How did you choose your current profession, and are there any significant events in your career timeline that have considerably impacted your journey?
I was always interested in coding and finally decided that it was what I wanted to do. So, I found resources and courses online and taught myself. It was a lot of persistence and staying accountable, but it was the best decision I’ve ever made!
What advice would you give to other women looking to start a career in tech?
There are a lot of options out there for learning code. Some can be quite expensive, like colleges and boot camps. However, if you’re okay with setting your schedule and keeping to it, there are much more affordable options that can be very flexible around an already busy schedule. Determine which way works best for you, and then dive in! You may have days where you feel like you can’t do it or can never solve your problem, but I promise you that you can, and the result is worth it!
Self-advocacy is an essential topic in the greater conversation around women’s equality and their representation in leadership. Can you share an accomplishment or two that you’re incredibly proud of?
I’m particularly proud of being an “Employee of the Month” at Pandera only a few months after I started, as well as the work I’ve done building out several projects for the company during my time here, such as the Ship Programming project for Royal Caribbean.
What do you like to do in your free time, and who are you outside of work?
I do a lot of yoga & pilates, and I love to be outdoors. I live between the mountains and the beach in Southern California, so there’s always something fun and beautiful to experience. On the days I’m stuck inside, I love reading anything sci-fi or fantasy.
Growing up, was there someone in your life that inspired you to become the woman you are today? Who was it, and why?
My grandmother she’s one of the strongest, most amazing women I know, and she’s always believed in me and supported me no matter what. She was always adamant that I have the tools and skills to be independent and to be able to support myself without needing anyone else. My grandmother has seen and lived firsthand how little freedom women had growing up. She wanted something better for me and has always been there to lift me up and encourage me — I wouldn’t be who I am today without her.
They say that “empowered women empower women.” What does this mean to you, and what are some things you practice to uplift other women in your life?
I think that encouraging other women is incredibly important. Studies have shown that many self-identifying women struggle with accepting praise, especially with self-promotion. So if a woman in your life does something amazing, big or small, let her (and others) know! Encourage them to share their successes and be proud of them — lift others how you would like to be lifted, and we can create a culture of encouragement and inclusion!