Class of 2023

Photo of Sharika  Mahadevan

Sharika Mahadevan

Graduate StudentEmail Sharika Mahadevan

Sharika Mahadevan graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras in July 2019 with a major in Biological Engineering and a minor in Economics. During her undergraduate studies, she focused her efforts on applying her classroom knowledge to real-world problems through projects and internships. Her coursework in the Analysis & Interpretation of Biological Data and Neural Networks exposed her to the numerous applications of these algorithms. She has also worked as a data steward at CTIER (Centre for Technology, Innovation, and Economic Research) to regularly update government policies that facilitate industry-academia collaboration in India and closely monitor those that were getting phased out. Post her graduation, she joined Procter & Gamble as a manager in the Engineering function to see how ideas in academia are translated from their nascent stages to products that delighted consumers. It was in her role in Procter & Gamble that she began to fully comprehend the power of data, be it in driving business decisions or in enabling structured troubleshooting. As part of the Engineering team, she led numerous initiatives with reapplication in the developing world. She devised a series of Design of Experiments (DOE) trials and identified suitable process settings to enable the right transformation. Additionally, these trials also proved that no new equipment was needed, reducing heavy capital investment. This first-hand experience of data-driven decision-making was exhilarating and she found the possibilities endless. She delved deeper into other applications such as developing a process control strategy to curb leakage in diapers to improve product performance and reduce consumer complaints. She built Power BI dashboards through which she witnessed the effectiveness of data visualization in driving business transformation. Apart from communicating to leadership the projects' progress and readiness, these dashboards aided them to decide on the priorities and extend support against any barriers, ensuring the unyielding quality of project delivery. Sharika is excited to return to school and learn more sophisticated techniques in data science alongside her peers and faculty. By joining Northwestern University's MSiA* program, she hopes to hone her technical skillset and strengthen her theoretical understanding to better leverage data in fields including but not limited to tech, healthcare, and supply chain. With the pace at which data is growing, she is excited to be at its forefront. Outside of school, she looks forward to continuing her interest in baking and reading.

*later renamed MS in Machine Learning and Data Science