Women Who Reign: Selynna Sun
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, “I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I’m a rising freshman at Cal Poly SLO majoring in Computer Science. At the moment, I’m mainly doing two things: working as a community coordinator with Hack Club, which is a nonprofit that helps high school students around the world start coding clubs, and organizing hackathons. I founded and led the first Los Altos Hacks and work with CodeDay Bay Area and HSHacks.
What # would define your life journey?
I became interested in tech after attending my first hackathon, not for the coding or the community, but for a more superficial reason: the free food. Doing Codecademy in the past made me think that coding was something simply too easy for my liking, and that it wouldn’t give me the challenge I so desired in my life. But, free food. What a random and unexpected way to get myself into a whole new sector.
Many of the opportunities I’ve had to advance myself seem to pop up randomly, but all of them really have gotten me so much farther than I thought I would be.
Favorite website / app:
Facebook Messenger — Messenger feels so clean and easy to use, plus it helps me stay connected with friends around the world. Also, Facebook stickers are on point
Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted:
Sheryl Sandberg is a huge inspiration because there is a lot she does to empower females worldwide. One of my favorite pieces of knowledge from her is that people shouldn’t call girls “bossy,” but rather say that they have leadership skills.
Song that makes you want to dance:
Cold Water by Major Lazer
Challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
I had some form of imposter syndrome during junior/beginning of senior year and feared I wasn’t good enough compared to my peers. I’d always tell myself that I wasn’t doing enough to compete with my friends.
I lost a bunch of sleep just so I could fit more extracurricular activities into my schedule. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved the activities I was part of, but it was too much for me, especially when getting my daily sleep during class time became a lifestyle.
Shyness was a prominent personality trait of mine, and getting myself to talk to others about personal issues was something I wasn’t too keen on. But as things became more and more unmanageable, I had to start putting that behind me because a change really was needed. It ended up helping me get rid of the effects of imposter syndrome (though slowly) and made me much more open and sociable, compared to before.
Also, I guess I got more sleep?
I hope to become a software engineer + developer evangelist. I’ve met a few that I see constantly mentoring and teaching others, whether it’s about code in general, or specific technologies that they work with everyday, while still being an engineer. It’s pretty ideal for me: helping others, but still working on very tangible projects within the company.
What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Jump at opportunities, because they could very well change your life. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people, there are so many interesting perspectives and ideas from others. And as cliche as it sounds, believe in yourself, because you ARE capable of doing great things if you put your mind to it.