Women in Sciences Alumni Panel

by Pattie Kim

The number of females in STEM industries is quite low, and many students are unaware of what opportunities exist outside of research positions and Ph.D programs. In order to offer information to female students majoring in STEM fields, Career Services invited several alumna to share their experiences with current students. Dina Aronzon '05 (Major--Chemical Physics), Jen Stevenson O'Donnell '06 (Major--Biology), Cathy Polinsky '99 (Major--Computer Science), and Sarah Moores '88 (Major--Engineering) gathered to meet with over 20 female students. The speakers' backgrounds offered a varied representation of fields including software engineering, pharmaceutical research, data systems research, and science writing. The alumnae spoke with students on being successful as women in predominantly male professions. Each panelist also shared her journey of navigating from Swarthmore to post-graduate life, and spoke of how well Swarthmore prepared her to do so. They also shared tips and lessons on how to be successful such as the importance of networking and  being open and flexible to different opportunities.  

Career Services hosts a number of alumni events where students have the opportunity to meet and connect with alumni. The level of engagement varies according to what alumni are willing to do. Typically, alumni send us job/internship postings at their organizations, come to campus to speak with students on various career fields, participate in networking events (LAX Conference, Alumni-Student Networking Dinner), or are open to having students contact them for career advice. These connections allow students to experience the power of networking and engaging professionally with others. For many students, networking can be an intimidating idea, but once they engage with alumni they feel much more at ease and comfortable in reaching out to professionals for advice.  

If you are interested in connecting with students through Career Services, please feel free to contact us using this interest form, and we will be in touch about facilitating those connections.  We look forward to hearing from you!