Monica Enand was born in West Virginia, and grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina.
"My family immigrated here from India. I was born in the U.S., but all my older brothers and sister were born in India, and my parents were born in India," she said.
The family believed in working hard and getting good grades.
"I think it's not uncommon for Indian families and Asian families in general to be pretty focused on education, and my family was no different," Enand said. "I think there was a lot of emphasis on technology, on math and science. Everybody in my family is an engineer."
She became an engineer as well, and wound up at the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
"When you were a sophomore or freshman, they'd say, 'Look right. Look left. Only one of you will be at graduation,'" she said.
She survived and graduated with an engineering degree.
"I was definitely not top of my class at Carnegie Mellon," she said with a laugh.
An internship at Intel in Hillsboro brought her to Oregon in the early 90s.
It was intimidating and inspiring.
"You know, I look back and I am so grateful that I was part of that team," she said. Enand was one of the few women working on her team and remembers several men being kind and helpful.
She also remembers a culture that included some sexism.
"You know, I didn’t feel it at the time. I thought best idea wins and everybody worked together. I think there were little things that I probably came to just not notice. I used to get asked frequently how the copier worked or to do things," she said.