#WomeninSTEM · #WomeninTech · inspiration · women who reign

Women Who Reign: Maya Pelichet

“Don’t let being a woman hold you back from the leader that you’re destined to be.” — Jamie Farsnel

Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I am currently a junior at Tulane University and I am double majoring in Computer Science and Studio Art, concentration: Digital Design. I started school as an architecture major, but I found my passion in the Web and never looked back! 🙂 Some of my favorite things to do are code, draw, listen to music, read Sherlock Holmes, and chill at art galleries. Over the summer, I worked at this quirky advertising business, Deep Fried Advertising (yes, Deep Fried!). During my internship there, I gained tons of valuable experience assisting the staff with client branding, front-end, and back-end development. I really appreciated my time there because I got to apply skills I learned in school to the real world. It was really nice to see HTML/CSS, Ruby, PHP, and JavaScript impact real work for real clients! This semester, I am helping build websites for two local non-profits in New Orleans, the Junior Philharmonic Society of New Orleans and the Louisiana Prison Education Coalition.

Fun fact, I studied French in Nova Scotia, Canada, during an immersion program at Université Sainte-Anne. During the program, I wasn’t allowed to speak a word of English the 12 weeks I was there!

What # would define your life journey?
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Favorite website / app:
I am in love with Artstack.com. It is such an awesome resource to use to find new art, share art, and keep tabs on what’s happening with art communities in different areas.

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
My mom definitely inspires me the most! She raised me as a single mother at a very young age and her strength inspires me everyday. She definitely is a woman who Reigns/Slays/Dominates :)! I hope to one day be a strong as she is. She has always encouraged me to use my time effectively and to “never let my dreams be deferred.” Her words of encouragement always give me the will to succeed and have shaped me into the young woman I am today.
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Song that makes you want to dance:
Get Me Bodied by Beyoncé

Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
When I first decided that I didn’t want to be an architecture major, I found myself questioning who I wanted to be and what my goals in life were. I was lost, which was new for me because I had ALWAYS wanted to be an architect. Luckily, the semester I undeclared my architecture major, I decided to take a computer science class out of curiosity. When I first started my computer science class, I was definitely intimidated. Despite the fact that I was taking an introductory computer science class, it was clear that many students in the class had prior experience with coding, computer science, etc. As a student who had more experience with art and design, I felt like I would not fit in with the “tech-crowd” and that the class would be too hard for me to complete. However, once I talked to more people in my class, I realized that there were just as many people in the same position that I was. Despite the fact that I was a newbie techie, I did very well in the class and came to love and genuinely appreciate computer science. All in all, I think I succeeded in the class because of these reasons:

  • I came to terms with the fact that I didn’t want to be an architect and I realized that it was okay that I wasn’t certain about what I wanted to do in life
  • I became more open to trying out a new subject
  • I realized that it was okay that I had an atypical background in computer science
  • I didn’t let my unfamiliarity with computer science prevent me from excelling 🙂
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Ideal Job:
I would definitely like to see myself designing interfaces in the future. I love front-end development and I feel that I am the most productive when I can apply my creativity to the technical tasks that I am doing.

What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
I want most women to know that they should never let anyone make them feel like they’re not good enough or that they can’t succeed. I have had the privilege of working with a diverse group of people from various backgrounds. However, not everyone has had this privilege. In fields like technology that are dominated by men, it can be easy to question your abilities as a woman. No man/woman/person should determine how you feel about yourself.
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