How pursuing their own paths landed sisters and Year Up alumnae, Sunny and Salma Adhikari, at a global leader in tech.
"Looking back a year, I would never have thought that I would be where I am right now," says Salma Adhikari. "Getting the opportunity to be a part of a company like Microsoft is something that I cannot put into words."
"Tech companies are so fast-paced and innovative it's a surreal experience to be a part of that innovation at Microsoft," added her older sister, Sunny. For sisters and Year Up alumnae, Sunny and Salma Adhikari, the path that landed them at a global leader in the technology industry looks different than most.
Shortly after moving to the United States from Nepal just two years ago, Sunny found Year Up Puget Sound, which presented a unique opportunity to pursue her passion for technology. Sunny trained in Year Up's Quality Assurance specialty, learning in-demand technical skills across areas like software testing, quality assurance, databases and programming, as well as valuable professional and business communication skills. The combination of skills training paired with Sunny's hard work earned her an internship, and ultimately a position as a Software Tester on Microsoft's Surface Testing Team.
Getting my hands on the devices, testing them to make sure we meet our customers' needs and expectations is challenging, yet fulfilling. I feel very humbled to have earned an opportunity at Microsoft, and I'm very thankful for Year Up. They saw the potential in me and made me believe that I had what it takes to be here at Microsoft.
Software Tester, Microsoft
"These days I have been working with lots of our unreleased devices. To be a part of the development cycles of our devices is crazy and inspiring," she continued. Inspired by her older sister, someone she's looked up to all her life, Salma applied to Year Up the following fall and forged her own path towards a professional career, training in the program's Business Fundamentals specialty.
"The day after her sister Sunny was hired at Microsoft, I saw something incredible happen. Salma participated more, she led the way for others, and encouraged her peers to participate," recalls Year Up staff. "Her fear dissipated. She stepped outside of her comfort zone and became the fearless leader I always knew she was."
As Salma harnessed that fearless leader within, her commitment to professional growth earned her an internship of her own as a Business & Event Project Coordinator at Microsoft, supporting events across the organization. At the end of her internship, Salma accepted a full-time position at Microsoft as a Business Administrator handling employee onboarding and team support, joining her sister and role model Sunny as she embarked on an exciting new chapter.
"I was incredibly fortunate to have earned my internship at Microsoft with an amazing team who was there to help me succeed,' shared Salma, 'but this wouldn't have happened without the incredible people I met at Year Up and Microsoft who pushed and supported me to find the dream I thought I never had."
Sunny added, "Girls don't get these types of opportunities in Nepal. I am so grateful." Now, both at Microsoft, the Adhikari sisters have their sights set on continuing to advancing their careers at the company.