#WomeninSTEM · #WomeninTech · inspiration · women who reign

Women Who Reign: Jennifer Rethi

“I could not, at any age, be content to take my place by the fireside and simply look on. Life was meant to be lived. Curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
A little about myself: My name is Jennifer Rethi, and I’m a Sophomore majoring in computer science at the University of Texas at Austin. I grew up in a small suburban town outside of Austin, Texas and entered college with little programming experience. Since then I have learned that I have a passion for learning new technology and bringing my ideas to life! In my free time I enjoy reading novels, petting cats and writing for my blog. I also spend a lot of my time organizing and coordinating events for the mentor program apart of Women in Computer Science at UT. I love being an Officer of WiCS and getting more women involved in the computer science community!

Fun fact: I know sign language!

What # would define your life journey?
#nevergiveup I have come face to face with failure, struggles, and feeling the full effect of imposter syndrome many times. Through it all, I have chosen to preserve and pursue my passion for CS, and I want to encourage other women out there to do the same.

Favorite website / app:
Goodreads! I have discovered so many amazing books from this website and am slightly addicted. 🙂

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
When I came into college freshman year, I felt like I was worlds behind everyone else due to the lack of a CS department at my high school. When I was assigned a mentor through the WiCS organization at UT she turned my thinking around. She showed me that there were so many ways I could get involved and learn – from hackathons to mobile app development orgs on campus.  She showed me how to embrace my newness and discover my passions. She is working full time now at Microsoft in Seattle and I aspire to be like her every single day.

Song that makes you want to dance:
Can’t Hold Us – Macklemore

Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
When I was took data structures last semester there was a particularly difficult assignment called Huffman Coding toward the end of the term. We had 7 days to complete it and my partner and I had already spent 5 days and 40 – 50 hours on it. Our algorithm was working, but the numbers we got were just a little bit off. We had tried everything we could think of to debug the program and get the correct output, but were failing to find the problem. We were very close to the deadline and about to give up but decided that we had already came this far and to just push through and find the bug. After looking carefully at hundreds of lines of code we found one of our constants was just a little off. Even though it was such a small problem it taught both of us a lot about being careful and meticulous programmers. In the end the satisfaction of solving the problem was worth the effort!

Ideal Job:
Honestly I still feel that I am figuring out what I like and don’t! Right now I see myself as a developer at a company, contributing to a project that really means something to me.

What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
1) Take everything one step at a time, and remember that everyone has their own individual path to success!

2) Do not get discouraged by failure. No matter what, if you have a passion for something don’t let little things dishearten you.

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