Next up in our SHEs in STEM series is 21 year old Karen Kauffman. Karen is a software engineer in San Jose, CA. She believes in the opportunities that come with being minority in the room when being a female in computer science.
I am Karen Kauffman, 21 years old and born and raised in Mountain View, CA. I recently graduated from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, where I studied computer science and statistics. I now work as a software engineer for Adobe in downtown San Jose, where I interned all 3 summers during my undergraduate degree.
My first exposure to computer programming came the summer before my senior year of high school, where I took part in Girls Who Code‘s summer immersion program at eBay. I thoroughly enjoyed the vibes of working in a tech company, and enrolled in AP computer science my senior year in addition to working for a local education technology startup, Sokikom.
There’s no doubt you have to get used to being a minority in the room when being a female in computer science, but this comes with its own opportunities. I had a blast in my college’s club for women in software, and have been very fortunate to work at a company such as Adobe that has employee networks for underrepresented groups to build community. My proudest professional achievements also occurred at Adobe, including taking home the first place prize at the intern showcase in 2018.
There’s no doubt you have to get used to being a minority in the room when being a female in computer science, but this comes with its own opportunities.
My best advice for young women in STEM is to consider a career in technology, and that all starts with getting a technical degree in school. Having a computer science degree opens up unparalleled opportunities, and who wouldn’t want to be at the forefront of the most cutting edge industry?