inspiration · women who reign

Women Who Reign: Doreen Hakimi

“The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves.” – Barbara Corcoran

Happy Sunday Reigners! Meet USC alumnae Doreen Hakimi. Read on to see her non-tech interests, which book has greatly impacted her life, and why a support system is so important to have.

Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I’m a Software Engineer at Originate and a proud USC alumnae with a degree in Computer Science/Business Administration. Prior to Originate, I worked as a freelance web developer and interned at Disney ABC Television Group. When I was a student, I was the President of Women in Computing at my university. I’m a musician (piano/voice) and I enjoy making others laugh and dancing like no one’s watching.

Favorite website / app:
InsertPic — animated GIFs are a very important part of our company culture.

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted (if any):
Ever since I read Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg has left a huge impact on my professional and personal life. She gave the world a true perception of what being a woman in a male-dominated industry entails and the challenges she overcame as a result. To get to where I am today, I have overcome a lot of these challenges: from being mocked for doing well in an early computer science class to having imposter syndrome. After reading her book, my perspective of the journey has shifted. I learned that I can be good at my job, and I can use the characteristics I share with women to make me even better at it. Through her words, I feel more confident and fearless than I did before.

Technical challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
Ever since I have been in industry, it’s hard to really point one challenge out. I come across technical challenges all the time. It’s in the job title — we’re problem solvers. What I can tell you is that the process to overcome them has become easier because every time you solve a problem, you pick up a tactic or strategy you didn’t have before. At one point in the problem solving journey, there is definitely an adjustment point. Suddenly, you start feeling more comfortable with the ambiguity and know how to guide yourself through it. Maybe it’s walking away from your computer for 10 minutes, or thinking about the problem on your drive home. Your brain will find ways to cross the hurdle. It’s all about critical thinking.

Ideal Job:
The one I have now — it’s incredibly humbling to be surrounded by really smart people and be a part of a company that trusts its employees, supports a work-life balance, invests in my career growth, and encourages entrepreneurship. It is the perfect job to help me achieve my goal to one day build applications that add value to the world.

What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Never give up. Surround yourself with people who you can be totally honest with. A support system is everything. If you don’t get an opportunity you were hoping for (whether it’s a job or something personal), trust that it didn’t work out because the universe has something better in store for you. And when you do succeed, know that it’s because of y-o-u, not some magical anomaly in the universe.


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