#WomeninSTEM · #WomeninTech · women who reign

Women Who Reign: Winnona DeSombre

“In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man; if you want anything done, ask a woman.” — Margaret Thatcher

Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I’m a US citizen who grew up in Hong Kong, and I now study both Computer Science and International Relations at Tufts University. I’m currently the Director of the China-US Relations Group on campus and the Vice President of Tufts Women in Computer Science. Fun fact: I am a connoisseur of instant ramen. I’ve tried almost every ‘ramen hack’ that Buzzfeed has ever come out with – even the questionable ones.

What # would define your life journey?

Favorite website / app:
I’m an avid Snapchat user. It’s the only app I use regularly, and I’m in love with the augmented reality filters. As for my favorite website, thecyberwire.com has great podcasts: I listen to one every morning before class.

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
As corny as it is, my mother is a constant source of inspiration for me – she is a powerhouse of a woman, who taught me to always hold myself to a higher standard and to be assertive when pursuing my goals.

Song that makes you want to dance:
“Sister Rosetta (Capture the Spirit)” by Noisettes.

Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
I struggle with imposter syndrome all the time: although Tufts has a great gender ratio in Computer Science, many of my male friends have been coding years before I ever knew what a terminal was! I definitely can’t say that I’ve “overcome” this life challenge yet, but whenever I feel down I remind myself that I have worked hard to get where I am, and that I have a great network of friends – both male and female – that respect both me and my technical skills.

Ideal Job:
My dream is to somehow play a part in bridging the divide between the policy and technical sectors of the cyber security/computer security industry. I don’t know how I’m going to get there quite yet, but I’m working on it!

What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Do not be afraid to question anything. Computer Science is a field in which problems need to be tackled from all angles. This includes raising questions in class – more often than not, a question you have is also a question someone else wants answered!

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