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Tutor profile: Mahita T.

Inactive
Mahita T.
Student at Santa Clara University
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Questions

Subject: Spanish

TutorMe
Question:

Escoja una receta de un país latinoamericano y describírlo abajo.

Inactive
Mahita T.
Answer:

Chipa Guazu es un plato que es como un pan o pastel, pero está hecho con queso. Es de una parte de Paraguay del norte. Los ingredientes son muy sencillos; solamente necesitas leche, queso, huevos, almidón, y mantequilla. La maquinaria solamente que necesitas usar es un horno; nada más. Cuando se cocinas el plato, usa las manos. Una vez, traté a usar una cuchara, pero no funciona bueno para mí. Mezcla almidón, y usa la tina entera. Hornea la chipa en el horno, y ten cuidado porque la chipa puede ser seca. Pero no te preocupes si es seca, porque todo puede estar bien si comes chipa con salsa. En Paraguay, es común para comer chipa con salsa con cebollas.

Subject: Human-computer Interaction

TutorMe
Question:

What is the number one area in terms of user experience that could be improved with most software that exists today?

Inactive
Mahita T.
Answer:

I believe the single most overarching problem with user experience is the number of choices we have. Granted, an important part of heuristic evaluation when creating a piece of user-facing software is user control and freedom, but I believe we have taken the concept too far. The sheer number of settings, customizations, and options we have to click or tap through on our laptops, phones, tablets, and smart watches can be overwhelming and may infringe on our productivity and efficiency. For an extreme amount of user control and freedom we are giving up flexibility and efficiency of use, aesthetic and minimalist design, and helping users recognize, diagnose, and recover from errors, which are heuristics that cannot be ignored. I believe that user control and freedom does not have to be limited, but it can be cut down in order to create an experience that is cleaner, minimalist, efficient, and does not bombard users with choices that they never wanted until they were presented right in front of them. I believe it is better to be 'good' in every single heuristic category rather than being fantastic in some and subpar in others, and I believe if this particular change were to be implemented across the board, we could actually see a difference in mental load and productivity.

Subject: College Admissions

TutorMe
Question:

Describe a time where you displayed excellence.

Inactive
Mahita T.
Answer:

It seemed that almost every other tweet I saw in high school pertained to the horrors of working in customer service, with hyperboles that would put Gabriel Garcia Marquez to shame. I shared this mindset for a brief time when I worked as a sales associate at Old Navy, with my only goal being to make some money before I went to college. Unlike most of my other extracurricular ventures, this was not intended to serve some greater purpose in terms of my future. At first, I was displeased with my job. Doing the same repetitive tasks, having the same interactions with customers, and dealing with the same issues day-to-day started to wear on my mind. After about a month, there was a customer who was on the verge of purchasing a pair of jeans but seemed unsure. And at this moment, I had one of the biggest lightbulb moments of my life. Although deep down, had no stake in whether or not this woman bought a pair of jeans, I realized that convincing her to do so could be an invigorating challenge for me. I immediately rose to the challenge, going into detail about the different types of jeans we had, and even threw in some negative points about some of our products to convince her to buy the one she had, making sure to maintain my integrity and be honest with her. At the end, not only did she buy the pair of jeans she had her eye on, but also came back to me to ask me more questions and ask my advice on other product that we had in store. By attempting to increase the store's sales, I also managed to gain the trust of a customer and establish a good relationship with her. This change was eye opening, as a job that used to be a simple means to an end became a dynamic challenge that I looked forward to every day. I would overhear customers complain about accessing our basic clothes. I thought it would be more efficient to stack the basics by size instead of having multiple sizes per stack so it was much easier for people to find and pull out the size they were looking for, so I restructured that section. Additionally, part of our job as sales associates was getting people to sign up for the store’s credit card, which was a difficult task that I had little success with at work. Soon I started conducting little experiments where I would change the phrasing of how I explained what the credit card was and the benefits involved, as well as changing my posture, facial expressions and tone of voice when I spoke to customers. Previously I had gotten only one Old Navy card in the first month and a half of work, and a week after I began these tests I got three people to sign up for cards in one shift. A confident posture and tone, making concessions to the shortcomings of a product, addressing those shortcomings, and having a happy and positive demeanor got the job done. At the end of the day, this work experience will not help me on paper. I want to be a software engineer, and from a recruiter's standpoint being a sales associate has no applications to the professional field of software engineering. However, my endeavor to display excellence in this area has provided me with incredible interaction skills that will service me well in any industry I end up in. Learning to make a job fun, recognizing that I wasn't above any task, and that it was possible to learn and grow from any experience will be something I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

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