In the world of comic books, origin stories inform the reader of the identity and motivations of heroes and villains (thankfully, we only have the former here). Like Spider-Man or Captain American, your origin story is important as it defines who you are today. Learn about the experiences, people, and influences that shaped Concord's Astha Saxena by reading below!
Where did you grow up?
I grew up all over the place. I was born in Delhi, India, and moved to the United States when I was about two years old. I spent the next eight years or so growing up in Norwood, Massachusetts. I then moved back to Delhi for a couple years before making my way to California and then New Jersey.
What is your favorite family tradition?
My mom makes the best Indian food. Whenever it’s my birthday or there’s another occasion to celebrate, she will make a three-course meal with my favorite foods. I love helping her cook and learning her recipes even though I never get the same flavor when I make them myself. The last time I visited, I was home for five days, and my mom made over 30 unique dishes (some of which I brought stuffed in my suitcase, of course).
Who has had the greatest influence on your life?
My dog Leica. She’s a derpy greyhound who is an instant stress reliever and kept me sane throughout the pandemic. I can’t express in words how much I love her. (My cat’s cool too but prefers not to associate with me in public.)
What is an experience that has shaped who who you are today?
College. Though I got saddled with lots of debt, going away to live on a university campus (U of Illinois) was the best decision I ever made for myself. I feel like I fit a decade of personal growth into those four years.
How did you end up in your current career?
I started working at Cerner after I graduated from college, where I learned Tableau, SQL, data storytelling, and other data analytics skills. It’s also where I developed the drive to challenge myself by learning new tools and skills. My drive and skills helped me land my job as an analyst at Evolytics.
What is your favorite hobby?
Bouldering and climbing. Nothing makes me feel more alive!
When was a moment you felt most accomplished?
I did my first multi-pitch climb at the Buffalo River in March with my fiancé. Overcoming my fear of heights and my self doubts was a life-changing experience.