Meredith students were able to hear perspectives on STEM careers from alumnae who participated in a Women in STEM panel in October. There were more than 75 people in attendance at the virtual event.
Panelists were Asiyah Ahmad, ’19, who majored in computer science and now works as a Full-Stack Developer at HCL Tech-nologies; Rana Oueijan, ’19, who majored in biology and public health and is in pharmacy school at Campbell University; Melyssa Minto, ’17, who majored in biology and mathematics and is a Ph.D. candidate in computational biology and bioinformatics at Duke University; and Shivani Devaguptapu, ’20, who majored in public health and plans to work in clinical research.
The event was sponsored by the Canaday Mathematics and Computer Science Club (CMCS), TriBeta, PEARLS, the American Chemical Society, and the Meredith Health Professions Society.
“The goal of Women in STEM was to showcase the fact that we as women can and will succeed in a STEM-oriented field if we choose to,” said CMCS President Katie Thompson, who helped to organize the panel. “Many women in STEM face adversity when it comes to our mental health over the course load, being in a male majority field, and the rigor of the content. However, we can set our minds to whatever we aim for and we will achieve our goals.”
The organizers wanted to have panelists from a wide range of backgrounds and professional interests. Thompson said it was important that they be recent graduates who understood the challenges that women majoring in STEM programs face.
Topics covered included advice on career choice, classes that have most helped in their professions, challenges faced, and what they like best about being women in STEM fields. Their advice included the importance of taking time for yourself and to know that being discouraged sometimes is normal, but not to let that keep you from meeting your potential.
“Everyone is going through the same challenges,” Thompson said. “I really hope student participants learned to believe in themselves and know they can do anything they set their minds to.”