inspiration · women who reign

Women Who Reign: Selena Cardona

QuoteDon’t live life in the past lane.” – Samantha Ettus

Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!

I spent most of my childhood in Florida but shortly moved to the Bronx, NY where I attended middle school. It was during my middle school years where I took my first technology class. I remember the thrilling experience of being able to create my first game on my TI-84 calculator—It combined two things that I really loved, creating things and problem-solving. Until college, I had professed my love for STEM but was unsure if Computer Science was really for me. It wasn’t until I took my first formal programming class, that I realized it combined my passion for logic and creativity.

I’m currently a junior at Mount Holyoke College studying Computer Science and Economics. I’m also a member of my school’s Computer Science Society and I’ve helped put together Mount Holyoke’s first ever hackathon, HackHolyoke. After attending conferences like WeCode and participating in many hackathons I’ve come to serve a larger purpose aside from building programs. That is, encouraging more women to embrace computer science to close the gender gap in the world of tech. In my spare time I enjoy doing painting or going for a run! This summer I will be in Dublin, Ireland as a software engineer intern for a NYC based financial firm.

Fun Fact: During my freshman year, I decided to try something new so I took an aerial silks class. Aerials silks is a form of acrobatics which takes place on silk ropes that are hung from the ceiling. Since my first class, I was hooked! (no pun intended).

Favorite website / app:

I love learning new languages. I’m currently learning French which is something I thought I’d never have time to do. I think it’s pretty cool that an app can allow people to receive quality language training for free.
selena 1

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted (if any):
I came back from attending Harvard’s WeCode Conference and was still in awe after hearing C.E.O. of Piazza, Pooja Sankar speak. Basically, Pooja Sankar wrote the prototype to Piazza (my saving grace for all of my CS classes) by taking advantage of the influence of collaboration. For anyone who has a dream and doubts themselves because of the lack of resources at hand, the direct impact collaboration has is extremely powerful. Piazza, is a resource students may use to post questions anonymously and collaborate to get answers to their academic questions.

Song that makes you want to dance:
Video by India.Arie. This song gives me that energetic boost I need to get over whatever struggle I’m going through.

Technical challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
I’m faced with technical challenges almost all the time I have an assignment or at an internship. In the world of computer science, it is almost second nature to have these problems. During an internship I was faced with the challenge to use an API I had never used before and a time constraint was an additional challenge. I basically had to leverage my time and ask the appropriate questions to gauge how the finished project should function. In the realm of finance, time is valuable and asking the right questions can eliminate any time wasted. Having another set of eyes to look over your work was helpful as well. Sometimes things can be done more efficiently so triple-checking for any bugs in my code was crucial to getting the job done.

Ideal Job:
I’d like to be an Engineer for an Investment bank or at a FinTech start-up.

What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
If you have an idea, be fearless and take advantage of all the brains that surround you. Chances are there is someone with the same idea and may be willing to help. The more the merrier is what helps an idea to blossom to its fullest potential!

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