Unlocking Your Potential for Success in a STEM Career
By Prasanna Tati, Staff Writer
The Society of Women Engineers hosted a seminar in the Campus Center on Wednesday (December what?) during common hour. This seminar was for students at NJIT who wanted words of wisdom from a successful STEM professional.
Dr. Lisa K. Meisenbacher, a graduate of the University of Rochester and Stevens Institute of Technology, presented a motivational speech about her journey as one of the only female chemical engineering, let alone engineering, majors at a university far from home.
She described her humble beginnings in a middle class New Jersey household with the company of her parents and brothers. From a young age, she was intrigued by the concept of fixing things. Nonetheless, she questioned her major constantly when she got to college.
In her address to NJIT students she said, “I spent so much time wondering if I’m in the right major. It’s important, but it’s not going to define the rest of your life. I know how it feels to sit in a room and be the only female. All you can think is, where do I fit in?”
She also presented a list of characteristics to cultivate. These include the art of female assertiveness, respectable work ethic, vision, and role models. In addition, she spoke extensively about perspective. “How will this multivariable calculus problem help you in the workforce? It probably won’t. But this is all a gift. Going through the trouble to solve that problem requires a certain analytical capability that allows us to think differently than other majors. You are building the mind you need for tomorrow when you’re on the job.”
Dr. Meisenbacher also presented some studies that show that the amount of women in STEM careers is decreasing due to a dearth of encouragement and an abundance of self-doubt. In closing, she encouraged everyone to never let anyone stray them from their dream.
“We need diversity in everything we do and you guys are the key to that,” she said.
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