Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Step out of your comfort zone!

This past summer, I worked as a Formulation Intern at AstraZeneca’s manufacturing plant in Newark, Delaware.  In this position, I was able to step out of my comfort zone and experience a different aspect of the pharmaceutical industry that I would not normally be exposed to by remaining within the academic world.  I had the opportunity to be part of a multi-disciplinary team that worked across the manufacturing plant to ensure the accurate and timely production of multiple pharmaceutical tablets produced in that facility.  Although the days were long and the projects were not simple, I found that I really enjoyed working in a manufacturing plant environment that constantly tested me.

By putting myself in a new situation I challenged myself to learn and to become more comfortable in a setting that even today tends to be primarily dominated my men.  That being said, I believe that these are the circumstances that can help to bridge that employment gap.  By more women in the field being exposed to these jobs earlier, it can spark their interest in this area that is not normally discussed.  I also believe that it is important for everyone while still in school, to put themselves in a situation that will push them to learn and to experience something outside of their comfort zone. Overall, this experience helped to shape my career goals and aspirations.  

Caitlin Ward

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Being an Engineer in the Performing Arts

Before I came to Penn, I had a lot of hobbies. But the main two were STEM and music. I decided to pursue Chemical Engineering when I came to Penn but I didn’t want to let go of my love for performing. Upon arrival at campus, I joined the Quaker Notes A Cappella group. By finding a balance between engineering and performing, I have been able to truly shape and enjoy my college experience.

As an incoming freshman, many students are warned to not get too involved because college is a big adjustment and it is very easy to get overwhelmed. Personally, I was very hesitant to audition for groups. I figured that I would go through the process and if I got overwhelmed, I would take a step back and put my academics first. What I didn’t realize was how great of a decision joining the all-female group would be.

Quaker Notes has not only given me an outlet to take a break from engineering, but it has also provided me with a supportive group that is there for me throughout all of my college milestones. Most engineering classes are very large and while you will find friends in your classes and in the engineering school in general, you may not see them every day or even every semester. A performing arts group will give you a group of 20-or so friends that you will not only spend time with every week, but will truly get to know and love. There are times in engineering when you can become very stressed or overwhelmed, but when you walk into rehearsal, you can put aside all of your stress and focus on having fun with your friends.

Quaker Notes rehearsal is something I look forward to every week. I have even decided to become the Music Director of the group. I am so glad that while I made sure I wasn’t overwhelmed by joining every group, but by joining that one group, (which for me was a performing arts groups) I have truly enriched my Penn experience.

Emily Peters – CBE, 2018