Before I was a military spouse, I was military girlfriend with no access to base and no military friends. I was developing a plan to navigate the STEM field and stay in science as I moved around the country.
I was working at the local library, trying to save up money to go to get my Master’s degree. One of the patrons, a military spouse, was talking with me about her experience as a spouse. She confessed she had gotten a degree in Mechanical Engineering as an undergrad. I happily conveyed my thoughts and hopes, and then asked her how she planned on continuing in engineering as a spouse. Her answer was so cold, so distant–she replied there was no hope for me, that I would never have a STEM career, and that it was better to accept being a housewife. I was stunned silent. I handed her the books she was checking out and sent her on her way.
Over the next few months, I sat and considered on what she said… and slowly, I came to realize, she was wrong. After doing intensive research during my Master’s degree including talking to mentors, doing research on job types, and interviewing people in the field, I knew I could do STEM and keep moving around.
I developed my own plan and put it into action. It took time, effort, and dedication, but I did it.
I want to empower other military spouses in STEM, too. So, any time I come across a fellow military spouse in a STEM field, I always encourage them, share ideas, give help, and let them know they are not in it alone.
If I can do it, you can do it, too!
SMSS Professional Member
Bachelor degrees in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Masters degree in Biomedical Engineering
A member story for SMSS’s 2023 “The Year of Opportunity”
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