“I need to listen well so that I hear what is not said.” – Thuli Madonsela
Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I am a mechanical engineer major with a minor in doing too many extra curriculars. I’ve been a lifestyle blogger, on my blog: Sound of Charm, since I was about 16 years old. In the past I was a pageant queen, athlete (soccer, lacrosse, softball, cheerleading, and basketball), a trumpet player, and club president (Red Cross and Yearbook). Now, I am working on pursuing my own non-profit organization for collegiate professional development.
I started my engineering career as a chemical engineer intern with the navy. The internship gave me hands-on experience that helped me find my passion in engineering. I was exposed to the daily work life of an engineer, and I was able to decide where in this industry I can optimize my skills and talent.
What # would define your life journey?
The number 3 would define my life journey because of the religious aspects (i.e.The Divine Trinity) and the large amount of luck that I’ve had throughout my life.
ALSO I realized that the other interviewees on Reigningit have answered this question with a hashtag! LOL So I’ll keep my original response but, add that a HASHTAG that defines my life journey would be #thatsSemirahforyou
Favorite website / app:
*Shameless plug* I’m like so in love with this cute blog about this women engineer who also enjoys reviewing fitness, fashion, and food in Boston, MA. Join the rollercoaster experience at: www.soundofcharm.blogspot.com.
My favorite app is Poshmark, where I sell clothes from my closet. Poshmark is my favorite app, not only because it’s a mini cash cow for me but, I met many of the ladies running it today at their Boston launch party in 2012 (uh-oh does this make me sound old?).
Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted (if any):
So many influential people have touched my life. I always honor my mom, as on the biggest inspirations in my life. Moreover, separate from personal, Dona Sarkar of Microsoft has been my women engineer hero and aspiration. I met Dona at WeCode Harvard in 2015 and she gave me some tips to advance my career through my technical skills. When you find a mentor that invests in you, latch on!
Song that makes you want to dance:
This song would vary on time, place, and occasion. But for personal reasons, I will always vibe with Gyptian’s song, “Hold On”. I also have some friends that have great music to dance to, like: Boston artists PhenomV and Richard Lane (also a producer).
Technical challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
I had little to no experience when I attended my first hackathon my freshman year of college. When I was invited to join a team, I didn’t know how I would be a contributing member in a 24 hour competition. With Google and energy drinks by my side, I took on my first hackathon project step by step and also with the help of professional mentors. In regards to life challenges, try not to let them interfere with where you strive to be. Life challenges are merely a hurdle in the race and sometimes the race may have 1 hurdle or 100. What I’ve learned, is that you get far just by keep going and tackling those hurdles.
If my calculations are correct, I should be sitting in an office with a title plate that says, “CEO”. Whether it’s for my own company or through hardcore tenacity I become a top leader in a great company. OR I would love to be a product manager or engineer at a big company. I decided to major in mechanical engineering because it’s one of the broadest types of engineering: I could do anything from manufacturing to marketing. I’m currently on co-op at Johnson & Johnson as a manufacturing engineer, and I’d love to see more UMass Dartmouth students do the same. There are so many opportunities available for STEM students, but the biggest roadblock is support, which I plan on providing with the non-profit I’m starting called Just Apply, Inc.
What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Be bold and determined. Everyone who knows me has most likely experienced a moment where I didn’t follow the status quo or “The Norm.” I wanted to follow my heart and enjoy my life experiences. Here’s the takeaway, future Women Leaders: optimize every opportunity in life.