Wednesday, August 19, 2015

My Story/My Advice: Frida Polli

This My Story/My Advice post features Frida Polli, PhD, who owns a neuroscience-based technology company. The My Story/My Advice project, brought to you by The Women in STEM Summit, highlights women in STEM that are persisting in STEM fields and making a difference. It also gives their personal advice to the next generation of young women looking for encouragement to persist in STEM.

Frida’s Story:
My path to entrepreneurship was long and circuitous. I have both a PhD and an MBA, both of which have been extremely valuable as I have worked to build my own neuroscience-based tech company. I find science really fascinating, which drove my initial decision to go into the world of academia. I spent six years at Harvard and MIT, doing my neuroscience PhD and post-doc work, but longed to find a practical application to the research I was doing.

I left the world of academia to pursue my MBA, and it was during that experience that I saw the career assessment and recruiting process firsthand for the first time. I was struck by the fact that very little objective information was being used to make incredibly important career decisions, and that’s where the idea for pymetrics came about: why not use what we know about neuroscience to make finding your ideal career easier? We use a series of fun neuroscience games to recommend compatible careers, and hiring companies come to the site to recruit candidates that are a good match for them. It’s like LinkedIn meets OkCupid!

Both my MBA and PhD have been essential to pymetrics, in large part because of the nature of the company. An MBA helped me build a strong foundation in business, and has served me well through the mentorship and network that I received. However, we are a business built on life sciences technology, and this would be hard to do without the decade that my co-founder and I both put into learning the technology through a PhD and then a postdoc. Through pymetrics, I’m able to bring neuroscience into the world of business, and use it to help folks find fulfillment and success in their careers - what could be better?

Frida’s Advice:
Be open to life’s opportunities - you never know how things might come together in the end. Each experience brings its own lessons. And come check out pymetrics!

Register for the upcoming Women in STEM Summit taking place October 22, 2015 in Boston, MA. The event brings together companies struggling to fill their STEM job pipelines with female college students pursuing STEM degrees. The summit is designed to facilitate closing the gap between corporate needs for a STEM-enabled workforce and student questions about job prospects that align their passion with the needs of corporate America. For more information or to register, click here:

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