inspiration · women who reign

Women Who Reign: Monica Starr Feldman

“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Jane Goodall

Happy Valentine’s Day Reigners! Whether you like chocolate, coding, or anything in-between hope you are getting to enjoy this day with family, friends, and loved ones 🙂

I’m very excited to introduce you to Monica Starr Feldman. I’ve known Monica for 3 years now and she’s one of the 1st CS grads I’ve encountered from Wellesley.
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Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I’m an engineering lead by day and a crafter by night.

I love to create things, whether it’s with code, food, fabric, yarn, paint, leather (I could go on forever). If you want to see some of my non-work work, feel free to check out my Etsy shop!

I also place great value on learning and trying new things each day. Education and adventure shouldn’t stop once you leave a formal education program or get home from a vacation.

Fun fact: I’m quasi ambidextrous – I write with my left hand, use scissors with my right hand, and code with both hands!
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Favorite website / app:
Duolingo! The idea of a two-for-one app is brilliant. It’s helped so many people to learn other languages, and at the same time, is also helping to crowdsource translation on the web! I can proudly say that I’m addicted to learning French on their platform. They’ve mastered the art of gamification.
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Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted (if any):
Aziz Ansari is fantastic. He’s able to break down the barriers of intellectual topics through humor.  It’s amazing – this guy actually gets people who think they’re paying for a comedy show to pay for a lesson in sociology. Aziz has taught me the importance of catering to your audience.
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Song that makes you want to dance:
Hold On Forever by Rob Thomas has been a recent favorite. I love how happy it sounds.
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Technical challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
Aside from continuously planting bugs in my own code /*99 bugs in your code, 99 bugs in your code, take one down, pass it around, 126 bugs in your code*/, my biggest challenge in the “Engineering World” has been my personality. I’m very outgoing and not your “typical coder”. Throughout my time in computing, I’ve constantly felt the need to have to prove myself to more introverted coders.

After a while, I realized that I didn’t need to prove anything. It became much more important to me to be myself and to let my work speak for itself.
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Ideal Job:
Any job where I feel challenged, I’m surrounded by great people, and believe in the work I’m doing. My current job definitely fits that description!
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What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Help others and don’t get “competitive”. Of course you should compete to be the best version of yourself, but you should never push someone else down to give yourself an illusion of being pulled up.

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