CDIS Student Spotlight: Sreya Sarathy

Sreya Sarathy seeks to help women navigate the nuances of working in tech.

From Bangalore, India, Sarathy is a junior studying both Computer Sciences and Data Science. She chose to pursue both computer and data science because of her fascination with problem-solving and her desire to make a tangible impact.

“I am excited by the prospect of not just creating technology, but also using it to drive innovation, whether it is improving healthcare outcomes, shaping educational technologies, or optimizing business processes. It’s this combination of creation and application that makes studying both disciplines appealing to me,” says Sreya.

Sarathy says that with her Computer Sciences major she has learned how systems work, how to code, and how to think logically to create technology solutions. With Data Science, she has learned how to harness the power of technology to uncover insights from data, make predictions, and inform decision-making.

“I believe the intersections of these two fields are powerful. With a CS background, I can build systems and applications, while Data Science allows me to fill those systems with intelligence and purpose,” says Sreya.

She believes that studying both of these fields has given her a comprehensive skillset.

“This combination has prepared me not only to develop but also enhance technology solutions with a data-driven approach, preparing me for real-world challenges where technology intersects with practical applications,” says Sreya.

Sarathy is not the only School of Computer, Data & Information Sciences (CDIS) student to pursue multiple majors. Nearly half of CDIS students are double majors.

“Interdisciplinary learning has been instrumental in expanding my skill set and knowledge base. When studying across disciplines, you’re not just learning two sets of skills in isolation-you’re learning how they intersect and work together. This crossover has been invaluable,” says Sreya.

Sarathy has also pursued internships and student work in her field during her time at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. She currently serves as a technology consultant for the Collaboratory for Engineering Education and Teaching Excellence in the College of Engineering. She previously worked as a software development engineering intern for ezClinic, a healthcare startup.

Sarathy says her internship experiences have taught her the need for constant skill improvement and the importance of being flexible.

“Working at a healthcare startup last summer taught me a lot about coding with respect to data privacy. It showed me how tech can really make a difference in healthcare, and I learned to keep up with tech trends and adapt quickly to new challenges. Being able to shift gears and use my skills in different environments has been crucial,” says Sreya.

She also serves as a mentor for UW—Madison’s chapter of WACM, a student group for women in computing. Sarathy says that mentoring in computer science not only promotes diversity, but also fosters an environment that drives innovation.

“Having played the role of both mentee and mentor, I’ve seen firsthand the impact of encouragement and guidance. It empowers women to pursue careers in tech that they may have previously thought were beyond reach and helps women navigate the nuances of a tech career,” says Sreya. “Ultimately my aim, and the broader aim of mentorship, is to normalize the presence of women in tech, ensuring we have equal opportunities to contribute and shape the future of the industry.”

Sarathy’s advice to women in tech is to connect with others and embrace collaboration.

“I believe it’s important to keep pushing through challenges and trusting your abilities. Building a strong network can really help open doors, so it’s good to connect with others and never stop learning. I also believe in the importance of collaboration-it often leads to the best results,” says Sreya.

After she graduates, she wants to leverage the skills and knowledge she’s gained in the School of Computer, Data & Information Sciences to make a significant impact in the tech industry. This summer, she will be a software engineering intern at Northwestern Mutual. She is eager to dive into the fields of cloud technology, software development, artificial intelligence, and human-computer interaction.

“I aim to contribute to projects that not only solve pressing problems but also push the boundaries of what’s possible in tech,” says Sreya.