Keep reading to be inspired by one of the REAL classy and ambitious ladies driving change, inspiring others, and making the world a better place. The more we know that other women are making the impossible possible, the more empowered we will be that we can do the same.
We were ecstatic to see how excited you all were to read about our top 20 Classy Career Girls of 2016, so we wanted to dive even deeper into these working women making a difference.
What Motivates Sarah Mestiri to Promote Technology to Women
In this interview, we meet Sara Mestiri, a software engineer currently following online machine learning specialization at the University of Washington. She’s the Vice President of ArabWIC Tunisia Chapter. She has also participated in organizing events promoting women in technology like Women Hack Day 2015.
So today we dig a little deeper into what her goals are, who inspires her, and what motivates her to work so hard.
Name: Sarah Mestiri
Title: Software Engineer
What is the best advice anyone has ever given to you?
“Perseverance can make miracles happen.”
Who inspires you?
Women who achieve work-life balance inspire me. Anna Runyan inspires me. Women in tech who are engaged in society inspire me. I like to see examples that help me stick to my dreams.
Recently, I have been inspired by Lillian Pierson, a data science trainer and a mom. Lillian featured a lot of inspiring ladies in tech here.
What does success mean to you?
Success to me is a life journey and its secret is: holding onto perseverance and organization!
Success is making each day a new step toward achieving my purpose and mission.
If I just continue to complain about things that don’t work, I won’t go far. Instead, I believe that if there is something I don’t like, then I can change it. Driving change is a success. Believing in my dreams is what fuels my energy and motivates me to keep it up.
After all, success is a mindset. Nobody succeeded from the first trial. Failure is in itself way to success.
Persevere, learn and grow! You are a unique success story!
Here is a quote that fits my perception of success and I always like to share with everyone:
“Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live.” – Anne Sweeney.
What advice would you give to your 20 – 25-year-old self?
Have confidence in yourself. It’s not about circumstances, it’s about what you are made of. Conquer your fear and learn how to use it to push you, not to hold you back.
What motivates you to work hard?
I believe that I’m in this world for a reason: making a difference.
I cannot forget to mention here how I’m grateful for my parents because it’s them who taught me to live for a purpose.
What counts in life is how people will remember you after you pass away. Thus, I work hard to leave my footprint. From one side, I want to inspire people and encourage them to not give up. That’s why I’m involved in different initiatives like Arab Women In computing and organizing different events. From the other side, I want to make an impact with my passion and dedication to my field of work, computer science engineering. Seeing the difference we make in people’s lives is a truly rewarding experience, and I consider myself lucky to be in the computer science field. I can build solutions for a better everyday life.
What were some pivotal moments in your career and life and how did they affect you?
Getting married was a pivotal moment in my life because I discovered how important it is to prioritize and find time for yourself and those you love. I’m an ambitious woman that has a lot of goals and interests (enhancing my skills in coding, job tasks, doing house chores, keeping my extra activities, studying machine learning, doing side projects, attending conferences), so it wasn’t easy. I felt that time was controlling me. I was always stressed, in a hurry, and unsatisfied. While I was searching the internet for how to get your dream job and have a good work-life balance when I found Classy Career Girl Network. Anna’s story gave me the strength to continue and not get stuck in that transition I had in my life. I started to follow the advice I found on the CCG Network. I especially enjoyed the weekly planning, and how each day stood for something. Having a day each week to celebrate my wins is something I have never done before. I reviewed my Why (purpose and mission) and started to understand myself better and to choose what better fits me. Now, I’m applying the 90 Days’ Plan and trying to stick to it with the help and support of my husband and family. It is still challenging but I’m living a more fulfilled life personally and professionally.
What are your goals? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Currently, my goal is to leverage the power of machine learning (a subset of Artificial Intelligence) because I believe it’s the right tool for me to make an impact. (I would be happy to receive any help in order to get knowledge about it, as I’m following a self-taught way.) As a societal contribution, I will maybe build a community related somehow to machine learning in my country. I want to improve my country by helping people access the latest technology. In the long term, after 5 years, I want a management position in a company driven by technology, innovation, and commitment to make an impact while valuing her people. I want to participate in the success of the company I’m in and to see the difference we make in people’s lives. My top goal is to be a unique success story of a woman in tech.
Quick Questions Our Readers REALLY LOVE
What is your all-time favorite book?
‘Le Livre de Mon Ami’ – Anatole France. ‘Shine: How to Survive and Thrive at Work ‘ – Chris Barez-Brown. ‘Lean in.’
What is your favorite vacation spot?
What is your favorite restaurant/food?
Italian food, especially when my husband cooks it (Italian food inspires him).
What was your first job?
My first job was after graduating. I worked as a software engineer and ABAP developer.
What is your favorite TV show?
Well, rarely do I watch films, and even if I do, I don’t remember the title for much! 😀
What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend?
My favorite thing to do on the weekend is to have some time with my husband and family. I like to go out and visit new places, but sometimes I prefer to rest at home and do a different activity (e.g. reading, watching a film).
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