Alumni Stories

bhuvana-hegdeAlbert Einstein once said, “In the middle of every difficulty, lies opportunity”. In my difficult times, I got this opportunity in the form of ‘Katalyst’.

Being brought up in rural-based regional medium schools, I struggled a lot with my communication skills and to keep up with my peers in college. My mentor from Katalyst, Ms. Ishviene S played a major role in improving my English and pronunciation skills, not to mention the way I dressed. She looked after me like a mother.

Through Katalyst, I got to participate in a hackathon by JP Morgan & Chase and I cracked it to get the job as a Software Engineer. After hearing my story Ms. Lori Beer [CIO, JPMC] nominated me for JPMC’s external brand campaign as its ambassador. Out of lakhs of people working in JPMC, you can see only 20 odd people on their career website as ‘Our People’, and I’m one of them.

I would like to set an example for all women who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Do not worry about external factors. All that matters here is your competency, and Katalyst helps to nourish that regardless of your income, background, or beauty.
Believe me, the best accessory a girl can carry is her self-confidence!

Bhuvana Hegde
Software Engineer, JPMorgan Chase & Co.


keerthyI am a 2015 graduate in BE, Electronics & Communication. Being a first-generation engineer or even being the first person to graduate from my family, I had to face several obstacles in my life.

Katalyst has made me self-reliant. At my office, I am known for my coding techniques, the way I organize meetings, email writing, sending Minutes of Meetings, and most of all – being responsible for what I do. The experience I had at Katalyst, gave me a better edge in my batch.

I worked in BOSCH Group, Germany for a year then shifted to BOSCH Group China for a year of adventure and knowledge. Currently working at Robert Bosch in my core field, Embedded System – Autonomous Driving, I am financially independent.

I have worked in start-up, private and public sectors, which made me undergo several ups and downs. At a point, I was frustrated, but Katalyst and its training prepared me for the rollercoaster called life.

I think in the process of encouraging my juniors and making them grow, even I have grown a lot. What more is required in this world other than so many sisters calling you akka (didi), with a great smile and sight of trust, hope, and faith in their eyes! The happiness which I get by giving back to Katalyst is unimaginable.

Keerthy Murugan
Sr. Software Engineer, Bosch India


priyanka-sharmaI grew up watching my mother, the breadwinner of the family, juggling work and raising two daughters with the best education possible. It’s said that tough times are the best teacher. And thus, my mother’s life is a lesson each day.

Seeing the daily struggle, the only contribution I could think about was to study harder. During my engineering days at VJTI Mumbai, I was introduced to the Katalyst, a program for financially challenged GIRL students who are empowered to DREAM. Katalyst helped me reveal my self-worth.

Starting a professional career with Larsen and Toubro in another city and sustaining in Shipbuilding, a male-dominated field, taught me about responsibilities and focus. My mother’s zeal and my mentor’s support motivated me further to pursue post-graduation. I am now the Founder of CollarCamp. This month it completes 3.5 years, and we have already broken even. We were also recognized as a start-up by DIPP, the Government of India.

They say a woman is the prime force of this universe. When you have other such women along your life’s journey, it is all worth it. And you never know whom you inspire through your journey. When women stand beside other women, it keeps the spirits illuminated, and the revolution continues.

Priyanka Dake Sharma
Founder, CollarCamp


sayli-landeThere is no destination to success, it is what you define it for yourself.

I joined Katalyst in the second year of my engineering and changed a lot during its course. I am an enthusiastic, positive person with a strong sense of determination, and Katalyst gave the right direction to my hard work. When I say the word Katalyst, it is my pride that shines through.

The leadership skills I learnt from the program are helping me in my corporate life. While managing a team, you need to listen to all and come to a conclusion that provides an overall benefit to the business. My colleagues look up to me when it comes to problem-solving. It feels amazing!

Every woman is blessed with a special superpower, and the same applies to me. My unique strength of orientation to achievement, be it personal or professional, gives me a sense of satisfaction and keeps me self-motivated all the time, striving to improve my work and be efficient. The zeal and passion to drive and accomplish my goals never fade.

Be grateful for all that you’ve received in life, and more importantly make the best use of it. After all, as Mr. Kalam once said, “if you want to shine like a sun, first burn like a sun.

Sayli Lande
Unit Head – Minor Metal Plant, Hindustan Zinc


swathi-mgWhen I had joined one of the top engineering institutes of Bangalore, BNMIT, things weren’t smooth because of two reasons. The demise of my father, leaving behind my mother and two younger siblings, and the inability to gel with a city like Bangalore. Fortunately, I came across Katalyst at one of the toughest times of my life.

The program manager and my mentors made Katalyst a second home for me. It was their selfless support and down-to-earth nature that helped me bag the ‘Ideal Mentee’ award in the Katalyst Annual Convention. To me, Goa conventions were not just an annual Katalyst meet, but a benchmark for the life I wanted to lead.

I wanted to pursue higher studies but being the sole earner of my family, I had to hold on to my job. After working for two years at Accenture, I decided to attempt CAT. I had to juggle around 10-12 hrs of work, 2 hrs of travel, and 6 hours of study every day. Although it seemed too draining, the dream of pursuing an MBA from one of the country’s premier B-Schools kept me going. I now study at the IIM, Calcutta.

It’s not the destination but the journey that makes one more resilient, and stand out in a crowd. I’m thankful to Katalyst for being the launcher of my journey.

Swathi M G
Sports Council Member, Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta