Srishti Saini is a young girl of a visionary and enthusiastic character. Whatever piece of work comes her way, she manages to double up her energy levels and deliver the best possible quality output. Her quality deliverable is a result of her intelligent efforts.
This coffee addict has a bachelor’s degree in Physics from Delhi University. When the students around the world were busy queuing up to get admissions in Engineering colleges, this girl was prepping herself to study the Laws of Newton!
She spent a large part of her childhood (almost 8 years) in Chennai with her family. This contributed to the charismatic personality that she carries confidently. She excels in the area of content writing and public oration. She always tries to push her limits and aspires to accomplish her dreams. After completing her graduation, she dropped a year, to reconsider her choices.
In the midst of everything, she started a YouTube channel, which she believes was a life changing experience. Her channel ‘Thinking Srishti’ is based on comedy, which again, goes against the grain. She believes in breaking stereotypes because in her opinion female YouTuber's are assumed to be masters in only make-up, beauty, fashion and dating advice. Women trying to make other people laugh is still considered strange or even absurd by the narrow-minded section of our society. But Srishti strives to change that.
Her journey at IMT Ghaziabad, as she says, is a roller coaster ride for her. The field of management, being new to her after three years of studying Physics, has been refreshing. She is academically sorted as she is one among other toppers. She aspires to be a jack-of-all-trades. She is currently working as one of the Digital Heads for the media relations committee of IMT Ghaziabad, IMTeam PRISM.
She dreams of a day where the words - opinionated, strong, fierce, bold, intelligent, funny or capable would hold the same place for all genders and not just considered as adjectives to describe an intimidatingly impressive woman.
What was high school like for you? How did it contribute to your personality/ the person you are right now?
Throughout my high school life, I concentrated on building my skill set in terms of knowledge of science, speaking and writing. When I entered 9th grade, I was an insecure little girl who did not know anything other than what had been taught to me by my parents and fed to me via the mainstream media. I had a skewed, uneducated perception about things like gender roles, bigotry, etc. In the next four years, being exposed to different people, I started forming stronger and more informed opinions on such matters and began actually gaining confidence in my intelligence and talent rather than things society says a woman should be good at. I realised that I had an opportunity to build my personality and that I could always evolve to fit the situation. This led to me going against the grain and opting to do physics, which I was highly interested in, rather than doing what everyone else was. Who cares if people thought I was a “nerd” rather than a “pretty girl”. I’m a nerd and proud of it.
If money was no object, what would you do all day?
I honestly believe that I wouldn’t be in much of a different situation if I had infinite funds. I have been raised to believe that education is the most important contributor to becoming productive members of society. I also believe that one can only make a long lasting impression on the world with their intelligence and knowledge. Right now, I am taking advantage of each opportunity I get every day, to reach my goal of getting as much value addition through my MBA as possible. If I had a lot of money, I would be a very rich person taking advantage of each opportunity I get every day, to reach my goal of getting as much value addition through my MBA as possible, probably eating good food outside every day though.
What advice would you give to a 5-year-younger you?
I would have quite a lot to say to 5-year younger me, mostly I would be telling myself to grow-up, and knowing myself, the younger me would completely disregard this statement. However, there is something profound I would say, and that is not to work for anyone’s benefit or approval except for my own, as if I respect myself and my achievements, then others will have no choice to, and the more I achieve, the less likely anyone is to dismiss them as flukes, and recognize me as a smart, accomplished individual capable of conquering the world.
How do you think women are better equipped to deal with problems as compared to men?
I try not to think in those terms at all. The moment you divide a group of people into sub-groups, whether it be by gender, race, region or anything else, there will always be a fight as to which side is better, with each person rooting for the side to which they belong. I like to think of each person as an individual, each with a unique perspective to problem-solving, regardless of whether they are a man or a woman. Yes, a certain woman may be better than a certain man at solving a particular problem, or vice versa, but that does not automatically mean that ALL women are better equipped than men to deal with the problem. Such generalisations, in my opinion, only lead to conflict, ill feeling and ultimately, more sexism. (along with accusations of being a feminazi). Let us celebrate people, not genders.
Many IIMs and other b-schools award extra points for being a woman. What is your take on that? Do you propagate the concept OR Have you faced any backlash for the same?
I definitely do not propagate this concept. The goal of feminism is equality of the genders. That equality will never come as long as either sex is given any type of preference in any regard. It’s the same concept as having a women’s compartment in the Delhi metro. Woman are not delicate flowers who need to be protected or given an extra push to go forward in life. Everyone should get an equal opportunity and when you say that women would get extra points just for being themselves, you are actually propagating the fact that they were, somehow, born at a disadvantage, which is simply not true. Women don’t become powerful because of their gender, women become powerful when they crack a B-school interview against everyone else while being on equal footing with everyone, after surviving in a society rife with male privilege. A girl’s achievements should not be belittled by telling her she only achieved something because she’s a girl.
Name one incident that you encountered where someone told you, you couldn’t do something because you’re a woman.
I am fortunate enough to have never been told something like this outright. My family has never stopped me from pursuing any line of career I wish to, and I have always surrounded myself with people whose thoughts resonated with mine regarding this issue. However, that is not to say that subtly, the differences have not come up. For example, despite having a bachelor’s degree in physics, I was encouraged to get into a teaching role, rather than a research one, as teaching is more “suitable” and “comfortable” for a woman. Similarly, many people are happy and “relieved” that I will be completing my MBA by the time I’m 23, which means I can get married at the “right time”. It is easy to mask sexism when it hides behind a curtain of concern. This kind of discrimination is harder to weed out and get rid of, as it is a mindset that has to be changed.
If you are out on a date, do you prefer to pay yourself? If you insisted that you want to pay for yourself, how did the other person react?
Well, this is a personal choice, and I don’t judge others for having a different one, but I prefer to pay for my meals regardless of who I’m with. Unless we have a joint account, my date and I are on equal footing and if there’s a shortage of cash, we can always eat golgappas and be satisfied. However, people have insisted to pay for me out of politeness or pressure of society, afraid that I would think less of them if it was any other way. Sadly, their fears are a little justified, as a man paying for a woman is something very much ingrained in our society. That being said, I would ever refuse a treat from any of my friends (male or otherwise), as free food is one of the many joys of life.
About the Author:
Archit Kacker is a student of Marketing, of the two-year full-time AICTE approved and AACSB accredited residential PGDM programme at Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad. He is the coordinator of the Public Relations, Information and Social Media (IMTeam PRISM) committee at IMT Ghaziabad. His areas of interest include mythology, politics, social causes, sports, current affairs and general issues etc. He is an avid follower of the question-and-answer site Quora. He has over 5,00,600 views on his answers.