Shivani Mishra

Shoot your shot. Take it slowly, one day at a time.

By Lulu Zakia Qonita

Shivani Mishra, Class of 2020, graduated from NYUAD with a bachelor’s degree in political science. She is currently pursuing an MSc in South Asian Studies at Oxford University and working as an Apprentice at the BBC Global News. During our conversation, we discussed dealing with impostor syndrome and making the most out of the supportive NYUAD network.

Mishra's undergraduate studies at NYUAD were a wild journey of aiming as high as possible for her dreams. Prior to where she is today, she interned at Hedayah, the UNHCR, Human Rights Watch, and the UN Security Council. She worked hard every semester that she was at NYUAD, making the most out of her time there. With the career, emotional, and financial support that NYUAD provided, she was able to experience some professional opportunities that, according to her, would be absolutely beyond her reach if she had not attended NYUAD.

A great part of her undergraduate experience was also the motivation and inspiration that came from her wonderful peers. Being surrounded by ambitious friends with stellar track records, according to Mishra, can be a ‘double-edged sword.’ Given the competitive environment at NYUAD, Shivani admits that, at times, she struggled with impostor syndrome and often questioned her purposes. However, she was able to look around and consider it a gift to be surrounded by such kind, compassionate and talented peers.

Some days, I may not be able to look at myself and acknowledge the things I am doing in life. However, during these moments, I can look at my surroundings and think, ‘Am I really going to school with these brilliant people? Doesn’t that mean I’m one of them?'

Shivani Mishra, NYUAD Class of 2020

Mishra believes that getting into the habit of appreciating others and being inspired by them made it easier for her to take the competitive nature of NYUAD in a positive direction. As a first-year student, she applied to internships that were not looking for first-years. As a second-year student, she used the opportunity presented by the NYUAD Career Development Center to have a mock interview with her dream organization. At that time, they were not even looking for interns. However, through this opportunity, she was able to connect with the organization and secure an internship with them over the summer. 

Mishra said that despite the pandemic, the resilience and perseverance of the Class of 2020 shined through. From witnessing how persistent her peers were in navigating job-searching and dealing with uncertainty, she learned a lot about resilience and patience. 

Mishra’s message to current undergraduates is to “shoot your shot. Take it slowly, one day at a time. There is a place for you in this world.”