Meet our Fundraising Chair, Purnima Jain!
At the beginning of my freshman year of college, I was wildly unsure whether pursuing a CompSci degree was the right move for me. I knew that I wanted to build on my coding knowledge, but I had little prior experience and my learning pace was slower than others'. As mentioned before, I also didn't receive much encouragement. However, moving forward I confided in my professors and those around me when I was unsure, and joined every opportunity that piqued my interest in order to build my knowledge. I practiced my coding plenty.
Now, 2 years later, I am moving into my second year as a SWE officer, have work experience as an HSI STEM mentor at our COE, participated in a NASA academy program as a project manager, and now am a NASA software engineering intern for Fall 2021. Persistence was (definitely) key, and I learned a lot of valuable lessons along the way. As for hobbies, I enjoy playing the piano/ukulele, stargazing, singing, and researching.
Why did you pick your major?
"I picked computer science as my major since it allowed me to mix a logical thinking process with creativity. The major is versatile, and I felt that there was a lot I could do with it. "
What is your favorite course?
"So far, my favorite course has been Engineering 350 with Dave Winter! While I enjoy my coding classes, it's nice to just lean back and learn about the more conceptual side of the screens we use from day to day. Dave also engages with the students a lot, and it's nice having a class which is also a small laid back community compared to other stressful workloads."
Why are you in SWE?
"I joined SWE to find a community of motivated women which I could learn from. It wasn't easy to get the support I wanted when it came to pursuing a career in STEM, but surrounding myself with people who are so hard-working and motivated in their interests makes me feel so much more confident. I want to help make a difference for women who were also unsure about their career path in engineering. "
Advice for women in STEM:
"My advice for women in STEM is to maintain credibility. It's okay to not know something--just build on it and work towards proficiency. Talk about the things you know with confidence, and it'll inevitably become easier to work with others. "
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California State University, Long Beach Society of Women Engineers