5 Career Lessons to Learn from Black Women Scientists & Engineers

Contrary to popular beliefs, millennials are contributing to society in a major way, by using their education to create a better future. Our generation is often criticized for not being interested in taking entry level positions and staying with one company 20 years, we are however using our education to create our own career paths in this ever changing society. The Root recently published an article on 8 innovative engineers and scientists, creating the future, today, of them are 5 black women. Meet below 5 Black women scientists and engineers that are making ideas of the future a reality.

Aisha Bowe, Co-Founder and CEO of STEMBoard

aisha bowe

On the future of the industry: “A background in aerospace has allowed me to transition from working as a NASA engineer to a CEO of a growing startup. It’s not the education, it’s the application. The inventions we take for granted were all at one point considered unlikely. This is particularly true today, as the best and brightest from the next generation are creating their own jobs rather than waiting for someone to hand them an opportunity. Those with the boldest ideas and the ambition to see them through are the ones who will be most successful.”

Lesson 1:  We learn from Bowe that anything we can imagine can become a reality. Don’t waste your time waiting for the next opportunity to land in your lap create your dreams with your education, skills and passion.

 

Wanita Dixon, staff project engineer, UTC Climate Controls & Security

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On her career journey: “I am a seasoned engineer with a background in rocket and jet engine design, assembly and testing. Recently, I moved into the commercial side of UTC, which includes international and domestic projects in refrigeration, fire/security, elevators and HVAC solutions with the UTC portfolio. As an in-house consultant, I am responsible for training and facilitating new product development through the application of innovation methodology.”

Lesson 2: Anything you are passionate about can be made into a career with hard-work and dedication. Each job and internship is a stepping stone to your ultimate career goal.

 

Lloryn Hubbard, clinical trial manager, Medivation Inc.

lloryn hubbardOn the future of the industry: “Many people might not think about the biotech field this way, but it’s extremely creative/innovative and that’s what I appreciate most: the ability to think outside the box to determine better ways to treat and help patients. I think that’s also what’s important for those coming into this field: Don’t be afraid to push the limits, and as cliché as it sounds, always think about the patients you’re serving.”

Lesson 3: When it comes to a corporate work environment, many companies rely on doing things they way they have always been done, which in this fast pace digital era is not always the best. Don’t be afraid to push limits and suggest new ideas to better the company and your customers or clients.

Lauren Lyons, mission integration engineer, SpaceX

lauren lyonsOn her career journey: “I have worked as a medical device R&D engineer, a writer, a Mars robotics engineer at NASA, a dating-company founder, and a leadership instructor at Harvard. [At SpaceX,] I manage the integration of NASA satellites onto our rockets, and moonlight as the co-host of our live launch webcasts. In my spare time, I write [true] stories, give talks about the power of STEM education, and do my little part to help make the world more empathetic, joyful and just.”

Lesson 4: Don’t be afraid to try different things and work in a variety of industries. Whatever it is that you are passionate about, let that fuel you to make your life fuller and inspire those around you.

 

Cierra McDonald, senior program manager for Xbox, Microsoft

ciarraOn the future of the industry: “I love working in the gaming industry. Besides my immediate connection as a gamer since childhood, working in this industry is an amazing opportunity to create products that bring joy to millions of people every day while also working on legitimately challenging, yet fulfilling, engineering problems. There are innumerable opportunities for STEM folks to bring their know-how in areas such as Big Data, AR, VR and HCI to bear in the world of video games. Plus, building games is a great way to introduce and stimulate STEM educational or career interests in kids, and there are tons of accessible, often free, tools available online. Let’s teach the next generation to not just consume, but to create and bring their imaginations to life!”

Lesson 5: Find a way to contribute to the industry of things you love most. There is a career path in every aspect of life. Find out how your favorite things work and dedicate yourself to making it work better.

What are your career goals and how are you working towards them?

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