women who reign

Women Who Reign: Kelly Zhou

Happy Monday Reigners! I met Kelly Zhou through the Start @ a Startup conference in NYC. She’s a queen of multitasking: in addition to being a full-time student she directed #Startat15 for 300+ students! Read on below to see all of the additional activities she’s involved in, who inspires her (and how it ties to Princeton), and how to balance it all.

KellyZhou_profileTell us a little about yourself along with a fun fact.
Hi! I’m Kelly, and I’m a junior at Princeton University studying computer science, with minors in finance and Spanish. I’m from College Station, Texas, and I’ve lived there my whole life. At Princeton, I’m involved with Business Today, through which I recently directed the Start @ a Startup Conference in partnership with Sequoia Capital in NYC. Outside of Business Today, I am involved with various civic engagement programs on campus, including consulting for non-profits with Princeton Business Volunteers and leading immersive alternative break trips through Breakout Princeton. Outside of school and extracurriculars, I love cheesy jokes, puns (see # below), and making people laugh.

KellyZhou_puertoricoWhat # would define your life journey?
#commit. I love trying new things and taking on new projects, and I commit to them like I commit my code (and I commit to my puns).

Favorite website / app:
TechCrunch. I love staying up to date on what’s happening in the startup world and all the new changes taking place every day.

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
One person I would definitely say is Wendy Kopp. Besides also being from Texas, a Princeton alum, and a former member of Business Today, Wendy Kopp really inspires me with her passion for social entrepreneurship. After hearing her speak at Business Today’s International Conference last year, I was really inspired by her story and work with Teach for America. Education has always been a social issue that I’ve been really passionate about, and I love Teach for America’s mission. As part of Princeton Business Volunteers this year, I’m actually working on a project with Teach for America, and I’m really excited about it. The fact that Teach for America started as a senior thesis at Princeton and has grown and developed so tremendously in only a few decades is amazing to me, and it’s definitely set a high standard for me as I begin planning my own independent work and thesis at Princeton!

Song that makes you want to dance:
Adrenalina by Wisin. I studied abroad in Argentina after my freshman year and discovered this song in Buenos Aires. I’ve been obsessed with it ever since.

Ideal Job:
KellyZhou_chinatown (1)I’m still trying to figure that out. I’ve been considering several different career paths and am still very undecided as to where I’d like to end up. Ideally, I think I would love to work in a role where I can apply my interests in technology and business. I like working with people, connecting teams, and making ideas come to life. Ultimately, my ideal job would be one where I am solving complex and meaningful problems and making a positive impact in some way.

What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
#commit, don’t over#commit. While it’s important to try new things, explore new territories, and take on new commitments, make sure to leave time for yourself.  As someone who is always eager to take on new projects and responsibilities, I have learned the importance of making sure to reserve time to be yourself. Reserve half an hour to call your family, take time to laugh with your friends, and let yourself be alone and relax. In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in everything happening constantly around you, but don’t forget to take a step back, a deep breath, and do the things that keep you smiling day to day.


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