Changing Paths

1 04 2015

Three years ago, I decided to point my life’s path in a different direction. I had been in college for two years studying Biochemistry, but I wanted something more. Something dynamic. When making big decisions in life, I like to think of my most unrealistic, idealistic scenario first, then start moving forward before I have time to think of how things could go wrong.

My ideal at the time was to find myself in a career where I could, above all, work independently and be creative. I wanted to be able to go from an idea to a finished product that spoke for itself rather than work that waited to be judged by somebody else’s standards. This was my original draw to Computer Science. I thought I can either be taught to repeat a process to make an employer’s life easier or I can learn the tools to explore and create whatever my heart desires.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are many different types of jobs out there and many different reasons to choose one career path over another. Coding is unique though. The idea that a specific tool can be learned that allows someone to work in any industry and complete a rewarding process, start to finish, was immensely appealing. Not only because of the flexibility that it would allow, but also because of the concept of creating.

Albert Camus once said “creating is living doubly.” I agree that there is nothing more rewarding than to take a blank slate and turn it into the contents of a mind. To make something out of nothing. This concept, along with the use of mathematical reasoning and flexibility (and financial security) that programming offers, led me to commit to four more years of study to complete my Computer Science degree.


If you’re interested in pursuing Computer Science and you (like me just a few years ago) don’t have a firm grasp on what it is or what you can do with it, check out this video by and consider attending the NWrWIC conference next month to get inspired and see what’s going on in industry.


– Hailey Hanson


7 01 2013

Outside of planning this conference, I work a part-time job at Ann Taylor Loft. I am pleased to share that Ann Inc is also working towards empowering women and educating the newest generation of females, a reason why I am glad to be working for this company. Ann Inc has partnered with the non-profit Vital Voices to accomplish this goal.

When I arrived at work today there were cards next to the registers promoting AnnPower. This initiative, signed in 2011, allows young ladies that are standing Juniors and Seniors to attend a leadership conference and training program in Washington DC. Women with all interests, including science and technology, are encouraged to apply for this opportunity. Each lady has the opportunity to present their ideas on how to improve their community. Each winner is eligible for grants to help make these ideas happen.

For all the young women attending this conference, you should consider this opportunity as well. If I were eligible I would be applying in a heartbeat. I encourage all of you to consider applying. For those of us too old or too young to apply, Let us consider how we can improve our community or help empower females everywhere.

More information about this can be found at