Like A Girl

Pushing the conversation on gender equality.

Code Like A Girl

Women Who Reign: Kaitlin Gu

“Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” — Golda Meir

Happy Tuesday Reigners! Meet Kaitlin Gu from NYU. There are close associations between music, art, and science, and Kaitlin is interested in all 3! Read on to see who she believes has demonstrated limitless human potential, how she overcame imposter syndrome, and how not to forget about the little things that count.

Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I hail from New York City and am currently a senior majoring in Computer Science and Media, Culture, and Communications at NYU. I’m president of NYU’s Women in Computing, a Square Code Camp alum, and also worked as an instructor at Girls Who Code. I’m passionate about technology, education, music, and art.

A fun fact about me: I’m allergic to chocolate — it makes me sneeze like crazy. At Code Camp, a Square engineer brought chocolate for us and I could not stop sneezing.

What # would define your life journey?

Throughout my life, I want to continue to be curious, ask questions, and maintain an open mind.

Favorite website / app:
Spotify. I love waking up on Mondays to my Discover Weekly playlist and finding music I’ve never heard before.

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted (if any):
There are too many!

To list a few: all generations of Square code campers, Gloria Kimbwala, the members of NYU WinC, my students from Girls Who Code Viacom, and Jack Dorsey.

All these people have demonstrated that human potential is limitless. They have taught me to focus on things that I’m passionate about and to remain confident while doing so.

Song that makes you want to dance:
I have a playlist called “I just want to dance.” One of the latest additions is Coffee by Sylvan Esso.

Technical challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
I remember I had to help with Processing while I was an instructor at Girls Who Code. Processing was a language I wasn’t really familiar with. When they were working on their final projects one of the students asked me a question about the language and I remember thinking, “This is it. This is when I’m going to be exposed as a fraud and I’m going to get fired.” I didn’t know the answer at all and I didn’t want to admit I didn’t know the answer. We ended up having to look up the answer together and I remember being shocked that the student didn’t look at me like I was an impostor and moreover, that I wasn’t fired. The experience taught me that no one expects you to have all the answers and that there is always new things to learn. It’s important to be willing to look to other resources when you face a challenge.

Ideal Job:
Changing the world! I’m particularly interested in how we can use technology to advance education.

What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Keep learning. Work on things you’re passionate about. Surround yourself with people that support you. Most importantly, breathe and take time to look at the world around you. Have fun and don’t forget to laugh.