inspiration

Women Who Reign: Anna Baker

I learned a long time ago that there is something worse than missing the goal, and that’s not pulling the trigger.” –  Mia Hamm

Happy International Women’s Day! We’re so proud to be able to highlight amazing women like Anna who are blazing the trail in tech and paving the way for other women. Our Reigners teach us to dream bigger, work harder, and not stop until we’ve accomplished our goals!

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Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I just graduated from Ohio State University this past December with a B.S. in Computer Science & Engineering.  I start my job with Red Hat in June (very excited!)  In the meantime, I work as a math tutor for 3rd-6th grade children, and I am also an instructor for Techie Club, teaching computer science concepts to middle schoolers.

Fun fact(s):  I was originally a graphic design major but hated how structured the program was.  Ironically, I switched into Computer Science & Engineering since I had some web development experience in high school.  I ended up enjoying the program much more.  I still dabble in art from time to time.  Specifically, I love the realism movement.  I’m not particularly great with abstract art, but I love to draw people.  In my free time, I also love to explore cooking all sorts of dishes from around the world.
gracehopper2

What # would define your life journey?
#persistence

Favorite website / app:
Reddit.  I get all my information about nearly ANYTHING from it!

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted (if any):
My 7 year old, Oliver.  He was certainly my extra push through school when I wanted to give up.  He always tells me he believes in me, always tells me to never give up.  He is the yin to my yang.. when I’m angry, he reminds me to calm down.  He reminds me to be less selfish, and help others.  He has taught me much more about life than he realizes, and continues to do so.
oliverandi

Song that makes you want to dance:
Down in the DM by Yo Gotti 😀

Technical challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
I would say the toughest time I’ve had thus far was during the beginnings of my internship at IBM.  After going through my initial period of being overwhelmed/wanting to scream, I realized it was all about using my resources.  Sometimes, the people on my team were unfamiliar with the issues I might be having.  I realized there is a wealth of information there to work with, it was just a matter of me reading through it all, and finding the right people to speak with.  I remember reading through our internal forums, querying keywords with whatever issues I was having and finding immediate answers.  Or sometimes, I might have to dig deeper through people’s posts in order to find someone knowledgeable, and ping those people to ask, “Hey, if you have a minute, do you think you could explain to me how XYZ works?”  You’d be surprised at the amount of people who are actually willing to help (sometimes on the complete opposite side of the globe) — all you have to do is ask!  After a bit of explanation, I would always be on my way just fine.  It was simply all about finding the information, or finding the right person who had the right experience.  I think that can be said for most technical challenges, though.  Trial and error can sometimes be successful, but at a certain point, you might simply me wasting your time if you’re going about things in the wrong way without realizing it.
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Ideal Job:
One that I can utilize the entirety of my skill set.  I’m not happy unless I feel useful, so in regard to my ideal job, I would want to contribute to the best of my ability.  I would love to work as a product manager for a really cool product some day for that reason.  I’ve always loved the fact that a PM is all-encompassing.  They’re in the middle of the business aspects of a product, but they need to understand their users and the technical side as well.  Specifically, I would love to work on a product in relation to children and learning.

What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Always ask questions, even when you’re terrified.  Work your butt off.  Be realistic.  Plan for the worst, but always hope for the best. Never search for excuses — just do it!

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