Husky 100

August 21, 2019

Student Stories: Shaarika Kaul

Shaarika Kaul

Mercer Island, WA2019 Husky 100 Shaarika Kaul
B.S., Informatics (Data Science), B.A., Communication, Minor in Entrepreneurship

Year awarded 2019

Why did you apply for the Husky 100?

I honestly just wanted to share my story. My path to where I am now was windy and unconventional in many ways, and I wanted other students to know that it’s okay not to fit into a single box. I gave myself the title of “gap-bridger.” You can be successful paving your own path and walking to the beat of your own drum. It’s not a competition. The phrase goes: “A jack of all trades but a master of none.” But I think that being a jack of all trades means that you have mastered something very important: individuality. There’s no need to fit someone else’s definition of what you should be. Fit your own.

What does being a Husky 100 mean to you throughout your journey at UW?

It was truly a validation of the incredible positive growth I had here at the UW. I had a tough adjustment to the UW, and was very uncertain of what I wanted to study and where I wanted to go professionally. I also struggled with my mental and physical health and experienced personal tragedies. But every challenge showed me the tough and resilient person I was becoming. And every success was that much grander. Being a Husky 100 means that I can show others like me that there is a place for them at the UWit may just take a little time to create it. Everyone’s journey is important, and hopefully someone can relate to mine and know that they aren’t alone.

What does being a Husky 100 mean to you and your communities? 

I’m so proud to represent the academic, cultural, and professional communities I’m involved in. Communities like the South Asian community, Kashmiri community, UW Unplugged (my band), Informatics, Communications, and more have been my cheerleaders throughout my ups and downs. I’m truly where I am today because of their unwavering support.

I also gained a new community with the Husky 100. After meeting my fellow Husky 100’s, I was in awe of the incredible things they have accomplished—from reviving languages to providing healthcare to people in every corner of the globe. I am so honored and humbled to be included among them.

Through your experience, how did you embody one of the Husky 100 criteria?

I had two goals to accomplish upon graduating from the UW: become a better version of myself and make the UW a better version of itself.

Through my work at the UW and globally, I have been able to bridge gaps between fields like STEM and Arts, and Eastern and Western cultures through music and activism. I take my learnings from the UW beyond our campus and bring my perspective and experiences to make the UW better.

In order to be fulfilled, I have to stay curious, keep learning, and keep challenging myself to become better. I have to make a real, positive impact. And when paths that already exist don’t satisfy me, I will create my own. I believe that during my time here I brought this huge campus closer together by bridging gaps between departments, cultures, and people. Beyond simply my classwork, this unity is the work that I am truly proud of and that carries the greatest meaning for my future. I believe this is why I embody the Husky 100 values.

How does the Husky 100 inspire other students?

I think it gives students an amazing platform for the amazing things they do, and I know I have been so inspired by my fellow Husky 100’s. I think it’s also a wonderful showcase of the diversity of people we have at the UW, and showing that they are all appreciated for what they have accomplished in their fields and communities. 

Were there mentors or communities that were a part of your journey at UW?

There were so many mentors and communities that were there for me throughout my journey, I can’t even begin to count them. But certainly the communities I listed above.