How Scholaships Benefit the Self-Confidence of Students

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As an international graduate student pursuing Computer Science at Texas A&M University-Commerce, I am submitting a scholarship application for “____” For me, this scholarship is especially important as it embodies the qualities I believe I exhibit as a person and as a student. The cost of pursuing your dreams is always high but I understood the value of quality education starting from a very young age. My father, at the age of 18 had to shoulder upon himself all the family responsibilities and thus never had the opportunity to go to college. Since that day it was his dream to see his son graduate and he instilled the faith in me that chasing your dreams is just as important as chasing responsibilities.

During my undergraduate study, I developed an inclination towards the term Artificial Intelligence, though my academic curriculum had nothing related to it. My excitement, fueled by fascination and curiosity, resulted in immense research work. The knowledge I gained made me aware that python is an essential language and the first step on the path of Artificial Intelligence.

For my undergraduate final project, I was the only student out of 130 peers to tackle the python based project. Even my professors were weary of me approaching such a vague and unknown problem. At that time, there were only three companies in the whole state which hired python interns and I got an interview call from only one company. I realized at that moment that this decision might be one I would regret my whole life but instead, I gave it everything I had to make it one of the most rewarding experiences. As an intern, I learned more than I could have imagined and my knowledge grew day by day, also I was exposed to other technologies and learned iOS development. There came a moment when my team leader told me to train other interns and become their mentor. That day I achieved something, a sense of accomplishment ran through me.

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After completing my internship I successfully landed a job as an iOS developer and this job became my learning benchmark. The amount of pressure and responsibilities to which I was exposed led me to become more self-confident. Simultaneously, I handled multiple projects and clients, and even completed milestones before deadlines. Each project is unique in its own way, though you can rely on previous projects experience but that doesn’t get your work done, that is something which keeps me on toes and that was much appreciated by my colleagues and superiors. During my tenure as an iOS developer, I was exposed to clients from diverse countries like USA, South Africa, UK & Singapore.

In the midst of this, the seed to pursue a career in Artificial Intelligence never stopped growing and the urge to dive in the vast ocean of neural networks & Machine Learning kept growing. I finally took a leap of faith and decided to pursue an advanced degree in Artificial Intelligence from a land where education is considered a practical approach than a theoretical basis.

Once my masters commenced, I dedicated myself to learning as much as possible while remaining independent. Luckily I managed to get a scholarship for new graduate students in my university, but I knew this was temporary solution and I needed to work hard if I wanted to continue to sustain myself. When I learned that my professor, Dr. Derek Harter, was performing research in the same area that I was keenly interested, I approached him about joining his research team. He appreciated my inquisitiveness and allowed me to voluntarily work with him on his research. While Dr. Harter challenged me, he also patiently addressed all my doubts and queries and showed me how I can learn more efficiently. He shared research papers on Generative Adversarial Networks(GAN) and material related to Neural networks, Image Recognition. He even taught me to work with tensor flow and numpy library. Even at this moment I am walking on the path he has shown me and I can proudly say that I have gained more knowledge than any other student at my age would be expected to know.

With what I have known I have started my own pet project called Edna. She is my personal digital assistant and much more interactive than any other assistants available. My goal is to make her the most advanced AI assistant available to date. This is my dream: to make a dent in the world, to create something so explicit and intuitive that it revolutionizes the coming generation. I have managed myself to reach this point and I’ve complete faith in myself that with immense hard work I can achieve what has been in my mind for past 5 years. There’s a quote in the book “Artificial Intelligence: A modern approach,' “A student in physics might reasonably feel that all the good ideas have already been taken by Galileo, Newton, Einstein and the rest. AI, on the other hand, still has openings for several full-time Einsteins.”

Apart from achieving success and living my dream, I want to see pride in my parent’s eyes and especially my dad. I want him to witness the fruits of his hard-work and sacrifice, without which my dreams wouldn’t have taken flight. At this juncture of my career and academic pursuits, I do not wish to burden my parents with any further financial demands and hence seek to be self-sufficient. Receiving this scholarship will boost my self-confidence, knowing that I not only completed a very important task, but also took the responsibility of creating a foundation for getting me closer to my career goals. I would like to thank the organization and committee for providing an opportunity for students to seek scholarship and pursue their dreams with a less financial burden. Thank you for your time and consideration, I look forward to hear from you.

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