A new thing we learned was that the textiles industry is the second biggest cause of waste on earth. Nicole Giusti ain’t having none of that and shared with us what she does to avoid contributing to this worldwide problem. What’s Nicole doing when she’s not saving the world, DJ’ing or making music? Read on to find out!
Tell us a little about you.
I’m from Camarillo, CA, and next year, I’m graduating with my B.S. in Computer Science (and a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies) from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA. Last summer, I was a software dev intern on the Windows Updates Deployment team.
On a typical Friday night, you’ll probably find me playing Dungeons and Dragons. I even got to DM a Pathfinder campaign this summer for a few other interns! Other than playing your typical table-top RPG’s, you may find me either DJ-ing at my college’s radio station (KCPR 91.3FM), getting sweaty at a folk-punk show, or making music with my friends.
Tell us a little about what you’re wearing.
My dress (very similar here) and cardigan are both from Goodwill. With all the textile waste and sweatshop labor issues in the fashion industry, I’m a strong advocate of the recycled clothing movement! In a similar vein the the belt is
stolen borrowed from my sister who has equally great, albeit very different, style.
My mom bought those shoes for me - she likes high heels, and I like my ratty, old Doc Martens, so the shoes are a compromise.
My favorite part of this outfit is definitely my KCPR pin.
How did your style evolve to what it is now?
My mom dressed me and my younger sister identically (purple tracksuits, Pokémon shirts, etc.) until middle school, but I’ve been through a lot of phases since then. Most notably, I used to be a scene girl, so I wore a lot of eyeliner, black hoodies, and neon-colored pants.
Nowadays, I’m probably wearing any combination of floral prints, fishnets, dad sweaters, denim (in every form except jeans…), cardigans, crushed velvet, and polka dots.
Any advice for a young person thinking about getting into a STEM field?
If you feel like you’re too behind to start, you’re not, and don’t let anyone say you are.
I used to edit the HTML in my Neopets profile as a kid (Beth is dying over here because that’s her tech-entry story too!), and I’ve always enjoyed math, so when I was undecided about what to do after school a few people suggested I try computer science. That’s pretty much the entirety of why I decided to apply to study computer science in college.
The summer before I started at Cal Poly someone very close to me saw me struggling to do something on my computer, and he said, “you can’t even do that, and you’re going to study computer science?”. It freaked me out so much that I didn’t sleep at all for the week before school started, and for the first few months of my freshman year I think I prefaced every sentence about my major with, “well, I’m not good at it, but…”.
About a year ago the same person who made that rude comment asked me for help on a programming assignment. Now I’m graduating this June with a BS in Computer Science, and I know that I’m good at what I do. So the moral of the story is this: don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can not do.
What would you say is the project you’ve done that you’re proudest of?
Three years ago, I became very involved in a club at my school to promote women in tech called Women Involved in Software and Hardware (WISH). I coordinated outreach events to encourage young women to pursue tech fields (e.g., teaching kids how to make a soft circuit LED crafts, leading Lean In circles, etc.), and I organized WISH’s mentorship program.
Last spring, I became president of WISH, which was one my proudest accomplishments as a feminist and computer scientist - I am so excited to expand my efforts to promote women in computing this upcoming school year.
What is the best way (if any) for people to follow you on social media?
Follow me on instagram!
We WISH (haha) Nicole so much love and luck on her endeavors this year–and the next time someone says, “Oh, you won’t be able to do Computer Science,” you should go ahead and take a page out of Nicole’s book and do exactly whatever the heck you want. Cuz she certainly does it in serious style because obviously other people’s opinions of you are not something you need to base your life choices around. Thank you Nicole for reiterating that lesson yet again!
Dona & Beth