#WomeninSTEM · #WomeninTech · Computer Science · inspiration · Technology · women who reign

Women Who Reign: Erin Woo

“I don’t need to feel like I’m waiting to be noticed. I know who I am and I’ll know what I want if and when it ever comes along” – Fionna the Human from “Adventure Time”

Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I am a graduating senior at Burlingame High School and will be studying computing at UC Santa Barbara’s College of Creative Studies next fall. I became interested in computer science after participating in the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program at Twitter SF last year as well as becoming a creative code apprentice for Dolby Labs and Gray Area Foundation for the Arts. I aspire to become a software engineer or a UX designer and some of my hobbies include writing music, filmmaking, and photography. Hmmm I guess a fun fact about me would be that I eat a lot… Like a lot. I can down a large bowl of beef pho in less than 8 minutes.

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Favorite website / app:
Besides the usual Snapchat and Instagram, I love Waze! It’s so clever in its user-driven (haha driven) data collection and features. Also I’m directionally challenged so this app is an absolute life saver (and the little car avatars are so cute).

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Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
Billie Holiday is a bad-ass lady. I read her autobiography and was forever changed– I even quoted her for my senior yearbook quote: “I’m always making a comeback but nobody ever tells me where I’ve been”. I guess her mentality was sort of “do no harm, take no s***” and since then I’ve adopted this mindset into everything I set out to do.

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Song that makes you want to dance:
“King Kunta” by Kendrick Lamar

Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
I’ve struggled with validating my own experiences and intelligence– it’s quite intimidating to be surrounded by so many naturally bright people, whether it be in my school or in my field. Before becoming involved in the tech field, I didn’t know whether I was left-brained or right-brained and if you told me I’d be studying computer science a few years ago I would’ve laughed because math and science are not my thang. But after breaking out of my comfort zone, I found something that I genuinely loved and was good at too. I think it was the first time I genuinely felt passionate about something and since then I haven’t second-guessed my own goals and ambitions.

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Ideal Job:

Oooo… So many options… I’ve thought about this quite a lot and it’s hard to say. I guess because I’m more of a creative person, I’d love to write software for a company in a creative industry. I love music and film, so maybe creating products for producers in those fields. I love both art and technology and have seen the amazing ways they can combine to create some pretty cool stuff.

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What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
I think the key to being a successful woman is having the ability to be both solid and flexible. You must be firm in what you believe is right and become invincible to anything that intends to steer you in the wrong direction. That being said, it’s important that you also be open-minded and willing to listen to others. I know, they sound a little contradictory but it’s all about balance and understanding which situations are applicable. Speaking of balance, it’s important to not take life so seriously sometimes… Be free-spirited and learn to loosen up when you need it. Sometimes people respond better when you’re more candid about yourself.

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