Women are a force to be reckoned with. We are smart, dedicated, strong, and always willing to go the extra mile. Over hundreds of years, we have fought for our spot at the table, to have the opportunity to show the world what we are capable of. Reflecting on Women’s History is so important. Recognizing how far we have come is vital in moving forward and being the change we wish to see in the world.
I am now a senior at the University of Vermont studying biomedical engineering with a specialization in cell, tissue, and organ biomechanics. As I started my sophomore year, I remember my grandmother telling me stories of when she was younger and the limitations that were put on women in terms of pursuing a higher education. Throughout my journey of becoming an engineer, I have been inspired by those before me as well as those who I have had the privilege of working with along the way. I have had the privilege of working with some amazing minds like my fellow female engineers and even friends from other schools who are pursuing vastly different careers such as computer science, business, and even medical school. My professors Dr. Doiron and Dr. Floreani have shown me what being a powerhouse female in engineering looks like. I now look up to them as role models for who I wish to become. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people is so incredibly important and I attribute much of my success to the support I have received throughout my education.
Being a woman in STEM is difficult and dealing with negativity does not make it any easier. Throughout high school I was told that I should not pursue any kind of career related to math because I was “just not that good at it”. This negativity lit a fire in me, and I decided that I was not going to let anyone tell me what I could and could not do. So here I am, almost 5 years later, about to graduate with an engineering degree. An degree that has required a whole lot of math classes, which I aced. Funny how that works right? I was also just recently accepted into the Brown Biomedical Engineering Master’s program. My biggest advice, take what people say to you with a grain of salt. Some people don’t want to see you succeed and as unfortunate as that is, you should use it. Use it to light a fire in you and prove everyone wrong.
I aspire to be a role model for anyone who wants to pursue a career in STEM. On Thursdays, I volunteer as an instructor at a local middle school, conducting engineering activities with the students. This experience has granted me the opportunity to give back and inspire others in the way that I was. I wish to encourage female students to pursue anything they want and not let anyone tell them otherwise. You are capable of anything. Having the support of your peers and mentors, as well as a dedication to learn, will get you to where you want to go.
Remember: you got this.
**Edited By Paisley Broadhurst