Women Who Reign: Sam Petrie
“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.”
Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
My name is Sam Petrie and I am a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studying Computer Science. I am originally from Indiana but made the move down south for the blue skies, stellar academics, and, of course, Carolina sports. My identity as a Tar Heel runs so deep that I even made the 20+ hour drive to Houston last spring for the NCAA Final Four. That trip is one of the many lasting memories I have and will continue to make at UNC (regardless of that buzzer beater). Whenever I am not attending a game, you can find me immersed in the entrepreneurship ecosystem on campus, analyzing facility usage data at the UNC Medical School, or trying a new recipe in my kitchen. I enjoy having diverse interests in order to regularly push myself out of my comfort zone and continually grow as a person.
What # would define your life journey?
My life has taken a few unexpected twists and turns. Instead of letting stress or worry take over in these situations, I cling to my faith and remember that God has a plan for my life. Even though I sometimes feel like I’m read into this plan, I find comfort in trusting that things will work out beyond my wildest dreams.
Favorite website / app:
The Weather Channel app. I get my slight obsession with the weather from my mom. We would check the weather probably at least 4 times a day, everyday when I was growing up. Now I’ve been known to sometimes check the app 4 times an hour. I am a data junkie at heart, so being able to see all the metrics as well as the predictions for the next 10 days is fascinating to me.
Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
Jenna Geier. Jenna was my manager for my past internship and she was committed to helping me grow both professionally and personally. Her courageous commitment to living the life that will make you happy has taught me to not take time for granted and pursue a balanced lifestyle full of the things that bring me joy.
Song that makes you want to dance:
In the Name of Love — Martin Garrix and Bebe Rexha
Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
In my internship this past summer, I was given the task of developing a data analytics system for a team of over 50 consultants with no team and no budget. Although this initially felt like an impossible task, I was ultimately successful due to not being afraid to reach out and ask for help. With the help of open source and free platforms, I was able to develop and deploy a no-cost system in three months that would have otherwise taken at least double that time if dedicated as a side project for another team. I was the only intern out of 44 to present the project to the executive team as an example of efficient innovation within a corporate setting. Also, I made a lot of invaluable connections throughout all departments of the company by not being shy about asking for help.
Ultimately I think I would like to be a VP of product development or at the executive level for a health and wellness related technology company. I am interested in helping companies grow, so I could see myself at a startup or a mid-size company. I enjoy the strategic thinking and leadership opportunities that come with product management and hope to be doing something in this realm.
What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Although this might be cliche, I don’t think it can be repeated enough: do what makes you happy. I lived life for a long time doing what I thought I was supposed to do or what I thought other people wanted from my life. In order to really REIGN your life, you have to be brave enough to take control of it and do what you want to do with it, not what people tell you to do with it. It’s okay if this requires you to take a leap of faith and change tracks. It’s worth it to take that risk and be excited about life rather than feel stuck. I think happiness is a mindset that is chosen, not just an ideal that comes and goes. So choose happiness, whatever that may be for you. And start living like everyday is the best day of the year.