Category Archives: STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math)

Career Advice for Engineering Undergrads

LAatNCSU_2015Earlier this fall, I gave a guest lecture to the Electrical and Computer Engineering students at the North Carolina State University. Mostly my presentation focused on how to present their Senior Design Project effectively. But I also gave some career advice that I’d like to share here today. So, if you’re an undergraduate student in engineering, consider this. Continue reading

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Nail It at the Design/Business Competition: Advice for Undergrad Engineering Students

LAatNCSU-screen_2015Keep in mind that many of the judges are shopping for employees. This is your chance to impress them. You might get a job out of it. Plus, the skills we’re talking about today are relevant for the rest of your life: getting a job or your next slug of funding, pitching projects internally, negotiating for salary/promotion. Even if you become a professor, you’ll be selling all the time as you try to get lab equipment or funding. Like it or not, you will constantly be selling for the rest of your professional life in order to advance your career. Continue reading

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Keeping the STEM Pipeline Filled: Time for You to Help

DiversityInSTEM-LeakyPipelineYesterday Fuentek’s Laura Schoppe participated in a forum sponsored by Honda Jet in Greensboro, N.C., where the focus was on increasing diversity in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs. During the panel, Laura presented her concept of a pipeline that is feeding the STEM workforce and the need to address the leaks in it. As shown in the graphic below, the pipeline has four phases: Engage (primary school), Recruit (secondary school), Retain (university), and Sustain (career). Each of these phases needs attention. Happily, Fuentek knows firsthand that there are many examples of great programs happening all along the pipeline. Continue reading

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Advice for Women Going into STEM Professions

AdvancingWomenInSTEM_SchoppeInterviewRecently I had the pleasure of being interviewed by JJ DiGeronimo of the organization Advancing Women in STEM about my career trajectory, my leap into technology transfer, and what motivated me to start Fuentek in 2001. I was also asked for my advice for women who are newly hired for — or trying to get — a job in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). I was able to share a few ideas during the interview, but today I’d like to elaborate on that list. Actually, this advice applies to women going into non-STEM professions too. Continue reading

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Here Comes the NC FIRST 2014 Robotics Competition

NC-FIRST-logoI’m heading back to the Dorton Arena in Raleigh as a judge for the 5th annual NC FIRST Robotics Regional Competition. If you’re local, come see for yourself what these amazing high school students have built in only 6 weeks! If you’re not, check out the live webcast Friday and Saturday via the Yeti team’s (#3506) channel. The qualification matches are Friday from 9:00am to noon and 1:00pm to 5:45pm as well as on Saturday from 9:00am to noon. The final rounds are from 1:30pm to 4:30pm on Saturday. Continue reading

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Live from the 2013 NCFIRST Robotics Competition

Over 50 teams are at the Regional Tournament at Dorton Arena, and 41 of them are from North Carolina! This year the robots have to fling a flying disc through a slot in the boards at the ends of the field and then climb a tower, one rung at a time. As in the past, each round starts with the robots in autonomous operation. All the teams arrived on Thursday with working robots and nearly all made it through inspection. Great accomplishment!

Meeting Woodie Flowers on Thursday evening: He is one of the co-founders of the FIRST Robotics Competition and professor emeritus at MIT. His being at this year’s event is a big deal for the kids. They really like him! Continue reading

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Get the “Kids” (especially the girls) in Your Life LEGOs

Obviously we’re too close to Christmas for you to do so for this year (unless you’re a world-class procrastinator), but we at Fuentek wanted to take this day to remind our blog readers that LEGOs® are the perfect gift for any child… or playful adult. There’s a wide variety in terms of cost and level of difficulty, and no matter their interest, LEGO can match it. As a child, I loved playing with LEGOs. And I still do. I’m particularly fond of free-building (though when I was a kid, it was just plain old “building”) because of the creativity it allows, as compared to the kits with specified designs. Of course, the predefined sets are a… Continue reading

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Worth Reading… and Listening and Watching and Responding To

Online reading of technology transfer newsAlthough it’s hard to put down the latest summer best-seller, technology transfer professionals might consider doing so in favor of these recent items. A few of these might generate some strong reactions — I hope so, anyway! Join the discussion by adding a comment below. Continue reading

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You’re the Inspiration: Talking to Kids about STEM

I’m interacting with lots of young people these days. Last week I went to Chewning Middle School in Durham, NC, to speak with students about my experiences growing up and working my way into a career in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) field. And later this week I’m returning once again to judge the NC Regional FIRST Robotics Competition at the Dorton Arena in Raleigh. Continue reading

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She Said It! Favorite Quotes from 2011’s Shared Wisdom Calendar

As we head back to work, still full of gratitude (and mashed potatoes!) from the gatherings of the holiday, I find I have another reason to be thankful: I’ve been selected among hundreds of candidates to be featured on the 2012 Woman’s Advantage Shared Wisdom Calendar. The calendar features daily advice from successful women business owners across the United States and Canada on topics such as strategy, team building, marketing, and finance. As a female owner of a small business, I am quite passionate about… Continue reading

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