“To love what you do and feel like it matters, how could anything be more fun?” – Katherine Graham
Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I’m a student at Brown University, where I study Computer Science and Economics. Aside from my academic interests, however, I enjoy sailing, SCUBA diving, cooking, and travel. A fun fact about me is that my passion for travel has led me to 50 countries and helped me pick up a few foreign languages!
What # would define your life journey?
Favorite website / app:
Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
I am inspired by Payal Kadakia of ClassPass, whose creativity and leadership have led to the creating of a wildly successful product. Although I’ve never had the chance to meet her, I am inspired by her story because she was able to break the stereotype of an Indian-American woman and push boundaries as an entrepreneur in the tech space. As someone who is still relatively new in her career path, I see Payal’s fortitude and tenacity as proof that women have the power to make it big in the fields that are so traditionally male-dominated. ClassPass speaks to her personal interests, and someday I’d like to be able to showcase my passions and hobbies through my day-to-day work.
Song that makes you want to dance:
Anytime I hear a catchy tune, I want to just get up and start dancing, but one of my current favorites is Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling.”
Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
This past summer I worked at a computational chemistry firm in New York City. As someone in the early stages of her undergraduate career, I entered my internship with limited knowledge of the very advanced material that was part of common daily conversation at work. The first challenge I faced during my first week at the firm was getting up to speed so I could actually understand the tasks that had been assigned to me and complete them to a satisfactory level.
I want to be able to create a platform that focuses on health equity and accessibility. 10 years from now I see myself running a company that provides insight into healthcare for the common person and makes getting diagnoses and treatment easier.
What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
I want to make sure women interested in STEM fields or any area, for that matter, should not be afraid to try new things. I have found myself avoiding certain tasks because I fear that I won’t succeed on my first try. I can’t tell you how many times I have sat down to code up a script and had doubts as to whether I should start because I didn’t think I would be able to get my code to compile and run as expected. I know that sometimes we as women put tremendous pressure on ourselves to avoid making mistakes, especially because we fear that we can’t prove that we belong in a certain position, or in a particular field. I want young women to stop feeling as though every action they take rests on the idea that they need to prove their worth within their company as programmers, managers, scientists, or mathematicians. If we eradicate the fear epidemic that has pervaded the community of women in STEM, women will be able to truly show just how equipped and qualified they are. In a few words: Speak up and don’t be afraid because you’ve been able to accomplish so much already, you just need to stick with it so you can reach your full potential.