Finding Comfort in Discomfort
Minor: Computer science
Biggest Desire: "I love trying to build women a new place in the world."
Ivy Murphy loves being uncomfortable. In fact, she seeks it out.
“When I began orientation at IU, a professor spoke about the importance of staying uncomfortable in life,” Murphy says. “To me, my uncomfortable-ness gives me the motivation to overcome anything.”
Murphy, a student in the School of Informatics and Computing, has taken that advice to heart, and is using that strategy to keep her motivated as she pursues a degree in Informatics.
“The program has given me so many opportunities to step out of my comfort zone and become more confident,” Murphy says. “It gives students a path to go down. It’s really structured, but they also leave a lot of leeway to let you find what you want to do for your own personal interests.”
She first became familiar with SoIC as a high school student while attending an SoIC summer camp, and it opened her eyes to the endless possibilities in computing. It sparked her curiosity and fit her lifelong desire to learn more about the world around her.
Just two years later, she is not only finding the program challenging and rewarding, she also is serving as an undergraduate instructor in a 100-level class. She’s helping students her own age discover their passion for computers while keeping her outlook fresh.
“I’m teaching students who are my age, but it is making me sharpen my own technical skills,” Murphy says. “It gives me the confidence that I’m changing them and helping them learn about technology. It has been a really, really great experience.”
She also has embraced the challenges presented to women in computing, and she has leaned on the strong community of women in IT at IU to help her through the tough times.
“I’ve met with the Women Empowering Success in Technology (WESiT) and the Center of Excellence for Women in Technology (CEWit) groups on campus, and it’s really awesome to go to the meetings and meet the other women in the field who have the same outlook as me on this,” Murphy says. “We can share experiences and connect. It gives us a place in informatics and computing, and we might be the minority, but with each other, we make each other confident and strong.”
She also attended the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in 2013, an experience she calls “life changing.” Not only was she inspired by the women at the conference, but it led to an invaluable career opportunity.
“I gave my résumé to Google, and that evening they emailed asking me to come back for an interview,” Murphy says. “It was a two-hour long interview with two different people, but the process was really easy because they saw that I was hard-working and passionate. Everything kind of fell into place to intern at Google.”
Whether she lands in graduate school or a full-time job down the road, she’s excited about the possibilities SoIC will provide.
“I’m always on the go and always doing things,” Murphy says. “I love to be active all the time and be with people and enjoy new experiences. With technology, that’s always going to be happening.”