CUNY Graduate from Queens College and Break Through Tech New York Program Alum, Anika Chowdhury navigated different industry paths to find her place in tech.
- Young Women Shaping the Future of Tech Series
In her CTE (Career & Technical Education) high school, Anika Chowdhury’s favorite subject was Graphic Communications. At 16, to gain professional experience, she pursued the Bloomberg Arts Internship at Studio in a School. There, she found her passion for graphic design and was inspired to pursue a career in the tech industry.
Anika learned about Break Through Tech the summer before entering her first year of college and was immediately drawn to our mission of eliminating the gender gap in tech. Even in her own community, Anika faced adversity as a woman of color in the tech sector. “I was always discouraged to focus on a male-driven major, but I didn’t let that get to me,” she said, expressing her desire to be part of a positive change community. She applied for her first Break Through Tech Sprinternship (formerly Winternships) in 2018, where she was paired with Verizon Media (formerly Oath) in New York City. “Can you believe a freshman in college getting such experience at such a young start in their career?” she asked.
At the time of Anika’s first Sprinternship, she was a Computer Engineering student at City College of New York. However, she felt that she belonged on a different path, one that was more focused on graphic design. After hearing the CEO of My Social Canvas, Lisa Mayer, speak during My Social Canvas’ hackathon, Anika was inspired to follow her true passion and become a Graphic Design major at Queens College. Even while transferring schools, she would continue her involvement in Break Through Tech and apply for more Sprinternships. In 2019, Anika served as a Marketing Analytics Intern at ActionIQ; in 2020, she landed a position at My Social Canvas as a Design Intern.
In acquiring personal and professional experience in her four years of college, Anika is proud of how she’s grown.
“Freshman year, I was a quiet young woman just getting through college. Now, in my final semester of college, I am a Design Intern at My Social Canvas and not scared of speaking up about what I believe in.”
The lessons taken from college and Break Through Tech have truly changed Anika’s life, and the people who were part of her journey all played crucial roles. Anika specifically attributes Judy Spitz, our founder and the executive director of Break Through Tech, and Martha Delehanty, Chief People Officer at Commvault and former Senior VP of HR at Verizon, thanking them for developing “such an amazing program” and believing in her. She also credits Lisa for speaking at the My Social Canvas hackathon, knowing how different her life would be if she didn’t have that pivotal moment of realization.
Anika’s experiences have made her value the importance of giving back to help the next generation. As the eldest of three, Anika shares her wisdom with her younger siblings by encouraging them to go for what they want and never doubt themselves. She hopes that they will gain valuable experience as she did, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic putting in-person internships on pause. Even amidst the pandemic, Anika dedicates a portion of her time to mentor young women through My Social Canvas to assist others in their career development.
“…make sure you get experience. Never let others influence your decisions…You don’t want to regret not chasing your dreams because someone thought otherwise.”
We’re excited to follow Anika on her journey as she progresses in her career and opens the door for others into the tech sector.