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This is the next installment of our blog series highlighting Microsoft Learn Student Ambassadors who achieved the Gold milestone and have recently graduated from university. Each blog in the series features a different student and highlights their accomplishments, their experience with the Student Ambassadors community, and what they’re up to now.
Today we meet Yash Jain who is from the United States and just graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in May with a master’s degree in computer science as a part of the Computer Science BS/MS Program.
Responses have been edited for clarity and length.
When you joined the Student Ambassador community in 2019, did you have specific goals you wanted to reach, such as a particular skill or quality? How has the program impacted you in general?
I wanted to grow as a developer, meet more like-minded individuals across the world, and make an impact in the community. I have hosted 20+ hackathons at my college, met engineers from every continent, and helped spark the interest of coding in primary school kids. This program has not just made me a better developer and engineer but also a better person.
What are the accomplishments that you’re the proudest of and why?
Over the past 2 and half years, I have fostered a large community, but I will focus here on what I have done over the last year. I created the first Microsoft-focused hackathon at Virginia Tech focused on the benefits of using Azure. At these hackathons, I have consistently gotten 25-30 students at every event, providing the students at Virginia Tech with an opportunity to explore the world of Microsoft Azure bi-monthly, and an opportunity that before at the school only came once a year and never focused on Azure. I increased the number of hackathons from 1 to 5 yearly. When the pandemic hit, to continue to host hackathons at my college, I found a way to host them virtually and still make them engaging to the students.
I shared my advice and skills on the Student Ambassador community’s Teams site to help other Ambassadors host events virtually. I worked with the AI Gaming team to help test their new games and provided specific feedback over calls and Teams to help them improve their system. Within the program, I have also directly mentored 14 Ambassadors and helped them become Gold Ambassadors. I was also chosen as the Student Ambassador community’s North America Channel lead – when this was a feature – to assist in the North America channel to help provide advice and guidance to new Student Ambassadors. I have responded over chat and hopped on calls with numerous Ambassadors if they needed additional assistance. I have also helped Ambassadors start their projects such as speaking as a guest in a podcast with fellow Ambassador Sanjit Sharma going over the Ambassador program and my background in CS to help him build an audience.
As a Gold Ambassador, I was selected to speak at Microsoft Ignite 2020 about “Getting started on your HealthTech Journey”. Here I represented the Student Ambassador community, sharing my knowledge with my colleagues. Over my time in the program, I have fostered a collaborative environment, lead other Ambassadors to success, and grew my community.
If you could redo your time as a Student Ambassador, is there anything you would have done differently?
I would have spent more time hosting events before Covid happened. I generally would hold 2-3 events per semester but I would have increased that to 4-5. The best part about this program is seeing the passion of creation in your peers and watching them come up with amazing ideas at your events. Fostering that growth is something that I will miss a lot but hope to continue as a Microsoft MVP eventually.
If you were to describe the community to a student who is interested in joining, what would you say about it to convince him or her to join?
This is a great opportunity to grow not only as a developer, but also as a person. The people you interact with and the engineers who you will work with will make a difference in your life and help you shape your career.
What advice would you give to new Student Ambassadors?
The road may seem long, and you will see many of your peers in your community and your life achieving great things, but if that’s all you focus on, you will become depressed. Take that motivation from your peers, and don’t endlessly scroll through LinkedIn and the news. Instead, focus on making yourself better and increasing your impact in your community, which is much more rewarding.
What is your motto in life, your guiding principle?
Always strive to make other people happy. Whether it be people who are important to you or strangers, if your goal is to make others happy, your life will be rewarding, and you will leave the world a better place than you came into it.
What is one random fact about you that few people are aware of?
I enjoy making animated films and fun short projects! You can check one out here.
Good luck to you in the future, Yash!
Fellow Student Ambassadors and community members, you can always reach Yash on LinkedIn.
Brought to you by Dr. Ware, Microsoft Office 365 Silver Partner, Charleston SC.