Trinity Students Hear about Careers in STEM Fields from Panel of Alumnae

Society of Women Engineers and Women’s Leadership Council Sponsor ‘Careers in STEM’ Panel

​Hartford, Connecticut, April 3, 2017 – Trinity College students interested in pursuing careers in science, technology, education, or mathematics (STEM) recently heard some valuable advice from a panel of women working in STEM fields. The Trinity Society of Women Engineers and the Trinity Women’s Leadership Council sponsored the panel, in which Trinity alumnae spoke about how to find and prepare for careers in STEM fields. Students of all genders gathered during Common Hour on March 23 in Mather Hall’s Alumni Lounge to take part in the discussion.

​Back row, left to right: Tasha Adams ’18, Monica Mhina ’17, Gina Buzzelli ’16, Katie Lane Cook ’86, Elizabeth Gerber ’14, Shakira Ramos ’02, Jessica Voight ’17. Front row, left to right: Courtney Driscoll ’17, Victoria Baez ’17, and Catherine Poirier ’17. Photo courtesy of Melissa Bronzino Regan.
The panel featured: Shakira Ramos ’02, deputy regional fleet manager of engine services at Pratt and Whitney; Katie Cook ’86, principle engineer on cold section engines at Pratt and Whitney; Elizabeth Gerber ’14, senior consultant on control systems cyber security for the U.S. Air Force at IBM; and Gina Buzzelli ’16, a lab manager/research assistant in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Yale University.

The discussion began with the panelists explaining their career paths and how they came to their current fields and positions. They all spoke about their particular process and shared what they enjoyed the most about the work they did. The women also talked about how they discovered what they were passionate about, and what they needed in order to pursue their respective careers.

The students in attendance had the opportunity to ask the panelists both technical questions and personal questions about their careers. Cook spoke about her experience going to graduate school 10 years after graduating Trinity. Gerber added, “Don’t feel pressure to go in some magic two-year period; use [graduate school] as a pivot point.”

The women then shared the advice they wish someone had told them when they were starting out, as well as résumé-specific questions. Ramos told the students, “Know your audience,” and touched upon key points that would be helpful in the job application process.

All the panelists stressed the importance of networking and taking advantage of the resources Trinity provides through its alumni network and the Career Development Center.

Written by Eleanor Worsley ’17