of inspiration: Kaarthika is inspired by her mom. She was born and raised in India and she became the main income earner of her family at a young age. Although she didn’t go to college, she manages all the finances of her house and small business. She has sacrificed so much, but she always makes her family here first priority.
Book Recommendation: Becoming by Michelle Obama