This My Story/My Advice post features Julia Curran, a woman in STEM who works at Takeda Oncology. The My Story/My Advice project, brought to you by The Women in STEM Summit, which 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.
I found early on that I was passionate about the life sciences. I asked my parents for a lab coat and a microscope for my 9th birthday. In my 5th grade yearbook I wrote that as my future career, I wanted to find the cure to cancer and it turns out that I now work at a company that aspires to cure cancer. I have always been passionate about the life sciences and having seen people in my life affected by cancer as so many do, I was motivated to help oncology patients which is what drove me to work in an oncology research lab in college and now work at Takeda Oncology.
I recently read a National Geographic article on why it’s crucial to get more women into science and one thing that struck me about the article was how the author stated how his daughter of 13 years is interested in math and science and he says “it hasn’t occurred to her yet that its unusual but I know in the next couple of years it will.” He goes on to say “I know as time goes on, she’ll feel increasingly lonely as a girl who is interested in math and science-and be at risk of narrowing her choices before finding out how far she could have gone.”
This resonated with me because I found early on that I was passionate about the life sciences and as a young girl, I never felt lonely or unusual being involved in the science. I have been fortunate to have strong role models throughout my education as well as parents who have tremendously supported my career path. My advice is to find a mentor and to surround yourself with people that will support you and encourage you to pursue your interests! I found my first STEM role model in my middle school science teacher who not only encouraged me but also challenged me and supported me to pursue more advanced scientific work.
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: http://bit.ly/1hZFME2