“Promise me you will not spend so much time treading water and trying to keep your head above the waves that you forget, truly forget, how much you have always loved to swim.” – Tyler Knott Gregson
Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, but moved to the East Coast for college. I am currently a sophomore at Northeastern University, which is located in the heart of Boston. However, I have yet to develop any hint of a Boston-ian accent. I am double majoring in Computer Science and Cognitive Psychology and minoring in Mathematics (say that three times fast).
Growing up, I never really had an interest in technology. I had this sheltered idea of what technology was, which consisted of hard drives and computers. I didn’t think beyond the hardware about what technology brings to life and the power it holds. I found myself interested in medicine because of the passion my Mom holds as a pharmacist. I always heard her gushing about the positive interactions she had with customers, and I felt the only way I could replicate that happiness was to pursue something that paralleled her career – medicine. It wasn’t until high school that I thought about anything beyond that.
In high school I was a manager for one of the department’s of my school’s bookstore. There, I fulfilled orders to create customizable spirit wear for school sports teams, and local businesses. I loved developing relationships with customer and gaining their insight on how to better the business. That’s where I was first exposed to the power of data and market research. This small business experience inspired me to apply for a business internship directly out of high school. Luckily, I was fortunate enough to gain a position as an intern at Procter and Gamble.
I was an intimidated 18 year old trying to gain a grasp on corporate world culture and the meaning of “business casual”. However, my role within the Information Technology department is where everything fell into place. I worked within Procter and Gamble’s innovation center, where the company uses technology and data to showcase how it is ready to compete. I was in awe of the power data holds to tell compelling stories about the present, and forecast what is to come in the future. I appreciated the collaboration with other teams in the business and the common goal we shared to “improve and touch lives”. The fusion of technology and the business world became my passion. And then, I was off to college.
I eliminated all plans to follow medicine and immersed myself in the world of technology. These major switches were groundbreaking for me. So many times in life, especially while growing up, we are told to be a certain way or strongly influenced to follow specific paths. There are never decisions that are genuinely our own. Developing a love for technology and acting upon it was the first time I truly did something entirely for myself. I didn’t feel obligated to justify my new goals to anyone, because I believed in my newfound passion. One year later, I’ve never looked back.
Currently, I work for the Northeastern University IT Department and volunteer at the MIT Science and Technology Museum. These two activities really embrace my love for technology. At work, there’s nothing like the gratification you feel after troubleshooting and solving a tech issue. MIT gives me the opportunity to directly interact with children in the community to facilitate educational activities. It gives me a sense of belonging within the greater Boston area, and I’m amazed by how inquisitive kids can be. On-campus at Northeastern I am a Resident Assistant for first year students and Special Events coordinator of my sorority Delta Phi Epsilon. As a Resident Assistant I love cultivating community and acceptance. Plus, being a mentor and friend to my residents is super special since they’re going through a major transition in their lives. Lastly, my sorority provides me with a support system of women who empower me to be the best version of myself.
The culmination of my responsibilities makes my life busy to say the least, however, they give me a sense of purpose. I never feel as though I am fulfilling obligations, rather, I am living out the things I love. I find myself making decisions that make me proud and make me happy. Life’s chaotic, but it’s a madness that is all mine.
Fun Fact: I’ve climbed a volcano twice! In my free time, I like to collect postcards and records.
What # would define your life journey?
#unexpected. I am a huge planner, as in my desk is full of checklists and I live by appointments in my iPhone calendar. However, I’ve come to learn that life is turbulent, and no amount of planning will ever completely account for what will happen. The vision of where we should be and where we end up never entirely align. The inner organizer in me shrieks at that idea, but everything else just makes me grateful. My life has been a conglomeration of unexpected events. Now, I just think of them as mini miracles because they led me to where I am today.
Favorite website / app:
It’s a tie between Spotify and 1SE. Spotify is in the top two because of my affinity for music, which ranges from Fleetwood Mac to Geazy. I also enjoy the app 1SE. Everyday, I use the app to record 1 second of my life. At the end of the year the app compiles all of the videos to create a mini snapshot of my life. I love the contrast between the simple moments and big events.
Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
A variety of loved ones: My parents, Lang and Thomas, for their resilience and generosity, my sister Katie for showing me that unconditional support comes in many forms, and my best friend Dillon for teaching me that sacrifice is choosing between what you love and what you love more.
Song that makes you want to dance:
Lovely Day by Bill Withers or Uptown Girl by Billy Joel
It’s not so much where I see myself in ten years as what I hope will happen within the next ten years. I hope to have travelled the world. Specifically, I want to work in Singapore for part of my life then move back to America and work in San Francisco. I’ll be living in the golden state with the most handsome guy named Oliver, he’ll be the cutest dog this world has seen. I plan to work within the realm of data analytics, and anticipate being a Business Intelligence Analyst or Data Scientist.