San Jose, CA
What is your main Cornell extracurricular activity -- why is it important to you?
I started Lean In at Cornell. I deeply care about supporting women in technology and believe that we can strengthen Cornell's existing resources by focusing on fostering more personal connections. I lead Sheryl Sandberg's global initiative, Lean In, at Cornell to empower women via personal communication and education. This past October, I was selected as the first ever recipient of Cornell Information Science's Grace Hopper Scholarship. As a result, I attended the Grace Hopper Conference for women in computing. I met so many inspiring women in the field, both peers still in college and women years into their careers. Seeing their impact and drive inspired me to start Lean In at Cornell.
Who or what influenced your Cornell education the most? How or why?
I am extremely fortunate to have had Amy Sindone's guidance through the information science major, from figuring out which area of info sci to focus on to finding opportunities outside the classroom to learn from.
Two classes changed my perspective unexpectedly. Women, Leadership, and Entrepreneurship with Professor Streeter pushed me to empower myself and those around me. The speakers we met through her class made me reconsider everything from negotiation to the implications of gender in the workplace.
In addition, the speaker series entitled Building a Life Worth Living reminded me of how many learning opportunities we have at Cornell. Where else can you listen to Cornell physics professors recount the discovery of the Higgs boson one week, and the next week to artists from Myanmar using their work for education reform?
If you were to offer advice to an incoming first year student, what would you say?
Be bold. Push the boundaries of your comfort zone, because that's what will push you to grow and to learn more about your abilities.
Also, the time you spend outside of class can become just as formative as the time you spend studying. I know that when I graduate, I will forget some of what I studied, but I will remember conversations with peers and mentors that made me think about what the world needs, what drives me, who I want to become. Value the time you spend connecting with people just as much the time you spend studying, and take advantage of the incredible variety of perspectives and intellect on this campus.