Making Her Voice Heard: Juliana Emmanuelli’s Path from Uncertainty to Software Engineer at JPMorgan Chase

Juliana Emmanuelli ● Software Engineer ● JPMorgan Chase

Juliana Emmanuelli ● Software Engineer ● JPMorgan Chase

Juliana Emmanuelli never thought she would be a software engineer at a large financial institution like JPMorgan Chase. When she started college at CUNY Baruch College in New York City, she was interested in communications and journalism. It wasn’t until she accepted an internship during her Sophomore year that she even interacted with code at all. She was working at a digital marketing company when they needed help with their website, so she decided to step up and start learning some HTML, CSS, and Javascript. Once she started working on the website, she had a significant realization.

“Coding isn’t necessarily some rigid abstract mathematical career to have. It’s a great way to have creative expression while designing and building something that can really impact people.”

After that experience, she took a few coding courses in college and decided to major in Information Systems, but still wasn’t committed to being a full-fledged software engineer. She lacked the confidence to believe that she could pursue coding as a plausible career.

“I was at a school with no Computer Science major and I didn’t think other software engineers looked like me or had outgoing personalities. I didn’t see where coding could take me so I didn’t pursue it.”

After she got an internship at JPMorgan Chase on an operations team, she saw what working as a developer would really be like. She found the work engaging and interesting, and decided she could really see herself as a developer. After her summer internship ended, she got an offer from JPMorgan Chase to be a part of a selective Java boot camp for diverse candidates. After an intense three months, she transitioned to being a full-time software engineer in the investment bank.

“The project I’m most proud of is the migration project I worked on my first year at JPMorgan. It was my first time in a full-time software engineer role, and I was the lead frontend engineer in a large migration project. The project consisted of learning new technologies, but also allowed me to wear many hats and be a project manager, UI designer, and accomplish both QA and development work.”

Although this project was one of her most difficult, Juliana knew it was one of the most meaningful and impactful for her growth. Not only did she learn new technologies, but she learned one of the important tools for leadership: using her voice. Although she was one of the most junior developers on the team, she learned how to push her opinion forward until her colleagues listened. There were some roadblocks given the male-dominated environment, but Juliana kept thinking about the next generation of technologists and what her presence could do for them. She knew that in order to get things done she had to express her opinion even when it wasn’t asked for and be able to say no, when necessary. In the end, she was able to push through and complete the project successfully.

Juliana strives to continue deepening her technical skills so she can one day be a successful product manager and technical lead. She is a great example for women everywhere- no matter how young you are or how much experience you have, if you are confident and make your voice heard you can succeed.

This story was written by Rina Schiller, Wogrammer Journalism Fellow. Connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram.