Meet Carolina Binns, a WFiT recipient studying at Northeastern. Beginning with her childhood she was always fascinated with computers and her father's work as a Software Engineer but not until college did she know that she made the right choice pursuing a STEM education. Learn more about her story.
What inspired you to pursue a career in STEM?
My father is a Software Engineer, so I’ve always known I liked computers, and was always curious about my father’s work. Still, I never really considered engineering until high school. Like many students, I was guided towards engineering because I was good at Math and Science. Computer Engineering just seemed like a natural fit. It wasn’t really until my freshman year of college that I was sure about this decision. Taking my first class in coding was when I really knew I was where I wanted to be.
What do you like best about your university’s STEM programs?
One of the biggest reasons I chose Northeastern was the co-op program. For those who aren’t familiar, co-ops are 6 month long positions, similar to internships, in the engineering field. This means I’ll have 18 months of relevant work experience when I graduate, and I’ll be familiar with the interviewing process. On top of that, co-ops offer the opportunity to learn on the job, which is a really valuable opportunity. I recently accepted my first co-op position at Acacia Communications in Systems Quality Assurance!
What advice can you share to other young women pursuing STEM degrees?
Stick with it. It’s going to be challenging, it’s going to be hard work, and you might question yourself sometimes. You won’t believe me until it happens, but it will pay off.
Speak up. Get to know your professors. Go to office hours. Learn how to seek help when you need it.
Take a break. You’re allowed to like things other than math and science! Join a club or find a hobby that can take your mind off of the stress of school.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, I hope to be working full time while pursuing a Master’s Degree. I also hope to still be involved in STEM outreach in my community!
When you are not studying, what do you like to do for fun?
Right now, most of my free time is spent learning Sign Language or reading. I also love to binge watch This Is Us. During the summer, I like to hike and play beach volleyball.
Give us a fun fact about you!
I do the NYTimes mini crossword puzzle every day! I love puzzles and it’s a fun way to take a quick break while I’m studying.
Who is your biggest female role model in the STEM field?
My biggest role model in the STEM field is Angie Chang. In fact, I wrote my application essay for the WFiT scholarship about her. She is an amazing leader, and is definitely worth googling! She’s been involved in many cool projects that focus on empowering women in STEM, my favorite being Women 2.0.