How would you describe your college experience?
My college experience was great! I learned so many new things and solidified my love for science. However, it started out a bit difficult since I didn't really know how to study. I know this sounds like a simple thing to learn, but I had never really studied in high school and it took me a while to figure out what worked for me in college. I suggest asking for help as soon as you notice you're having an issue. There are so many resources available to assist college students with acedemic issues.
When did you know that you wanted to major in a STEM discipline?
I took an advanced biology class in high school, because I liked disecting things and found it interesting. I chose animal biology as a major, but I still wasn't really sure that's what I wanted to do. I actually changed majors several times, but I kept taking science classes because I found them interesting. I was sitting in my microbiology class during my junior year and it hit me, this is what I want to do.
What is the most rewarding thing that you do in your job as a STEM professional?
The excitement of discovering new things and the ability to give back and help someone.
What would you tell a middle or high school girl about careers in STEM?
They are not as boring as they may seem. I know they don't sound as glamorous as a "doctor" or "lawyer", but there is more to them than being a nerd with a pocket protector! These are broad fields and there are so many different things you can do within each discipline. Find out what is out there before you discount it. Variety is the spice of life and these field definiately have that.
What should middle and high school girls be doing to prepare themselves for college
and a STEM careers?
I would reccomend taking as many courses in high school that are relevant to the field you're interested in. Also, talk with your teachers in these fields, they can provide insight as to potential careers. Any opportunity for "real world" experience, grab it! Ask to shadow professionals in careers of interest, just to see what the career is like on a daily basis.
What advice do you have for teachers and counselors who are assisting students prepare
for a STEM major and career?
Study skills are crucial in college and typically high schools do not equipe their students with these skills. The science, or other STEM fields, learned in the classroom is sometimes different from what you actually do in a career. I think exposing students early on to what the actual jobs are that you can do with this type of background would be benefical, especially seeing it in person.
What career advice would you give to girls if you only had 2 minutes?
The best advice I've received is to just keep taking classes you're interested in and you will figure out what you want to do. Remember, you spend a lot of your time at your job, so make sure it's something you enjoy, because you can't put a price on that.
21st MTSU EYH Conference 2017
Registration is now open!
The conference has been rescheduled for February 10, 2018.
Rachel Marlin represents MTSU at the SENCER Summer Institute.
Temi Thomas and Rachel Marlin will present EYH research at the ACS Fall 2017 National Meeting.