ASU alumna unifies students across borders through robotics
In a world transformed by globalization, many individuals find themselves working with others across national borders and cultural barriers. This international cooperation in the world of business has become even more important as the social dynamics between the leaders of the United States and the rest of the world shift in the modern era.
ASU alumna Anisha Hindocha, director of logistics at FIRST Global, deals with international governments and corporations on a daily basis, ensuring that students from over 140 countries have the opportunity to take part in a global robotics competition.
Since she deals with countries with differing social norms, Hindocha has had to adapt — and her years at Arizona State University's School of Politics and Global Studies (SPGS) has enabled her to take it in stride. One of the challenges, according to Hindocha, was getting used to the work schedule of other cultures.
“Before this job I knew that the Muslim world doesn't work on Fridays but I had never been affected by it," Hindocha said. "Now, though, I know I can't make calls there on Fridays, which means changing my schedule a lot.”
Hindocha has also had to manage the trickiness of international politics while working at FIRST Global, dealing with the State Department and other international groups. This means coping with policies, such as President Trump’s proposed travel ban on Muslim-majority nations, as well as ensuring students in nations that are economically sanctioned have access to the robotics kits vital to the competition.
“My learning experiences at SPGS have taught me to be detailed and meticulous which are key to my job," Hindocha said. "Additionally, I have learned to communicate best with people from around the world, who are of my faiths, creeds and cultures.”
During her time at ASU, Hindocha completed a junior fellowship with political science lecturer Gina Woodall.
“I think that opportunity helped me a lot. It taught me to be dedicated to students, which has translated into what I do now,” Hindocha said.
Reflecting upon her time at FIRST Global, Hindocha remarked that helping the students, whether with visa applications or ensuring their robot was received, was the most rewarding part of the job.
“[It’s] about the kids and giving them the opportunity to build a robot, and when one of those things becomes a reality, nothing is more rewarding.”