Woman smiling with hat and scarf.
Jan. 2021. Photo by author.

Updated February 4, 2021.

Hi there! I’m Marisa — a 24-year-old, multi-passionate, female technologist. I’m on a mission to make the world a better place, as cheesy as that sounds.

I’m that person that loves Mondays and that girl who tries to sneak smiles out of others — absolutely an optimist. My corny jokes make everyone’s eyes roll, but getting others to laugh is my greatest joy.

Where It All Started

I grew up in New Jersey and have since hopped from place to place, with a year in NYC and recently moved to Denver. I roadtripped across the country to move to a…

Photo by Ian Nicole Reambonanza on Unsplash

I’ve read all the self-improvement books, from “Untamed” to “Year of Yes” to “Indistractable.”

I love the optimism, encouragement, and tangible tips. But, I haven’t actually taken these tips to heart. I read, highlight on my Kindle, and think “wow, I should do that!”

But, do I do it?


It’s common to read self-improvement books without ever taking any action toward improvement. Instead, we believe we’re bettering ourselves by absorbing the author’s intention but never acting.

It’s time to take action and stop procrastinating.

If you’ve read “Atomic Habits” by James Clear (one of many self-improvement books), you’re familiar…

Photo by ThisIsEngineering from Pexels

Through my podcast, I’ve spoken to countless technologists and people hoping to get into tech. Again and again, I hear the same advice over and over. I also hear why people are scared to pursue it—mainly due to some misconceptions and stereotypes.

Before we discuss how to join the tech industry, let’s cover what may be holding you back.

Common misconceptions about working in tech:

  • You need formal education.
  • You need to be a man.
  • You need to sit behind a computer all day with little social interaction.
  • You need to design websites or apps.

This is not the tech industry.

The tech industry is much…


Lookout Mountain, Colorado. Photo by author.

Time moves fast.

Do you ever think back to the month prior and think, “I did nothing last month?” That’s how I felt when I started writing this article. Then, I realized August was actually filled with quite a few new things.

In 2021, I’m writing a monthly series about new things I try, to keep track of these new adventures and experiences. Like I did last month, I’ll be putting a lesson behind each thing I tried, with the new thing itself italicized within the paragraph.

Here are my favorite lessons I learned from new experiences in August.

#1 — Always look for the 1% improvement.


Photo by Lucas Clara on Unsplash

People walked down the mountain with frosted tips in their hair. All I could think was: what have I gotten myself into?

If you’re not familiar, a fourteener is a mountain over 14,000 feet in elevation. For some reason, humans decided it’s a good idea to hike them.

I am one of those humans.

Recently, I hiked my first fourteener, and I wish I had been more prepared — I should have done my research. I went with a group, and because of that, all my typical preparedness went out the window. I’m here to tell you the things I…

Photo by stefan moertl on Unsplash

Hey you,

Yes, you! This is your reminder that you are worth it.

You are deserving of every good opportunity that comes your way. And those bad things that inevitably happen? They will pass — you will get through it.

Those plates you’re balancing? The stress pounding at your door?

It will all work out with some time. You’re doing an incredible job managing everything.

The things you do will motivate others. You are paving a path for your own success and others’ inspirations.

You often underestimate yourself and your abilities.

Why can’t you see how awesome you are?

The world is made up of so many people, and we are lucky to have someone like you —…

Photo by Laura Pratt on Unsplash

We live in a society that celebrates Fridays and dreads Mondays. Leaving the weekend and starting work ignites the attitude of “hanging in there.” But, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can celebrate Mondays, too.

Growing up, my dad dropped me off at school in the mornings. This jolly man, who dubs himself “The Sunshine Man,” loves Mondays. He believes the start of the week provides fresh opportunities to try something new, experience challenges, and bring happiness to the people he meets. Mondays are a blank slate — you can forget the mistakes and failures of last week.


Exploring Denver, on a walking tour with coworkers. Photo by author.

Since January, I’ve been writing a monthly article on new experiences, in an effort to try new things this year. I realized this served as more of a journal than actual value for readers, so I’m changing up the format.

While I am still reflecting on new experiences, I’m pulling lessons from each— hopefully lessons that resonate. I will be italicizing the new experience in each point. Trying new things allows me to think in different ways and see new perspectives. It’s worth putting yourself out there and seeing what happens.

With that, here are the lessons I learned from…

Photo by Chris Spiegl on Unsplash

Medium has been changing over the last few months. First, they offered a voluntary buyout to employees as they shifted their business toward independent writers. Then, they started 3 straight months of bonuses to top writers. In August, they are starting the Creator Fellowship.

I saw the email in my inbox:

You’re invited to apply for a new creator program at Medium

The Creator Fellowship is a new program from August to October, and in order to be eligible, you need:

  1. To be enrolled in the Medium Partner Program
  2. At least 200 followers
  3. To have published 1 post within 90…

Photo by Pille R. Priske on Unsplash

Before the pandemic, my life felt dull and mindless. I was a zombie walking through a life painted for me. In 2018, I graduated from college, accepted a job, and moved my life from Atlanta to New York City. Because that’s what you do, right? You go to school for 17 years of your life, get a “good job,” and you work the rest of your life.

That’s the story I fed myself. That’s what I lived day in and day out, as I hustled to the subway in the morning, sat in an office for 8 hours, and arrived…

Marisa Hoenig

Female technologist, podcaster, & pun lover. On a mission to make the world a better place, one smile at a time. marisahoenig.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store