[PROFILE] Searchlight: Merline Saintil (Tech)
Editor’s Note: Merline was selected for theREGISTRYBayArea / Digital Diversity Netwrk “2015 40 Under 40: Tech Diversity – Silicon Valley” list.
The Importance of Personal Advisory Boards and Great Sponsors
Title/Position: Head of Operations, Office of the CTO, Intuit
Today we have the distinct pleasure of interviewing Merline Saintil, who has had a distinguished career as a technology and operations leader. Merline was kind enough to share some of her thoughts on leadership, finding and utilizing professional mentors, and tips for people looking to launch their own careers in technology. Merline’s interview is loaded with good tips and insights for those of you thinking about careers in technology, regardless of function.
How did you get into the world of technology?
I grew up in Florida and after graduation, had the good sense to move across the country to Silicon Valley. I am fortunate to have started my career in a place that has been experiencing an entrepreneurial explosion for the past 50 years and the place I’ve called home over a decade.
As a young girl, my first love was math. In high school, I was interested in the science and math fields as well as my typical high school curricula. I can’t recall anyone pushing me to seek out the “nerdy” classes. I have always enjoyed learning new things and being challenged. It certainly helped that I was good at it. After graduating Valedictorian of my class, I majored in math in college. It wasn’t until an accidental encounter with a technical recruiter for a summer internship in Minnesota that I was exposed to the computer field as a freshman. After that first 7-month internship and first winter ever in Minnesota, I was hooked on computer science. When I reflect on this chance encounter, I wondered if there’s more we can do to encourage or even expose more young girls like me to try computer science earlier in life. I left like I missed an opportunity to have nurtured this field earlier in life, but I am so happy I stumbled upon it anyway.