#WomeninSTEM · #WomeninTech · inspiration · women who reign

Women Who Reign: Chika Okonkwo

“You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.”

Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I am a 2nd year student at Georgia Tech majoring in Computer Science. I love the innovation and problem solving that comes with programming and technology. Within CS, I am focusing on People and Artificial Intelligence. This past summer I worked as an intern at Twilio out in San Francisco. My many other interests range from fashion, sewing, reading, exploring and traveling with my friends, and tennis. A fun fact for me is that I played tennis for 10 years and even considered forgoing college to play professionally!

What # would define your life journey?

Favorite website / app:

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
My mom inspires me more than anyone I have ever met.  She is such a hard worker and she never ceases to amaze me. The best advice she has given me is to always trust God and lean not on my own understanding.

Song that makes you want to dance:
Skelewu by Davido Omo naija!!

Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
I overcome challenges daily within my work. I’m still pretty young, so for me that usually means issues on my homework or side projects. Whether it’s debugging, encountering new and unfamiliar topics, or meeting deadlines I constantly have to remind myself that I’ll get through it. Perseverance is key in life, but it’s especially important in computer science. Steve Jobs once said, “I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” In my opinion, this applies to almost everything in life. When I’m struggling or ready to give up, I remind myself of this and keep going. No matter what, keep going!

Ideal Job:
This is always such tough question for me. I’m probably one of the most indecisive people ever, so it’s hard to say exactly. I’ve always wanted to own my own business, so I definitely see that in my future. I also just want to be doing meaningful work that makes peoples’ lives better. At the end of the day, not matter what I’m doing, I really want to inspire and empower young girls and women to enter the STEM field through my work.

What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
As you continue to embark on your journey of life, remember that you are exceptional and capable of anything. Don’t get too caught up in what others are doing. Focus on you and becoming better each day. Not just in your field of study, but in life. Always know your worth and never settle for anything less. There is honestly no limit to what you are capable of, so dream big. Then put in the work to ensure that those dreams become a reality because a dream without a plan is simply a wish.   

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