Women Who Reign: Jackie Luo

Happy weekend #Reigners! We wanted to highlight Jackie Luo as our 2nd Woman Who Reigns. Jackie is not only smart and well spoken, but is also graceful with poise. She has a way of drawing people in very quickly (that I’ve seen first hand). Can’t wait to see her star continue to shine brighter.

Tell us a little about yourself along with a fun fact.
12086983_1202724153077574_218326665_nI’m a junior at Columbia University studying computer science and philosophy. I’m from Houston, Texas, and was a pretty serious fashion photographer in high school… You can still see my work at jackieluo.com! Fun fact? I was at NASDAQ yesterday morning to ring the opening bell! I’m part of the Columbia Organization of Rising Entrepreneurs, and they’re just a fantastic group of people who constantly impress me. We were asked to ring the NASDAQ opening bell for our work on Ignite@CU, a conference we’re running November 7 and 8 with schools like Harvard, Yale, and Penn.

What # would define your life journey?
Honestly, I have no idea. Lately, 24. I really overloaded my schedule this year because I wanted to get the most of it, and so every single hour of the day is constantly on my mind—how I can maximize my time every day, where I can fit the next meeting or interview or call. Hopefully, that’ll change soon, but I’m liking how busy I am right now

Favorite website / app:
ClassPass. I love a lot of apps (Moves, Pocket, Slack, and more), but I’ve been so into ClassPass since I started using it this summer. I was pretty much the least fit person anyone’s ever met for most of my life; before this summer, I probably only worked out twice since middle school PE. I decided in the middle of the summer to start barre, just because I thought it would be fun, and I got on ClassPass. And now I’m going to classes three or four times a week.

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted (if any):
Everyone in tech says it, but Elon Musk inspires me. I think a lot of people get too distracted by the free flow of capital in the Valley right now, but there are a few people, like him, who are tackling hard problems that, until a few years ago, most people thought would be unprofitable. It shouldn’t be about building an app that takes little to no effort and then making billions—the hardest problems in the world, the ones that tech is best able to solve, won’t be easy, but they’ll be the ones that make the biggest impact.

Song that makes you want to dance:
12092477_1202724166410906_1276433129_nSo predictable, but I keep playing “How Deep Is Your Love” by Calvin Harris because it’s always on at my spin class.

Ideal job:
I’ve wanted to start my own startup since middle school. Nothing is as compelling to me as new tech that changes the way that people interact with the world, and I think we’re going to see huge, huge advances in AI, AR/VR, and more in the next few decades. It’s pretty much my life aim to be a part of making that happen.

What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Don’t let anyone stereotype you. What people say and what they don’t, in the end, doesn’t matter. I don’t fit into a lot of boxes, and I’m happier that way, but most people didn’t take me seriously when I started in computer science. I’m female, and I’m also into fashion. I like wearing makeup and dresses and heels, and so sometimes people (both male and female) overlook me or assume that I’m the designer in the room, maybe not even in the right room. That’s happened before, someone telling me I was in the wrong place based solely on appearance. It can be discouraging, but I didn’t focus on it, and I’m finally reaching the point where I’m objectively qualified enough that people can’t dismiss me anymore. What others think should never be your priority, but I know that it’s there, and when it does bother you, use it to get better and prove people wrong.12086916_1202724159744240_884669942_n


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