“It is time for you to get married”, – said her parents upon her graduation. Saumya always wanted to do something, and it was time.

Saumya grew up in Devchandpur, a sleepy village about 120km from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. From an early age, she had to fight for normal things. She was the first girl from her village to attend convent school. Her class teacher ridiculed her when she couldn’t pronounce “extinguisher” – Saumya promised herself this would never happen again. She could not pursue her graduation in a metro city as her parents were saving up for her brother’s education. Saumya ploughed on and completed her bachelors and MBA. A friend encouraged her to apply to the YWI initiative. Reluctantly she did and was selected.

Saumya took the first flight of her life when she flew to Bengaluru to join the YWI boot camp. She found out about Ola and Uber in Bengaluru. Saumya was feeling free for the first time in her life. “Life starts at the end of one’s comfort zone” was her biggest takeaway from the boot camp.

Saumya interned at Edelweiss in the Institutional Equities team. The feedback was great but there were no full-time vacancies. Saumya knew she could not go back to her village. She now had confidence and a professional network to call upon. She decided to join Morningstar in the Equity Data team.

Saumya is now supporting her brother’s medical education and helping pay off a family loan. Leveraging her new-found professional network, she recently received an offer as a Credit Analyst in another global firm. Life has come full circle for the girl from the village who couldn’t speak English.