“Leadership is a series of behaviors rather than a role for heroes.” — Margaret Wheatley
Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I grew up in small town called Ogden, IA where I graduated with 65 people in 2015. I am the youngest of 3 sisters…trailing by 9 years. Throughout middle school and high school, math and art were always my two favorite subjects, and until the last quarter of my senior year, I thought I would major in Architecture. On a whim, I went to a conference at Iowa State University that encouraged women in Jr high and high school to pursue a STEM degree. At the conference, knowing I was already going to major in Architecture (and just happy to be skipping class), a friend and I chose to go to the Computer Science workshop. Neither of us knew what computer science meant, but it sounded cool, so there we went, and 45 min later… I was in. I was amazed at all the awesome internships the presenter had already done as a junior including Google and Apple, and my friend and I made a pretty cool website dedicated to the Cheetah Girls.
Fast forward a few months and I am a brand new freshman on ISU’s campus, walking to my first computer science class. Little did I know, some people outside of my small town actually knew how to code already. I figured out pretty quickly that 1. they weren’t kidding when they said women are the minority in CS and 2. I was going to have to play catch up ASAP.
One year into my CS degree, I still have A LOT to learn, but I have made leaps from where I started. With mentorship, hard work, and my excitement about tech, I got a co-op with Rockwell Collins as a Software Engineer where I got catch a glimpse of what careers are available to CS majors and put my skills to the test.
Fun Fact: Another woman CS major (and fellow Reigner) named Kelsey Hrubes and I are in the works of planning Iowa Girls Code Camp’s second event. The first day-long event was held in February 2016, and because of the success and positive response, a second event will kick-off this September and last until March 2017. It was Kelsey’s idea to create the camp because she also noticed the gender gap right away and wants to change the culture starting right where it all began for both of us…in Iowa 🙂
My ideal job would be one where it allows me to travel the world and have the ability to bring new perspectives into tech (target audience, how it is accessed, etc.)
What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
I would tell women in order to REIGN their lives, be prepared and excited to take opportunities that come to you and to not get overwhelmed trying to stick to “the plan.” Some opportunities only come around once in a lifetime, and you might enjoy the change!