Thank You For Being Such A Vital Part Of Our Team, Viji Sripathi! We Look Forward To Sharing More About You So Others Can Get To Know You Better!
Tell us a bit about your backstory and what lead you down your current life path.
I was born in a small town in South India in my grandparents’ home with no easy access to hospital facilities, but I was fortunate to have studied in good schools in my formative years. My father worked in the movie industry and hence we moved to a big city which provided more opportunities for me and my two brothers. Since both my parents didn’t graduate college, they kept us far from the glamour of show biz and always stressed the importance of education in life. The discipline and strong interest that my parents instilled in me in academics and multiple extracurricular activities helped me to be the first one to graduate college in my family. My confidence grew further when I completed two Master’s degrees in one of the most reputed schools in India. I was able to land a technology job where I got exposure to working on databases supporting a global company based in the United States. I am really fortunate to have had many life opportunities and to have a profession that I really enjoy and am passionate about.
What or who inspired you to pursue your career?
My inspiration is primarily from self-motivation and the grit to do big things in life. I have always wanted to give my best to what I do and keep an optimistic outlook in that hard work always yields success and prosperity. Being grounded and having a good work ethic is something that I learned from my mother while working smarter and teamwork is what I learned from my father. It is because of this solid foundation in soft skills, along with my technology interest, that has helped me to bring my whole self to work each day while enjoying what I do.
What is one thing you are proud of achieving in your life?
I am proud of being a mother to my only son, Sujay, who is now a junior in college. My son and my husband bring meaning to my success in life both professionally and personally. They have always supported me and helped me to balance my priorities and hence feel happiness and satisfaction through ups and downs. I feel good to have instilled the same values in my son that my parents instilled in me. It makes me proud to hear when some of our friends and neighbors say that Sujay is a good kid who respects others, has a helping nature, and always maintains a good demeanor. Another thing that I feel proud about is being able to pay it forward like my father has always done by sponsoring some children back home supporting their education and wellbeing.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to watch movies, listen to music, and do some cleaning and cooking at home during my free time. Especially because I have a sweet tooth, I love to bake some delicious treats so we can enjoy them for a couple of weeks after the break.
Tell about an amazing trip you took. Where did you go and what did you enjoy most?
We went to Hawaii in 2010 which is one of the best trips we went on as a family. Hawaii is our family’s favorite vacation spot even to date. We visited the Big Island and Maui where I enjoyed riding along with my husband and my son while they played golf. We went on organized tours to see key tourist attractions and enjoyed the beaches. The one highlight of the trip that we will never forget is being able to watch the sunrise at 10,000+ feet altitude which made the trip fully worth it. We all got goosebumps seeing the power of the sun completely wiping out the darkness in a matter of seconds even as a small glimpse of the rising sun could be seen. The road trips were fun as well as we stopped through the tropical forest-like scenery to take pictures while relishing warm banana nut bread and tender coconut slices.
Share one professional development goal and one personal goal you have for the upcoming year.
One of the professional development goals that I have is to grow my skills in the Cyber and Information Security space which is especially crucial in this digital age. There are multiple risks and threats online that seem to be growing every day, causing more damage to the people in this world. Losses are in many forms like financial, reputational, safety, and personal identity. They can also lead to crimes and the loss of lives. From a personal goal perspective, I would like to help promote youth education and development by donating personal time and money. I strongly believe that education is key to creating civilized societies and making this world a better place for future generations.
The road to success is difficult and requires tremendous dedication. What advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your success?
My advice to a young person who aspires to follow in my footsteps would be to believe in yourself and to pursue your passion. If one is focused and delivers his/her best always in what one does, success will come someday. One should never have setbacks by failures but forge forward with even more determination and effort. It is important to know one’s strengths and development needs, and maintain a positive mindset and willingness to learn required skills.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be?
I would love to see a world where no child is hungry nor loses access to the basic needs of life. There is a lot of inequality today in terms of food, shelter, sanitation, and education. The only way to bring development in a community and in this world is by having at least one person in each family be set up to grow and provide financial stability to his/her family. I would love to inspire a movement to enable one family at a time to grow exponentially in many communities.
Why did you choose to be a Board Member of Educate. Radiate. Elevate.?
I view serving on E.R.E as a Board Member as an opportunity to provide needed support for young kids and their families giving them strength and confidence. I have a strong passion and desire for this cause because of which I have sponsored education for a few kids back in India and have sponsored families back home. I have experience tutoring through my high school and college for almost 7 years. I get a lot of personal satisfaction when giving time for the same spreading awareness and making broader impacts.
What about the Educate. Radiate. Elevate.’s Purpose, Mission, and Core Values speaks most to you and why?
I connect with E.R.E’s Purpose, Mission, and Core Values because it focuses on reducing the inequality in our society and providing young kids the tools and skills needed to be successful in their lives. This is especially relevant now with many school closures and the lack of accessibility to technology and online resources for underserved students. E.R.E’s work will not only reduce the widening gap with education for our future generations, but it will also set them up with essential life and learning skills. This will have long-standing effects on our society for many years and will lead to a more equitable society and world.