Originally from Carmel, Makena began her Stanford career with an interest in pursuing an engineering degree. During her second year, she discovered an interest in the intersection of computer science, entrepreneurship, and ethics. STS provided a unique opportunity to pursue related classes within the Innovation and Organization track. The summer after her sophomore year she participated in a design consulting program in Italy, and she took a class at the beginning of her junior year that traveled to the United Arab Emirates and Morocco studying the entrepreneurial ecosystem in these areas and fell in love with learning about the drives behind startups and the decisions that must be made when growing a business. Due to the flexibility of STS, she was able to explore technical computer science classes, while also taking humanities courses that look into the politics and ethics behind technology ventures. She became a Mayfield Fellow during her junior year, and she worked at an early stage startup in San Francisco as a product management intern during the summer before her senior year. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, and painting.