#WomeninSTEM · #WomeninTech · women who reign

Women Who Reign: Madeline Wu

“I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.” – Oprah Winfrey

Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I’m a junior at Carnegie Mellon University studying Electrical and Computer Engineering, and possibly minoring in Spanish. I’m from Portland, Oregon and am constantly missing the deep green, outdoorsiness of the Pacific Northwest. I’m involved in the Asian Students Association and Alpha Phi Omega, a service fraternity. One of my favorite things at CMU is booth! We basically created an entire themed experience in a two-story building–in less than one semester. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIcIsnkgdNU

I love to paint, do crafts, bake, and watch TV to decompress from tough technical problems. Fun fact: I’m color blind! I can match colors pretty well, but if you ask me what color something is, I might say blue instead of purple.

What # would define your life journey?
#diversity is something that defines my life experience. Throughout my life, I’ve carried with me many cultures that have affected how I perceive the world. Because of my diversity of experiences, I strive to be open-minded in all situations and provide opportunities for other people to talk about their uniqueness.

Favorite website / app:
My favorite webapp is messenger.com — it makes the entire message sending experience simpler than the Facebook website, and doesn’t distract me when I’m just trying to get into contact with people.

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
My paternal grandparents inspire me with their incredible life experiences. Even though I’m unable to communicate with them due to language barriers, I’m so amazed by their dedication to creating a better life for themselves and their children. They also live such simple, different lives to mine that I find it is always transformative to visit them, living without technology in the middle of a street market.

Song that makes you want to dance:
Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon. Walk the Moon was one of the first concerts I ever went to, and listening to the song always brings me back to that experience.

Ideal Job:
I’ve always wanted to work in something that fulfills my need for a technical challenge while helping to solve some bigger problem. I’d love to end up working in EdTech, or something like technology for developing nations someday.

What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
I’d tell women to be confident, to take risks and not be afraid of failure. A lot of times, I’ve missed out on incredible opportunities because I was hesitant to confront some challenges–which looked daunting at the time, but really weren’t so bad. I’d also encourage women to not be afraid to take things slowly, and not take on too much. I try really hard to not overextend myself and to know my own limits, because I know stress can take over my life if I don’t make an active effort to take time for myself. Even if that just means taking 20 minutes to watch an episode of New Girl, or spending an hour to go out to lunch with a friend, it makes such a difference in the way I approach the rest of my day.

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