What Message Do You Think Every Woman Should Hear ?

With Rina Schiller

Introduce yourself! Who are you?
Hi my name is Rina, I’m currently a software engineer at JPMorgan Chase working in Investment Banking Technology. I graduated from Hunter College in New York City in where I majored in Digital Media and minored in Computer Science and Gender Studies. As a queer woman in the technology and finance industry, I’m really passionate about making technology (and the world) a more inclusive environment for everyone.

What would you say to 16 year old you?
Don’t be scared of not being good at something right away. Nobody is good at everything from the outset – people become experts in certain fields only by working really hard. I think I was so intimidated by subjects that I wasn’t good at right away that I avoided taking some classes or being involved in certain fields that would have been a benefit to me in the long run.

Have you ever had an extraordinary experience? Describe it!
Yes! I’ve been privileged to have some great experiences. I was part of an LGBT leadership conference at Nasdaq and got to have ring the opening market bell and have my picture be on their building in Times Square. I also spoke in front of 200+ women at a Women in Technology in New York (WiTNY) event, a group that really influenced and shaped my career path in college. I was also on the JPMorgan float in the Pride Parade in NYC which was incredible!

What do you do on a daily basis to grow and move forward?
I spend time learning and growing my skills. I try to succeed and deliver my tasks at work at an efficient pace. I have a side project where I’m working on my technical skills outside of work and building a web application for female politicians to analyze social media data to help them with their campaigns. Sometimes I’m not able to spend time working on my skills every day, but I recognize it’s okay to take breaks and just have some time for myself.

What is something on your bucket list?
Co-founding or being the CTO of a company that uses technology to empower the disenfranchised.

What message do you think every woman should hear?
Be bold and confident. We are trained by society to believe that we are not good enough on our own or that our worth is dependent in our looks. We need to make sure we overcome the voices in our head that are telling us to worry so much about what other people think of us and do what will benefit us and our personal ambitions.

What motivates you most?
Being a part of a community of people that are working together to help or empower disenfranchised groups of people. One of the reasons I love technology is because if used in the right way, it can be really be a force for change and social good. I love being involved in groups like Girls Who Code or Out in Tech to make sure everyone’s voices get heard equally. I love sharing my story and empowering other people to feel like they can be themselves.

What do you love most about yourself?
My ability to be honest and true to myself. It’s definitely a work in progress and I have good and bad days, but in general I try my best to be the most genuine person I can be.

Have you ever had anyone doubt you? How did that make you feel?
All the time. People tell me I can’t be a good software engineer because I don’t have a computer science degree, or I’m not really LGBTQ because I date men and women. I just have to tell myself that my value doesn’t depend on other people’s perceptions of me and that I need to continue to love and value myself for who I truly am.

What are your biggest passions?
I feel passionate about motivating and inspiring underrepresented people to go into technology. Tech is such a valuable and significant industry that is literally shaping the future of our world, and I want everyone to be a part of shaping it. I also want to do whatever I can to create a workplace environment that enables women, people of color, trans and nonbinary people to feel comfortable to express their authentic selves. A different topic I’m also really passionate about is getting more women into public office – I have a side project that involves analyzing social media data to help female politicians with their political campaigns.

More About Rina

Rina Schiller is currently a software engineer at JPMorgan Chase working in Investment Banking Technology. She graduated from Hunter College in New York City in where she majored in Digital Media and minored in Computer Science and Gender Studies. She uses her instagram @engiqueer_ to share her experiences as a queer woman in technology at her first full-time tech job. She is really passionate about making technology (and the world) a more inclusive environment for everyone.

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