Katie Hegarty - Computer Science Student & Volleyball Player

  • Name Katie Hegarty

  • Education Senior Computer Science Student at Southern Methodist University Hometown: Aztec, NM
  • Target Audience Elementary School, Middle School, and High School

Are you interested in sports and engineering? Well, you can definitely succeed at both! Katie is a senior at Southern Methodist University who balances Volleyball and Computer Science! 

Why did you choose your major? Did you always know this is what you wanted to do? 
I knew that there weren't a lot of women in Technology, and it would be a great field to get into. I also really liked problem solving, so I knew it was a good fit for me. I actually came in as an electrical engineering major, but I took Intro to Java during my freshman year, and I loved it. I switched over to Computer Science, and I've loved it ever since!

What is your main role on your team?As a senior this year, I'm definitely a voice on the court. It's important that I bring a calming energy, and stay very positive and upbeat!


What does your average day look like? (Class, practice, games, etc.)
I have 5 to 6 hours of volleyball a day - that consists of treatments, practice, weights, workouts, and film. I have 3 to 4 hours of classes, and a handful of hours for homework and team meetings. 

Do you apply what you learn in the classroom on the field/court?
I do, and it kills my coaches. I relate angles and momentum to the sport. It’s fun to see the how the physics aspect applies to human body to how we move and how it relates to mechanics!

What's been your biggest sacrifice trying to do it all (school, sports, family, etc.)?
Freshman year came in, and I got my first B in a calculus class. Sometimes I have to sacrifice staying up until 4 AM trying to get all my work done. I need to find a balance to get enough sleep to do well athletically and academically. 

Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
I will hopefully have a job in tech consulting and end back up in Denver, and I also want to coach volleyball club for little kids. I also want to help out with the SheCodes organization nationwide and inspire other kids because everything I do has helped shape me as a person!

Do you have any suggestions for how kids can balance STEM interests and sport interests? Any courses you can recommend students to take before college?
It's very important to make sure you’re passionate about both of them. If I wasn’t passionate about engineering, I wouldn’t be able to do well. If I didn't love volleyball, I wouldn't do well. As long as you love both, what you’re doing and your sport, it’s not as hard to make both of them work together. I would recommend any classes for public speaking - you'll learn all the math and science and formulas in college, but if you can learn how to talk to people and be confident, you’ll be able to do it all!

What was your favorite class growing up? 
My dream when I retire is to become a baker - I loved my Home Ec class! I loved my maths and sciences, but Home Ec was so fun and different because it switched things up. 

Are you a first generation college student?
No - both of my parents went to college! 

When did you start playing volleyball? 
Forever ago = I started playing informal volleyball in 6th grade, and my mom had played before me. I didn’t get serious about it until sophomore in high school. 

What's a fun fact about you?
I am actually a crazy cat lady! I live alone with my cat right now, and I’m trying to get my mom to let me have another cat!

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