WIA Women to Watch: 2020 Q3, Pujaa Rajan

Pujaa Rajan

Machine Learning Engineer, Stripe
Founder, Women in AI US Chapter

Who is Pujaa Rajan?

Pujaa Rajan has been a force in AI since moving to San Francisco in early 2019. She founded the USA chapter of Women In AI with 2,900+ members worldwide to help diversity & inclusion in AI and is a Google Machine Learning Developer Expert and Google Women Techmaker.

In addition to working on deep learning at Node, where she both researches and builds as an engineer, she is currently building a website to compare salaries for individuals who work on AI. And this is only the beginning!

Her love for AI and mission to use it to improve the world drive the breadth of her reach within her communities.

Read on to get to know Pujaa and learn about what makes her a Woman to Watch!

If You Could Have Any Superpower What Would it Be and Why?

I'd like to read minds. I'm curious how the mind works and how people think. I imagine it's the best method to learn from other's experiences - imagine reading Meg Whitman's, ex-CEO of HP, mind in place of her book. ​

What Advice Would You Give Your Younger Self? What Advice Would You Ignore?

Work on what you’re excited to be working on at work. Your excitement combined with your expertise will allow you to outperform others. If you're not working on what you want to be working on, then find a different way. Work with your manager and company to find an outlet for those interests or look for opportunities outside of the workplace. Check out Eventbrite and Meetup for community events around your interests. The people you meet will be the people you work with side by side in your industry and can lead to new jobs. The extra time and effort will be worth the opportunity to feel excited by your work.

What Is Your Favorite Quote or Saying That Captures Your Mission?

Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube: “Life doesn’t always present you with the perfect opportunity at the perfect time. Opportunities come when you least expect them, or when you’re not ready for them. Rarely are opportunities presented to you in the perfect way, in a nice little box with a yellow bow on top. Opportunities, the good ones, they’re messy and confusing and hard to recognize. They’re risky. They challenge you.”