Meet WAVE Advisee: Vivienne Ooi

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After transferring to UC Irvine, Vivienne found herself more immersed in the world of tech. She went from interning at Qualcomm to also becoming one of the Advisors for #BUILTBYGIRLS College Advisor program.

Tell me about yourself.

I’m a computer science undergrad finishing up my last year at UC Irvine. I’m an organizer for the CWIC-SoCal 2018 conference and HackUCI 2019. I was an advisee for the WAVE program, and I am currently in the College Advisor pilot program for #BUILTBYGIRLS.

What is the college advisor program for #BUILTBYGIRLS?

I just finished my first session with a junior in New Jersey. I was able to bring her closer to her goals and help her with the things she may be struggling with. Essentially, it is pairing high school students with college students.

What got you interested in tech?

My high school Chemistry teacher was very passionate about STEM and getting more girls into the field. More specifically, she encouraged more girls to go into Computer Science.  At the time, I was not sure what I wanted to do, so I started to look into programming. In college, I dabbled in everything—mobile development, AR, front end, back-end. I like the idea of having a lot to do.


When you are coming into the early stages of your tech career, you often hear intimidating things. It’s competitive. It’s male-dominated. But I have been able to get a lot of help from both men and women.
— When you are coming into the early stages of your tech career, you often hear intimidating things. It’s competitive. It’s male-dominated. But I have been able to get a lot of help from both men and women.

Who were your Advisors for #BUILTBYGIRLS before you became an Advisor?  

Torrey is a Social Media Marketer at AOL. Joel is a System Director at Pixar. They both had very different roles.

Your Advisors come from a very different background from your concentration. What was it like being their Advisee?

My high school Chemistry teacher was very passionate about STEM and getting more girls into the field. More specifically, she encouraged more girls to go into Computer Science.  At the time, I was not sure what I wanted to do, so I started to look into programming. In college, I dabbled in everything—mobile development, AR, front end, back-end. I like the idea of having a lot to do.

How has #BUILTBYGIRLS changed your perspective about tech?

#BUILTBYGIRLS helped me realize that there are a lot of people out there willing to support my professional pursuits. When you are coming into the early stages of your tech career, you often hear intimidating things. It’s competitive. It’s male-dominated. But I have been able to get a lot of help from both men and women. People should join #BUILTBYGIRLS because it is a community of girls who have the same interests as you do.

Anything else you would like to add?

It is never too late to start your career in tech. I did not start until I transferred to my current college from Napa Valley College.

Follow #BUILTBYGIRLS on Twitter and Instagram and sign up for WAVE.


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