From ASB Bright Sparks to Google

leili baghaei

Leili Baghaei Rad had her interest in technology piqued as a third-former at Riccarton High School. Now she works at Google as a product manager.

She credits ASB Bright Sparks as a big stepping stone in her career.

She won an ASB Bright Sparks scholarship in 2003, which allowed her to follow her interest and evetually secure work experience at Tait Electronics.

“It was great to get that level of support to have Bright Sparks support and encourage me to continue my education,” Stanford-educated Leili says.

“I think it is very important to get approval and recognition from organisations in order to stay focused and develop your learning.”

Leili encourages young Kiwi women to get involved in technology wherever they can, and points to the number of successful females in Silicon Valley.

Her role models include Yahoo! CEO Marissa Meyer, Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki.

“All three are very successful women in technology, but have a great work-life balance,” she says.

“As a mother-to-be, balance is important to me, and working in technology offers me that.”

Leili says ASB Bright Sparks, especially now in the digital age, is a great springboard to success for motivated young New Zealanders.

“The sky's the limit, reach out for whatever you want to do and education will give you the necessary tools to get there.“