[Featured Creator] 👀 Meet Caitlin, a woman in tech who shares her story via blog and podcast.
|Cornell Creatives||Aug 30, 2020||1|
Caitlin Stanton ‘20 graduated this spring with a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering and an unexpected twist. She’s been attempting to say goodbye and break down the last four years of her life - not with a graduation ceremony, but with a blog. There, she shares a variety of content ranging from her experiences at internships, on Cornell campus, and even in Cupertino while giving a TEDx talk!
Beyond managing her blog and website, she recently appeared as a guest on the She Chat podcast where she talked about her experience as a woman in engineering, discussed privilege, and shared how she built a network in the “women in tech” community. Her recent feature came after connecting with podcast hosts on Instagram, despite never meeting them in person.
Caitlin plans to pursue her Master’s degree in the same field beginning this fall, and wants to keep recording her journey on her blog and sharing her story of authenticity, curiosity, and empowerment.
Q: What were you most excited to communicate to the audience of the She Chat podcast?
I wanted to share my story about being a woman in tech and how I found the community as I progressed, as well as touching on the fact that it's not perfect and there’s a giant need for allies. I recognize that I’m a person with a relative amount of privilege: I’m a white woman in tech, and a pretty loud woman in tech. That's something I go into any podcast or interview thinking about.
Q: On She Chat, you advised students to prioritize what’s most important to them and avoid overloading themselves because there are only so many hours in the day. What does your ideal day look like?
I’d wake up early at 8:30, I’d work out, and then I’d make a nice breakfast to feel healthy and full.
Then - once my internship starts - I’d have a couple meetings and do some work with a few productive hours.
Then I would definitely want a break during the middle of the day to read or write or something, just to break up the flow. After a couple more hours of work, I have a lot of friends who aren’t in NYC, so I’d want to Zoom call with them, have brainstorming sessions, and watch Grey’s Anatomy.
I have a bunch of things I love doing, which I figured out in the 3 weeks between in-person school ending and virtual school starting: pursuing projects I enjoy doing and making time for the people I enjoy being around - as long as I have time to do that in the day, I’m good.
And I’m a grandma now, I get tired by 10:30 p.m.
Q: Can you walk me through what the creative process for a blog post is like?
I go into my blog thinking, “I want to write about different topical issues that are relevant to me and my community.”
I have a list of ideas on my laptop that I haven’t touched. I have this whole plan, but writing is one of those things that I can’t sit down and tell myself to do.
I have so many ideas, but I don’t execute them until maybe a year later. It’s something I’m trying to work on, but that's just my writing style. I need to be in the writing zone. There are moments when I don’t have time to write and I write amazing pieces, or I’ll have the whole day blocked out and I just sit there staring at my screen.
Q: I saw that your last blog post was from the end of last year. Do you have any plans for your next post that you can share with our audience?
I was going to write about my senior year and coronavirus and the bittersweet intersection of the two. I’ve expressed my feelings about it on Instagram, but I think it would be interesting to sit down and write out the timeline, because everything happened so suddenly.
Not only would it be a cathartic experience, but it would also show how college students feel. I’m obviously devastated this is happening. It’s a world pandemic, but the other part of me is that I just wanted graduation. I wanted a nice normal senior spring semester. That’s the internal dilemma I’ve been having.
Note: Since chatting with the Cornell Creatives team, Caitlin has posted new content on her blog. Check it out!
🤗Creative Journey + Finding Community
Q: What is the biggest challenge that you’ve worked through on your creative journey, and who supported you?
I’ve never had a giant defining moment when someone was like, “You absolutely can’t do that.” My family and friends always say, “Why are you asking us for permission? Just go do it!”
The biggest thing is just unconscious bias and microaggressions - the little things that people say that they don't realize are not good to say. For example, college friends won’t reach out to me as quickly for help as they would their male counterparts. Most of the time, they’ve been pretty receptive to it when I reach out and say that I’m not okay with that.
Q: To all the aspiring student creatives reading this, what advice would you like to say? Do you have any advice or tips to share?
Definitely understand your passion. Figure out what’s important to you and figure out what you actually want to get better at. Maybe in high school you enjoyed writing, but you want to figure out a different style or genre. That’s something you can tackle.
Understand that it’s going to take time, and it’s not going to be an immediate transition to success. Even if you don’t hit the mark, at least you tried and that’s information you can put into the cycle of finding a new passion and pursuing it.
Do you know the next featured creator? 👀 We want you to share Cornell Creatives with all your creative friends - whether they design, code, make music, edit videos, or channel their creativity in another way!
Our creative space is too hype for creatives at Cornell to miss it, and the best part is: every creator is welcome.
Let them know that you’ve got the best seat in the house for all things creative at Cornell University, and we hope one day they’ll be the star of the show. 🤩