In 2007, I Interviewed Dr. Anu (Henna) Karna Rasiah, who is a Model, a Mathematician, a teacher, and an entrepreneur. Currently, she works at Google. She had a 100% score in SAT exam. She was working on big-data, cognitive analysis and machine learning projects back in 2006-07 when I didn’t even know what those terms meant.
In this interview she talks about her achievements, her learning and lessons from her father. Her father used to tell her, “Do your best at whatever you do!”, and that lesson helped her reach her goals and a variety of successful careers. She talks about how her mother supported her endeavors and helped every step of the way.
Dr. Anu talks about how her dad had very different views about women compared to the traditional Indian dad’s views. Traditionally, women were primarily seen as responsible to cook, clean, take care of the household and the kids. Her dad was very supportive of her studies and goals. To him, It didn’t matter how you are, elder or younger, its important to focus on your studies. In her head she was always thinking I should do better than what I have done before.
Dr. Karna worked as a fashion model for Calvin Klein, Victoria’s Secret among others.
Another interesting conversation we had during this time was about Alcohol for students. In her views, alcohol damages your brain cells – and when you need your brain to focus on learning, there is no room for alcohol.
This is a multipart interview so do see all the parts to get the most of it.
Dr. Karna talks about how in her school time she was scared of public speaking. When she got up on the stage kids would laugh or make fun of her. She took it as a challenge, joined some speech training classes, and today, she successfully mesmerizes the audience by her stage presence. Again, a lesson in finding and realizing your shortcomings, working hard to improve them and getting better – so you can give your best!
In Summary, everyday, we learn from people around us. There are a many of us who have done excellent in their lives – and we should always keep our eyes open to learn from them – and then do our best at everything we do.