“You grow up the day you have your first real laugh at yourself.” — Ethel Barrymore
Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
Check out my website: TheKateLarsen.com
I grew up in a small town on the farm. Even though I never took any programming classes in high school, I was very fascinated with technology. I remember the day my brother and I got our first laptops and we played on those for days on end. I also remember going on “Take Your Kids to Work Day” with my mom who worked in IT. Later on I went on some college visits, and here I am now. I’m a junior at the University of Nebraska Omaha studying Management Information Systems.
Some of my passions include keeping up to date with technology by attending meetups, supporting women in technology by volunteering with a variety of different organizations, and writing by being the Editor-In-Chief for the Odyssey. I’m also involved with Omaha’s Random Acts of Kindness Club, work part time for Farm Credit Services of America, and am actively involved in a sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha. You can say that I definitely enjoy keeping busy!
Fun fact: I have a baby sister who is 8 months old.
What # would define your life journey?
Favorite website / app:
Poshmark. Making money by selling clothes and then turning around to spend that money buying clothes has never been easier.
Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
My mom. She ALWAYS keeps going, no matter how stressed or tired she is. This motivates me to keep going whether that’s after a bad grade or stressful week. One of her biggest lines, as said by her mom (my grandma) is, “If it’s meant to be, it will be.” Last year when applying for summer internships, I got turned down by a company I thought would be a great fit. My mom told me there were probably other plans in store for me. She was right. I ended up getting an internship at Farm Credit Services of America and it was one of the best summers I’ve had. She reminds me every day that things do happen for a reason.
Song that makes you want to dance:
Trees by Twenty One Pilots (really anything by Twenty One Pilots).
Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
My shyness. In high school I didn’t talk much unless we were close friends. I was always nervous to voice my opinion and was just a more reserved person.
Today I’m still an introverted person, but I have overcome the shyness. I have done that by pushing myself to get out there to meet new people and learn new things. I remember my freshman year, I walked into the Women in Technology Mentoring Meet and Greet event knowing no one. This year, I was talking to people left and right. Last year, I attended a Project Management meetup where I knew no one, which was very intimidating but it was such a great networking experience.
Lastly, I’m scheduled to speak at one of the Girls Who Code sessions here in Omaha. In high school I would have never thought in a million years I would be volunteering to speak in front of people. I’m proud at how far I’ve come and plan to continue growing.
I’m still open to many different career paths, but in 10 years I can see myself in an IT leadership position. Being the Editor-In-Chief for the Odyssey has really opened my eyes and made me realize that I love seeing people grow and succeed.
What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Be humble. This could be by helping someone study, stepping up to start a project at work, giving a friend a ride, or bringing a friend some food after a long day and not expecting anything in return. These are all acts done out of the kindness of the heart and should be done more often. It’s important to think of others first sometimes.
Also once you realize how important networking is, you’re set. I’ve met SO many people by going to random events and introducing myself to people, or reaching out to people who I’m interested in talking to and asking to grab lunch. If I skipped out on participating in my first Women in Technology Mentoring Meet and Greet event, I wouldn’t have gotten my mentor and my first internship. Big things happen when you expand your connections!