#WomeninSTEM · #WomeninTech · inspiration · women who reign

Women Who Reign: Monica Arbeit

“Life is short, wear your party pants.” – Loretta LaRoche

Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
Hey, I’m Monica (Momo) Arbeit from Hawaii. 20 and friendly. I’m double majoring in Computer Science and Linguistics at Barnard College in New York City. When I’m not doing problem sets or dreaming in code, I might be editing films for myself or for the Columbia University Sketch Show, or playing Ultimate Frisbee. If I’m on break, I have this strange desire to go to random places and work in hostels so for the past two summers I’ve worked in hostels in Spain, Puerto Rico, and a surf camp by Amsterdam.

If you’re thinking “Hmmm… Momo that’s an interesting name” or “Hey, that’s my dog/grandma’s name”. First off, yes I get that all the time. Secondly, Momo originated when I was making a play in fourth grade and I needed an archnemesis for myself. My friend came up with “Momo” and it stuck ever since. Momo actually comes from a Japanese folktale in which an old couple finds a peach by the river, cuts it open, and Momo-taro (peach-boy) pops out. Predictably, he saved the village from the evil ogre and they all lived happily ever after. Big shoes to fill right?

What # would define your life journey?
#momosapiencando #momotivation #momosaymomosamomakusa (hint: try singing the last one)

Favorite website / app:

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
Casey Neistat. My all-time favorite filmmaker. He makes mini-documentaries about the “real life” of New York City. He never went to film school so everything he knows he taught himself. The moment Casey notices anything that strays from the “norm” and thinks other people would be interested, he makes a video. In his films, he will spend up to 2 hours just to make a two second shot. Unless you’re paying close attention you wouldn’t realize how much TLC he’s invested into a scene. His attention-to-detail is completely driven by his passion for film. He started putting his work on YouTube about 3 years ago. Now he’s one of the most popular youtubers with around 3 million subscribers. His drive pushes him to constantly produce new work. His determination (and hair) is inspiring and something I really take to heart.

Odds are, you’ve already seen his work. If not, I highly recommend his Bike Lanes short film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzE-IMaegzQ . Enjoy!

Song that makes you want to dance:
Obsession by Aventura
7 Years by Lucas Graham (not really something I would dance to, I just love this song)

Ideal Job:
Whatever I end up doing I need to have a balance of art and math. I highly value the combination of creativity and logic and my career hopefully will intertwine the two.

I see myself living in Amsterdam, working with Natural Language Processing or somehow merging computer science and film (possibly in editing software). I want to ride my red bike to work everyday. I would like a small dog— not sure about this because I’m not a big dog person but would like to become one by age 30. Hopefully by then I will have gotten one of my films screened at a film festival, tried being vegan for a year, and have met Barack Obama. Before I die, I want to have hosted a Ted Talk.

What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
My motto is: do what makes you happy, and the moment you’re not happy stop doing it. That goes for every aspect of my life not just tech. Of course, you have to take this with a grain of salt because not everything will make you happy in the moment but can lead to happiness later on in life. For example, my Data Structures class— it might give me nightmares now but it will definitely make my dreams come true in the future. Sometimes, this mindset isn’t realistic because you simply don’t have control of certain aspects of your life. I’ve found that this works best if you can use it as a starting point in deciding if someone or something is positively impacting you. I think your morale attributes to a major part of your success and this is just my way of trying to reign my own life.

Check out Monica’s website! http://monicaarbeit.wixsite.com/monicaarbeit

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