Several weeks ago, we announced the winners of the first Arctiq Bursary program, which was created to support underrepresented individuals in Technology. The winners were Saru Kohli of Toronto, and Elena Dambueva of Markham, respectively. These bursary funds are allocated to support the cost of pursuing higher education in technology, including postsecondary degree or diploma and/or industry certifications, thereby equipping the recipients with the advanced tech skills required to progress in their careers.
It’s an especially exciting time at Arctiq these days – the positivity that radiates from both of these young women is infectious to say the least. We thought we’d take a little extra time to focus some attention on each individual bursary winner; to hear their stories, and find out what’s in store for their immediate future(s).
First up is bursary winner Saru Kohli of Toronto. Several folks from the Arctiq team sat down with Saru to discuss the Arctiq bursary, the NPower Canada program, as well as some fun topics to help us all get to know one another better.
Ms. Kohli, a longtime lover of all things cyber-security, had a relatively straight-line path into the technology field. In fact, members of her family already work in tech, so that gave her a bird’s eye view of the industry as well as access to the tools of the trade. “My family works in technology, so perhaps I’ve always been more inclined to this line of work.” she explained. “As long as I can remember I’ve always had a laptop with me.”
With a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and 4 years in IT training under her belt from India, Saru came to Canada to obtain her post grad degree in Cyber Security. Unfortunately, that’s when COVID-19 hit. Despite her considerable education in technology, she was still without practical work experience and had no industry network to reach out to. “NPower was a gateway to connecting me with other people in this field,” she says. “Getting my foot in the door was something NPower really helped with.”
Saru’s time studying at NPower also led to attending several workshops/courses about Gender Diversity in tech, and as we all know now, are what ultimately led her to apply for our bursary program. Regardless of her own experience, being a part of a larger group of women and female-identifying attendees was an eye-opening and positive experience.”
“It was extremely positive to attend workshops that focused on how women are excelling in what they’re doing. Not just job opportunities in the field, but something like negotiating salary for example.” she explained. “Being a part of the larger group made me realize, “OK, this is not just me dealing with this.’ This issue resonates with me and I really want to talk about it now.”
Saru will have plenty of opportunities to lead the charge in the current groundswell of smart, resourceful and hard working women thriving in technology. With the help of the Arctiq bursary, Ms. Kohli will continue her educational pursuits with a focus in the Cloud Security field. She also hopes some more experience and time in the labs will help her fill some knowledge gaps, and looks forward to more learning and mentorship opportunities the bursary and these newfound connections will surely bring.
When she’s not furthering her education or working tirelessly on her tech skills, the self-described “Netflix buff” says an ideal day off would be binge watching interesting documentaries and mystery films, or relaxing with a good book.
We look forward to working with Saru and helping her with her journey in technology any way we can.
Saru Kohli (LinkedIn Profile)