“Where your talents and the needs of the world cross; there lies your vocation.” ― Aristotle
Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
Hi! I’m Jahannie Torres-Rodríguez, a Computer Engineering and Business Development student at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. A fun fact about me: my hobby is to have many hobbies! My interests include technology, entrepreneurship, education and how the three contribute to the sustainability of countries. I’m currently the president of Idea Platform, a student-based incubator that helps student to become innovation and entrepreneurship leaders.
I’m also cofounder of the Solidarity Scholarship for underrepresented communities, Starting Point Makerspace at the University of Puerto Rico – Mayaguez Campus, and the Tech Blast Conference. I’m also part of the first Puerto Rican cohort of University Innovation Fellows, which is a global program that believes that students can be agent of change. Wherever I go, I proudly say that I’m a Puerto Rican Women in STEM. That way, I can serve as an inspiration to those around me to aspire for a career they want.
What # would define your life journey?
#OutOfComfortZone Throughout my life journey I have planned ways to get out of my comfort zone. I practice it constantly in my professional, academic and personal life. I also encourage other people to do the same and help them in the process.
Favorite website / app:
I love elearningindustry.com! This website has helped me to stay in tune with the current trends and the best practices in the e-Learning Industry. I also like to use Asana to organize myself, Spotify to listen to my favorite songs, and discover new projects in Instructables and Pinterest.
Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
My mom is hands down the only answer, and I don’t need to think of it twice. She is my hero. She always taught me about the importance of education, how to help those around me and critical thinking. Rather than limiting me, she nurtured my wings so I could soar. She encouraged me to be an independent woman, she is my best example. I can’t be more grateful for what she has done.
Song that makes you want to dance:
I think this is one of the hardest questions to answer. One song that is very meaningful for me is “Latinoamérica” by Calle 13, for its sociocultural background and manifest for preserving the Latin American identity.
Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
I come from a disadvantaged community and a poor family. I could say this made my path more difficult, but I’d rather look positively and say that this made it more interesting. Every door that closed because of economic issues made me more creative in finding solutions and resources, while in the process, I keep learning new ways to deal with these issues. These obstacles didn’t stop me, and now I’m a first generation college student.
Being honest I love jobs were I don’t need to be sitting at a desk all day . I’m an active and energetic person. I enjoy of interacting with other people, and I specially enjoy helping and learning from them. Even though all of my work experience I have has been acquired by developing software for industries that specialize in plastic manufacturing, insurance claims, power management, and investment banking, my ideal job is to become an entrepreneur in the e-Learning Industry. I’m doing my best to make it happen.
What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Get out of your comfort zone! Dare to try new things, without fear of failure and with the willingness to learn. The real magic happens when you decide to stop living in a routine. Start with small things, read a book from outside your major, take an elective course in another department, make a nice project following a tutorial. The possibilities are endless. You’ll notice that you’ll feel re-energized, motivated, accomplished and empowered. And those things, no one can take them from you!
What advice would you give for women starting a career in a STEM related field?
- Join Facebook Groups related to what you want as a career your discipline
- Join student organizations
- Attend conferences and workshops
- Subscribe to newsletters
- Research books you’d enjoy that are related to your field
- Get involved in research projects about something you’re passionate about
- Apply for internships
- Surround yourself with inspiring beings
- Find a mentor
- Always, ask questions!
- Most important, discover who you are and always be the best version of yourself.