Episode: Building Bridges

In this episode Rachael L’Heureux, an outreach specialist with Arizona Project WET, shares her transition from her water-rich hometown of Seattle to the arid landscapes of Arizona. She discusses her career path intertwining science communication and water conservation. Rachel’s passion for science communication was ignited by her father’s involvement in policy advocacy, which instilled in her a desire to bridge the gap between scientific research and public awareness. Through her undergraduate and graduate studies, Rachel realized the importance of practical experience and specialization within STEM fields, learning that employers value project work over mere academic credentials. She reflects on her time at the Arizona Department of Water Resources, where she encountered challenges within a rapidly changing team structure, prompting her to prioritize a collaborative and supportive work environment. Rachel emphasizes the significance of networking in advancing one’s career, offering practical tips for effective communication, whether through cold emails or networking events. Throughout the conversation, Rachel underscores the importance of finding one’s professional tribe and cultivating meaningful connections within the STEM community. Her insights serve as valuable guidance for aspiring scientists and communicators navigating the diverse landscape of STEM careers.

Episode: Unraveling Mysteries

In this episode Dr. Paul Ryan, a physicist whose career has taken him on a fascinating journey into the realm of biophysics. Dr. Ryan shares his motivations for pursuing a career in STEM, influenced by his aptitude for math and the captivating discussions with his engineer grandfather. From his tenure at Raytheon to his decision to pursue a PhD in biophysics, Dr. Ryan reflects on the pivotal moments that shaped his career trajectory. Listeners gain insights into the challenges of applying an undergraduate physics degree in industry, as Dr. Ryan discusses his role in failure analysis at Raytheon and the importance of interdisciplinary skills. The conversation highlights the significance of computational methods in modern physics research and industry applications, emphasizing their role in both experimental and theoretical work. Throughout the episode, Dr. Ryan offers valuable advice for aspiring physicists, including the importance of embracing failure, negotiating one’s worth, and cultivating a supportive work culture. From navigating career transitions to leveraging diverse perspectives in problem-solving, this episode provides a wealth of insights for anyone interested in the dynamic intersection of physics and biophysics.

Episode: Renaissance Woman

In this episode Sara Kobilka, the founder of Renaissance Woman Consulting, discusses multifaceted careers and navigating beyond traditional STEM career pipelines. Sara shares her journey from aspirations in broadcast journalism to her current role in science communication and emphasizes the value of embracing diverse interests and interdisciplinary opportunities. Through personal anecdotes, Sara recounts pivotal moments in her career from transitioning between industries to grappling with professional challenges. She highlights the importance of resilience, mentorship, and seeking external perspectives during times of uncertainty. Moreover, Sara underscores the significance of platforms like LinkedIn in building networks and accessing industry insights.