#WomeninSTEM · #WomeninTech · inspiration · women who reign

Women Who Reign: Raksha Muthukumar

“Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got. There is no yesterday, no tomorrow, it’s all the same day.” –Janis Joplin

Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I’m a 4th year CS student at Georgia Tech! My passion is social activism and I spend a lot of time with LGBT groups, women in STEM groups, computing education endeavors, and more. I got into computing in a roundabout way since the first question I asked myself on my way to college was how could I have the most impact in the ways that I care about? I entered college as an international affairs major and came to a big city for the political and volunteering opportunities. In the end, I clicked with my first coding class and I realized the impact I could have with a different skill set, while still holding onto my passions. I’m so happy now and I hope I’ll keep finding unique ways to help!

What # would define your life journey?

Favorite website / app:

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
My mentor, JamieSue, has shared a lot with me about a career in CS and the different places that can take you. She’s definitely helped me figure out work-life balance, which I was severely lacking when I first met her. Learning that maximizing my impact didn’t mean maxing myself or my schedule out was incredibly important perspective for me.

Song that makes you want to dance:
Elle Me Dit by Mika!

Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
I’ve been trying to launch a web app that I have a lot of emotional motivation for, but less technical motivation. It’s an idea for an app to support activists and protesters but the of learning curve for the new technologies and languages to actually make it has been discouraging. Something that’s been motivating me is that I sent a survey for the needs of the app out in my activist circles and got ~100 responses. Knowing that there’s a need that I’m capable of filling, and having the social pressure of others holding me accountable has been invaluable in getting me to spend the actual hours on the technical side of the project.

Ideal Job:
I think I’d love to be working at a startup or organization that teaches computing. I have a really firm belief that comfort with technology and computing skills can change people’s lives and it’s still something that’s reserved for a sliver of the population.

What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
I think you shouldn’t be afraid to care about what you care about. Sometimes I’m intimidated by the fact that I’m not someone whose done incredibly technical projects in my spare time, and I don’t have all the jargon and knowledge of more intense coding hobbyists. But I think that’s ok. We’re allowed to be more than 100% Computer People… while still being successful and powerful in our field 🙂

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