Karlie Kloss
Photo: Getty

To say that Karlie Kloss is a model is just skimming the surface. The 24-year-old is also pursuing a degree at NYU, helped create a line of cookies for the famed Momofuku Milk Bar and founded a summer coding camp for young girls called Kode with Klossy.

While starting an organization in the tech field seemed unlikely for Kloss, she revealed that it’s one of her “nerdy passions.” (“I like knowing how apps and hardware work and why,” she told business mag Fast Company.) As she covers the February issue of Fast Co., the model shares her tips for others to follow their own passion projects: follow your instincts, see obstacles as an opportunity and “go harder.”

Kloss revealed that she wasn’t always interested in the tech realm, but meeting and working with people—even in the fashion industry—helped her recognize that coding would serve as a handy skill.

“As a model, I was meeting all these entrepreneurs and was fascinated by the things they were building. But I couldn’t understand how [these products] worked. What did they know that I didn’t? What secret language was this code thing?” she told the magazine.

Although taking up the new trade wasn’t easy, Kloss welcomed challenges as learning experiences. “[T]hese skills—seeing a problem and finding the solution using code—are so important. [They] help you understand how to think about things. It’s a valuable skill set even if you don’t become an engineer.”

Ultimately, the model-turned-entrepreneur advises being true to oneself and working hard as major tips for success.

“I follow my nerdy passions, even if they are kind of unexpected,” she continued. “Being true to yourself, as cheesy as that sounds, is important. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing—if you’re pretending to be something you’re not—then it’s not sustainable.”

From: Harper’s BAZAAR US