There Is Nothing You Cannot Achieve

I would like to thank Profiles in Diversity Journal for giving me this prestigious award. This means a lot to me as it resonates with the values instilled by my parents from early childhood—there is nothing you cannot achieve, whether you are a girl or a boy, if you set your heart on it.

My interest in engineering was fueled by my father’s experience as an engineer bringing the phone network to underserved parts of India, and my hands-on experience fixing electronics during vacations in my uncle’s workshop.

As an engineer at AMD, I design next-generation, power-efficient, high-performance computer processors. Working on advances, which have been so important in powering discoveries in science, health, and education, has been a fulfilling journey for me. As I reflect, one thing I would say is that you sometimes have to make a choice in your career: Do you continue to work on challenges that you are comfortable with or do you run towards the problems that are new and difficult, but whose solutions may have a groundbreaking impact? You need to step out of the comfort zone, grasp the opportunities (problems) that come your way, and believe in yourself.

I believe that passion and persistence are key in solving even the toughest problems. There have been times in my career when I have been stuck with deadlines seemingly impossible to meet. While it is not necessarily a magic formula, what I can say is, be patient. Persistence goes a long way in opening doors for you—technical and organizational. While a drive for success is important, it is also key to realize that being successful requires respecting diverse viewpoints, being inclusive, and ultimately, integrating these to strengthen each solution.

As women, balancing personal life with professional life is a constant conflict many of us face. I think the key is not to be hard on yourself and to be flexible. There will be times when we are up against important deadlines and we have to lean on our spouses and families for support, as I have often done with my husband. That is OK. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but you do have to come up with a plan that helps you find the right balance between work and family, and to not be too hard on yourself.

Be passionate and purposeful; do not be afraid to meet problems head on.