“If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” – Henry Ford
Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I am a sophomore from New Jersey majoring in computer and cognitive science at the University of Pennsylvania. I am also the manager of the Women in Computer Science residential program at Penn. (Check out our website here! https://wics-residential.com/) When I’m not studying, I like to do yoga, go hiking, hang out with friends, and of course, go on the occasional Netflix binge. Fun fact: I’ve been to more countries than states.
What # would define your life journey?
Favorite website / app:
Yelp. Being able to find the nearest/best place to grab a bite – especially when I’m running on a tight schedule or in a new place – has saved me countless times.
Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
My mother is both my role model and my informal life coach. She shows me by example the true definition of a strong woman who doesn’t let any obstacles get in the way of living her best life.
Song that makes you want to dance:
Rather Be by Clean Bandit
Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
When I decided to major in computer science, I knew that the workload would be tough, especially given that I had little prior experience with the subject. What I didn’t realize was that overcoming the mental stigma of majoring in such a difficult and male-dominated field would be just as challenging, if not more. But what I’ve learned is that getting a bad grade or doing poorly in a coding interview doesn’t mean that you aren’t cut out for CS. You–not a number on a test, not a rejection email–are the only one who can decide that.
I honestly have no idea where I want to be in 10 years career-wise, and I’ve come to learn to be okay with that. One of the reasons that I chose to major in CS is that it is incredibly versatile. Almost every field you can think of nowadays is inseparable from computers and technology. Right now, I’m just exploring different options.
What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Never be afraid to ask for what you want, even when you think it is impossible. This was imparted to me by several other women in my life, and it is one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned. If the worst-case scenario does happen and you don’t get what you want (or if people think that you are obnoxious for asking–something which has never happened but I am always irrationally afraid of), then at least you tried. For me, that’s a much better feeling than not asking and wondering what would have happened if I had.