From an early age, Vrunda Shah was interested in technological innovations that would help people and benefit society at large. This passion has played a key role in her meteoric rise at Intel from a new employee to a design engineer and leader who has worked on multiple pioneering projects—in less than three years.
“I’ve always wanted to try and build something that would improve lives. The promise of new possibilities excites me. That is one of the reasons why I feel right at home with Intel. Because I’m always working on something that will impact markets and communities across the globe. And that inspires me to work even harder and improve daily.”
Driven by Intel’s vision to put innovation at the forefront, Vrunda dreamt of joining the company ever since she studied electrical and electronics engineering at NIT Warangal. When Intel conducted campus interviews for undergraduates at her college, she grabbed the opportunity with both hands. A dream come true, Vrunda joined Intel as a Modem Hardware Engineer for the Intel Communication Device Group (ICDG).
Overcoming Challenges—as a Team
The transition from student life to the rigours of being a professional is often hard, but Vrunda received endless support from both her mentors and teammates, helping her meet the challenges head on. Vrunda’ s first project was a first for Intel, a 5G modem. The team working on the project was full of newcomers, making it even more exciting.
“We were all right out of college and we couldn’t have asked for a project that was more challenging. I think the work culture here made us feel we were all working towards the same goal and that helped to deliver results. In terms of statistics, I would say that when we automated the entire central test for an entire subsystem, it increased the verification turnaround time by almost 90%. And that truly gave a huge impact to our project’s speed as well as the verification time, which ultimately proved crucial,” she recalls fondly.
From Newbie to Leader
Vrunda’s time at Intel has moulded her into the person she is today. She is currently a part of the Xeon and Networking Engineering (XNE) group as a System on Chip (SoC) design engineer. She also leads a subsystem for a Bangalore-based project that aims to enhance 5G networks in servers across industries worldwide. Apart from this, Vrunda has worked on the Intel® Xeon® processors for the Ice Lake project and is also an integral member of the Tiger Team, working on various projects.
At Intel, Vrunda has always found mentors who have gone out of their way to help her, even today, as a leader. This has helped her develop leadership and decision-making skills to create a balanced ecosystem for her team and deliver the best to her customers.
“As an SoC design engineer, understanding the product’s features as well as taking it forward by validation is a big challenge. The verification ideologies and methodologies which we have to use can often feel tedious. But I love taking up these challenges because I know my team has my back and makes sure that I deliver the best results. We have all become more like family, than colleagues, over time.”
Hackathons, Volunteering & More
Being an avid technology enthusiast, Vrunda actively participates in Intel’s hackathons and technical seminars. “Hackathons, incubation programs and seminars encourage you to ideate and build something together. I participate in these events not just because they are fun, but also to create solutions that can address crucial everyday problems,” she says.
Some of Vrunda’ s fondest moments at the company have been at the Intel Talk Masters Club, which meets every week to discuss a wide range of issues. These sessions encourage everyone to speak up and build a rapport with their teammates. Vrunda is also a core member of the Diversity and Inclusion chapter of the XNE Group and a part of the Intel Disability and Accessibility Network. She has volunteered with NGOs, schools, and organizations, including The Sheila Kothavala Institute for the Deaf, to help children in need.
“Intel gives me the platform to continue my passion for helping those in need, while pursuing different avenues of technology. Like I said, I consider myself an innovator by nature. And that’s the best part about coming to work at Intel. Every day offers a new and exciting challenge and that keeps pushing me to give my best.”
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