Hi, Could you introduce yourself?

Hi! I’m Maxine, a 3rd year computer engineering student at the University of Waterloo. I am from Montreal, Canada and my first language is French. I have completed 4 coops as part of my program at Autodesk, Nventive and Connected. My other interest includes spinning, baking and working on my blog, maxinemheir.com .

Maxine in Montreal

What are you working on?

I’m currently working on my new blog, maxinemheir.com, where I post articles about tech and lifestyle every Monday. Its goal is to encourage diversity in the STEM industry and to help remove the stereotypes tied to it. My articles are diverse, from my application to Waterloo to my favourite workouts!

I’m also currently studying computer engineering at the University of Waterloo, which is obviously online for the summer. I am currently looking for a Fall 2020 internship in software engineering.

How did you get into your current field?

My dad is an electrical engineer, so I have been exposed to the STEM field ever since I was little. I used to love building electronic circuits like small radios with my father when I was younger. My parents always saw I had an interest for engineering and were always suggesting I’d consider it as a career. Initially, I wasn’t too fond of the idea. I wanted to study in a more “glamorous” field such as law or business.

However, when I saw Karlie Kloss started promoting programming and started the Kode with Klossy movement, I realized the STEM field could be glamorous as well. I started programming and instantly fell in love with it!

What are your goals?

I think my biggest goal is to show the world, especially young people, that there are different kind of people in the tech industry and that in order to remove the stereotype, there needs to be more diversity in the field.

Since I was influenced by Karli Kloss and her contribution to women in tech, I see the importance of female models in the industry and I would love to influence young women or any other minority to consider the field!

I would love to create a community through my platform where people could meet and share stories and experiences from the industry.

Do you have a mentor?

I do! His name is Anusan Sivakumaran, a software engineer at Amazon. He is a fellow colleague I met at a previous internship. He used to teach me web development twice a week during lunch when I was doing my internship. I go to him whenever I have programming questions and he helps me with everything internship related. He helps me practice my technical interview skills and helps me build a strong resume. He is incredibly knowledgeable and always happy to help!

Do you mentor anyone?

Not at the moment, but I would love to!

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Whats the best and worse advice you have received?

Be nice to everyone you meet. This is the best advice I've gotten (from my mom!) because you never know what opportunities may come out of conversation with someone or leaving a good impression on someone can go a long way. You also never know what you may learn from a simple conversation with someone you don’t know.

Worst: You need to work day and night to be successful. I believe the key is to work smartly, not an insane amount of hours.

Who do you follow? What blogs do you read?

On instagram, I follow a mix of lifestyle and tech influencers. There are so many accounts I love, so choosing was really hard!

For the lifestyle influencers, I love Emma Leger (@emmaleger), her feed is gorgeous and her stories are like short vlogs which is always entertaining, especially during this quarantine. I also love Elena Taber's (@elena_taber) account. She's a young woman from California now living in New York City. She loves to travel, especially to places influencers don't usually go to, which I find so refreshing and definitely interesting.

For the Tech influencers, I love Tiffany (@tiffintech). She posts a lot of tech related videos, whether it's a series of tips or to talk about her own experiences! She also creates funny tiktoks which always lifts up my mood. Another tech influencer I really like is Masha (@codingblonde). I feel like she has a similar goal as me which I love and her pictures are aesthetically pleasing.

What’s the best way to keep up to date with what you’re doing?

If you want to stay up to date with what I'm doing, you definitely have to follow my instagram @mmmheir. I post lots of content on there and post announcements whenever a new article is out on maxinemheir.com. I’m working on a mailing list for the blog, so make sure to follow @mmmheir on instagram in the meantime!

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