This post is part of a weekly series in which we get to know Sifties.
Tia Gangopadhyay is a Business Development Associate who has been with Sift Science for five months. If she could eat only one food for the rest of her life, it’d be potstickers. (Before she became lactose intolerant, it would’ve been pasta Alfredo…)
If you could pick only four words to describe your life, what would they be?
Ironic: When I think of how irony has played into my life, I think of a quote from the book The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, “They were things for which it was impossible to prepare but which one spent a lifetime looking back at, trying to accept, interpret, comprehend.”
Despite being a very type A, hyper-organized planner, most of the events that altered my life trajectory were unplanned and I had no way of preparing for them, whether good or bad — my mom’s car accident, losing my dad to cancer right before college, even deferring grad school at Yale to work at Sift Science.
Idiosyncratic: I’m a millennial in many ways, but I’m also an old soul — while I do love social media, I also love reading physical books, taking notes, and journaling.
Safe: I have two older siblings, and growing up I felt like I had four cheerleaders and such a supportive family.
Hardworking/Dedicated: My whole life I’ve considered myself a hardworking and passionate person.
What superpower would you want to have and why?
The ability to heal — the world has too much suffering.
Who do you admire most?
I’m very fortunate, because I have incredible parents and an amazing brother and sister that are a second set of parents to me. My dad is no longer with us, but I have yet to meet a man as selfless and hardworking as him. But despite the tough competition, I’d say I admire my mom the most. I love her unconditionally as my mom, but respect her so much as a woman too. I’ve gotten the opportunity to get to know her as an adult, post-grad, and it’s been such a blessing. She raised three successful children (I’m the best and clearly her favorite, of course), runs a language school, recently MC-ed for a 7,000+ audience, and is a fantastic orator.
Additionally, you’d never know but she was in a near-fatal car accident when I was three years old that ruptured her liver. She was in a coma for six weeks, the ICU for three months, a wheelchair for a year, and had over 13 surgeries. But she never missed a beat. She taught me how to read, dance, recite, and calculate percentages in my head. She taught me patience, empathy, dedication, and the importance of education. My mom embodies all of the qualities I would like to have. It would be an honor to be half the woman she is!
What are five things that make you happy?
- Spending time with my mom
- Watching Friends reruns and romantic comedies while drinking tea
- Eating Thai food with friends (I have a lot of dietary restrictions, so whenever I hang out with my friends, they know we’re eating Thai.)
- Taking walks by the water – unless there are leashless dogs, because I’m scared of dogs
I hear you’re a pretty big fan of Friends. When did your love for the show start?
I didn’t watch it when it originally aired, but senior year of college once I finished watching How I Met Your Mother, people told me that I had to watch Friends. I’ll rewatch random episodes all the time and still crack up. Joey and Chandler and their bromance is definitely my favorite.
I relate most to Monica. We’re both type A – she even had a vacuum for her vacuum. It feels crazy that the show is set in the 90s where these people would sit in a coffee shop without their phones to distract them and just talk. It’s so different from how most of us interact now.