Meet Marie-Philippe: Founder of Girl Knows Tech & Machine Learning Masters Student

I originally knew of Marie-Philippe through her blog and ended up meeting her at a retreat hosted by Google. At that time I was considering getting more active on social media and blogging and she helped me out so much. I am so excited to be writing and interviewing her about her journey with Girl Knows Tech.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m Marie! I’m studying software engineering and just started a masters in machine learning related to speaker recognition. I’m very passionate about getting more girls and women interested in tech, so I am very active on Instagram, on my YouTube and on my blog Girl Knows Tech. I do everything I can to expose tech to underrepresented minorities. :)

2. What is your research about and how did you decide that this is what you wanted to do?

This summer, I will be participating in a summer workshop organized by Johns Hopkins University and their Center for language and speech processing! I’ll be working with a team of researchers on Speaker Detection in Adverse Scenarios with a Single Microphone!

It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to do in tech, but at the moment I’m just going with my interests and I try not to overthink every decision. It actually took me six years to figure it out and I wrote a blog post detailing my journey:

3. What advice do you have for students interested in in research — particularly related to ML?

I just started doing research so it’s difficult to give advice, but as someone who just started, my main issue at the moment is the feeling of being overwhelmed by everything that I need to know in machine learning. There is so much to know when you’re just getting started. When I am surrounded with people that have been studying ML for years, it’s difficult to believe at some point I’ll get there too. We just have to hang on and work hard!

4. What motivated you to start Girl Knows Tech?

Aside from tech, my other passion is writing. I started Girl Knows Tech because I wanted to get back to blogging and use WordPress again because it’s a tool that I really enjoy using. Also, I was missing writing on a daily basis. When I thought about starting a blog again (because I always had one during my childhood), I thought about my passions and tech was an obvious choice. At the same time, I started being more involved around my university for women in STEM, so naturally my blog pivoted towards that subject as well.

5. How do you manage your time between content creation and school? What advice do you have about time management?

That’s a very difficult question. I think that we can only pick some priorities at a time: social activities, sleep, grades, content creation, health… We can’t be perfect at all these spheres at all times. My biggest advice is to know which ones are your priority and to prioritize that when making choices every day. After a while, these priorities can change so you can give time to the areas where it previously was lacking a bit.

6. You’ve spoken openly about having ADD — how has this affected you as a grad student and what advice do you have for students with ADD?

I’ve only been an official graduate student for 2 weeks, but so far I can say that having discipline is really difficult. I don’t have classes for this session, so I am my own boss, but it also means I have to manage my own schedule and set deadlines for myself. I created a Trello board, filled it up with papers to read and tasks that I need to do, and I set up due dates on the cards so I am creating some pressure for myself to get things done.

Reading research papers is also very difficult. I think it is difficult for everyone, I can’t compare, but for me it has been a struggle so far. My advice would be to try and find a routine that works for you. For example, I go to the gym three times a week and when I’m done, I try to read papers right after because I find that it helps me focus.

About the Writer

Dasani is a Program Manager at Microsoft and Career Coach at Dasani Decoded. Subscribe to our mailing list for more valuable content.

☁️ Powered by doodles and dreams 👩🏿‍💻 PM @ Microsoft & Career Coach (Dasani Decoded)

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