#WomeninSTEM · #WomeninTech · inspiration · women who reign

Women Who Reign: Megan Nalani Chun

“Believe in your infinite potential. Your only limitations are those you set upon yourself.” ~Roy T. Bennett

Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I love to travel and plan on exploring at least one new country every year. Currently, I am a Junior majoring in Computer Science at the University of Portland (UP). I am a Physics TA, the STEM Outreach Manager for the Robotics Club, and the CS team lead for the Multi-Autonomous Robotic System (M.A.R.S) project at UP.
Fun Fact: As the President of UP’s Swing Dance Club, I teach weekly East Coast Swing and Lindy Hop workshops.

What # would define your life journey?

Favorite website / app:
My favorite app is Yelp  because I love to find new great restaurants and cafes.

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
Carla Harris began to inspire me through her book “Expect to Win” and youtube clips of presentations she’s given. Carla is a strong and accomplished woman. Although she is not directly involved in a field of technology, Carla knows how to coach a person to follow their dreams and accomplish their professional goals in an authentic, powerful manner that is tailored to be intrinsically motivating and unique to each person.

Song that makes you want to dance:
”Dance with Me Tonight” By Olly Murs

Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
As my Freshman year at UP was ending, a manager from Intel contacted me with the opportunity to interview for an internship. Initially, I was surprised and thought he must have emailed the wrong person. I had involved myself in a number of activities such as joining a senior design team and becoming a project lead for UP’s Engineers Without Borders Club in addition to keeping a high GPA; however, despite my accomplishments, I did not believe in myself. My lack of self esteem told me I was not good enough for the position and that I did not have enough experience. My family and friends convinced me that I should “just go for it”. The bottom line was, I had nothing to lose and at least I would gain interview experience. Knowing the bottom line by itself however is not what allowed me to obtain the internship. It was getting to a place where I could be honest about what I wanted and believe in myself and my abilities. I had to know I had a chance at this opportunity and that there was a reason the opportunity came when it did. My belief in myself has blossomed into belief in my infinite potential which so far has led to a successful Swing Dance Club, three internships, and numerous after school STEM Clubs for students in the Portland area.

Ideal Job:
In ten years I will be 30 years young. I think my ideal job would be as a software development lead where I could mentor and provide guidance to others while remaining technical.
What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Every woman has the power to REIGN her life and her career. Each woman is amazing and can do whatever they set out to do if their heart is in it and they believe in themselves. Sometimes life is hard and you don’t know where to start. Sometimes you’re scared. But no one has ever grown by standing still and I highly doubt anyone has achieved their dreams by standing still. Think of what you want, what you love, and what excites you. Find more opportunities for you to do those things and if those opportunities aren’t there, create them. Ask yourself, “What is the worst that could happen if I do this?” Consider what it would cost and what you would lose. Then ask yourself, “What is the best that could happen if I do this?” Consider what you would gain and what you would learn. You don’t always need to know everything or have a full plan mapped out. Life is constantly changing and comes with surprises every day. Take a deep breath and take the first step. You have the power to REIGN, you just have to decide you want to.

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