#WomeninSTEM · women who reign

Women Who Reign: Namrata Murali

“I know for sure that what we dwell on is what we become.” — Oprah Winfrey
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Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I’m a junior ECE (Electrical and Computer Engineering) major at Carnegie Mellon University, and I’m originally from a small town in MA called Acton. Fun fact: I spend a good amount of my free time learning to play the ukulele! I just started a few weeks ago and I love it 🙂
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What # would define your life journey?
My hashtag would 100% be #fakeittillyoubecomeit. (There’s a fascinating TED talk on body language that’s inspired this hashtag. Check it out here: https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are?language=en)

Favorite website / app:
YouTube! I’ve spent so much time getting inspired on YouTube by TED talks, podcasts, ukelele covers, etc.
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Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
My mom! She moved to the US at 21 by herself and started working on her own to pay off her father’s mortgage in India. She’s taught me the importance of humility, and how gratifying and beneficial it can be to share your wealth and success with others. She’s also taught me to take every opportunity, no matter how terrifying, and always go all in.

Song that makes you want to dance:
Hey Soul Sister by Train. Just recently learned it on the uke!
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Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
I entered CMU having NO idea what I wanted to do with my life. I came in as a Chemical Engineering major, and applied for the engineering college solely because I really loved math in high school, and engineering seemed like the best application of it. At CMU, you take two introductory engineering classes and decide your major just based on those two classes. I took an intro to ECE class because one of my friends coming to school with me was taking it. I had to take an intro to programming class alongside it, with CS and ECE majors that it seemed had been coding and building robots their entire lives. I was in a constant state of insecurity and fear during my first semester. But I ended up using that fear to push myself harder than I would have imagined. In the end, it was a tough first semester, but I ended up loving ECE. When it came time to declare my major in the spring, I was still a little bit nervous, but I told myself that once I declared, I would go all in. It’s been my best decision yet in college 🙂

Ideal Job:
Honestly, my ideal job would be a teacher or professor. Some of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had in both high school and college have come from teaching and helping out others. If not in a teaching position, I’d love to work at a company where I can build low-cost devices or products that can significantly change lives of people that may not be able to afford expensive technology.
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What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Do what scares you the most! When I walked into my first ECE class at CMU, I was scared out of my mind. Overcoming fear gives you so much confidence and forces you to learn more than you can imagine. I still have a lot to improve in this area, and hope to keep wading through unfamiliar territory even though it may be terrifying.

Also, remember how far you’ve come, and use that to help others. No one has become successful without help, so be that person for other people. Be sure to recognize those who’ve helped you along the way as well.

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