#WomeninSTEM · #WomeninTech · inspiration · women who reign

Women Who Reign: Hannah Voelker

“I have come to realize making yourself happy is most important. Never be ashamed of how you feel. You have the right to feel any emotion you want, and do what makes you happy. That’s my life motto.”  — Demi Lovato
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Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I’m a double major in Computer Science and Biomedical Engineering, and am interested in biotechnology, but also just back-end development in general. This past summer, I built tools in R and Python to help with data visualizations of microbial makeup of various food samples. I’m also passionate about being an advocate for women in tech, as I teach young girls how to code and am involved in my school’s chapter of WiCS. Outside of academics, I am an avid runner, swimmer, and foodie. A fun fact about me is that my family trains guide dogs for Guiding Eyes for the Blind!

What # would define your life journey?
#BuildingMyself: I am turning 20 this week, and as I was reflecting on this past year, I realized how much my life had changed in such little time.  I am finding the person I have wanted to be for a long time, I was just too afraid to be her. The most important thing I have learned so far in undergrad is that I am the only person responsible for my future; I have to build it.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset
Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Favorite website / app:
I’m a huge fan of Strava, as I can see my own running and biking progress over time and compete with my friends. It gives a lot of useful statistics in one place.

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
A olympic runner, Alexi Pappas, once said “Good thing I didn’t accomplish all my goals today, because then what would I do tomorrow?”. This is one of my favorite quotes because it is a reminder that dreams don’t happen overnight and also that they require a lot of work to get there.

Song that makes you want to dance:
Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon

Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
I was hesitant to study computer science since I was worried about other people’s opinions, so I ended up not taking the introductory computer science course until the spring of my sophomore year. I immediately realized how much I enjoyed the subject material and that as long as I was doing something I was enjoying, what others think doesn’t matter. Since then, I picked up a double major, and began teaching myself through side projects. I’m really grateful for the people that encouraged me to take the plunge, and for those that have helped me figure things out and plan out my future.
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Ideal Job:
I would love to be a software engineer for a biotech company, particularly one that works with genetics or disease research. Helping others has always been a career goal of mine, and being able to use my programming knowledge for good would be incredibly fulfilling.

What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Be the person that you want to be, not what someone else wants you to be. I struggled with finding strength within myself for the longest time; I was extremely dependent on others telling me what to do with my life. Being confident in not only your abilities but also your dreams and goals is something that has deeply changed the way I look at the work I do. Imposter syndrome is so, so real, but realizing your worth and being headstrong in your abilities is the most important thing when you are finding your way in life, and especially as a female engineer. Confidence is key.

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