SEATTLE — Madhuri Vegaraju works at MCG Health as a software architect. In layman's terms, she creates the blueprints for software.

"If you think about a blueprint for your home...that's what's the architect is responsible for. Thinking about what constrains you, what are the limitations we have to operate under," Vegaraju says.

But she's not just a software architect- she's the first female software architect at MCG Health. And she's encouraging other women to break down barriers in the IT field as well.

"Take that first step, see where it takes you," Vegaraju says.

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Madhuri received a Bachelor of Science in Health Informatics.
Madhuri Vegaraju

Vegaraju is hard-working and ambitious, and she wanted something to back up her dreams. She had always dreamed of getting a Bachelor's degree- so, she made it happen.

"I always wanted to see myself in the cap and gown," says Vegaraju. "That's the silly girl in me thinking about it, but that was one of the stronger reasons, too."

She chose to enroll at WGU Washington, an online, non-profit university that's headquartered in Kent. Because it's online and competency-based, it allowed her to balance her work, schooling and her family. But the toughest part was getting past her self-doubt- which she says can be a tough barrier, especially for women.

"If I think about the two years that I worked on it, the hardest part was clicking on that apply now button," Vegaraju says. "But after I hit that apply now, I think everything went well. There was nothing that stopped me after that!"

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Madhuri works with her husband on film productions in both the US and India.
Madhuri Vegaraju

Vegaraju isn't just a software architect. She's also in film production, working with her husband on his production company, Seventh Hill Entertainment.  They produce movies and short films in both the United States and India, including one of their more recent productions, Ori Devudoy. She's also helped created promo videos for The Sophia Way, a Seattle non-profit helping women who are homeless.

"Whatever I do, the effect should be definitely improving the lives of the people around me," Vegaraju says.

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