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February STEM Showcase - Mina Dezz

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. I graduated in 2014 from Civil Engineering from the University of Toronto. Right now I’m a project manager for a development company. I also have my professional engineering license of Ontario. 2. What is the earliest recollection you have of wanting to pursue engineering and who do you think helped guide you towards this decision? I didn’t think about “becoming an engineer” when I was young. For me it was more about “what should I study when I graduate highschool?” I grew to like the profession the more I worked in the field. I think that’s why it’s important to show what opportunities there are in STEM so we can actually envision ourselves doing the work in the future. 3. How do you believe we can inspire more young girls to pursue STEM and specifically, what advice do you have for those looking to pursue engineering? I think inspiration comes from being able to image yourself doing something when you’re older. Showing more women in the field will help younger girls imagine themselves in that same position. My advice would be to basically not listen to the stereotypical opinions out there and try new things. 4. What might people find surprising about your field? Engineering is much more than numbers and formulas. When working in the professional environment there’s so many other skills you need that will help you advance in your career. For example the way you communicate to solve issues, the way you present your ideas, or even the way you deal with criticism are all part of the package to become successful. 5. What challenges have you faced throughout your journey and how have you overcome these difficulties? A career without challenges does not exist! So I’ve had many challenges over the years. One of the most significant one (which I still face today) is having to work harder to prove who I am and what I am capable of. This only applies to new people I work with, but it is that extra effort that I wish I didn’t have to put in. 6. What are your key tips for achieving a healthy lifestyle and work-life balance? Being able to shut off one thing to attend to another. Let's say you had a stressful day of work and you’re mentally frustrated. BUT you have to go to a family dinner. Being able to shut off the work feelings and relax and enjoy the family dinner is KEY to balancing the two. If you carry left over emotions from one to another, it will be harder to control 7. How has social media allowed you to pursue other passions outside of engineering? What is the biggest message you try to convey to your audience? What I do on social media is trying to show other women in engineering what life in engineering is like. It’s allowed me to reach a huge audience all over the world. The biggest message I try to convey is that STEM has a place for you. You just have to find it by not giving up on it. 8. Has mentorship played a role in your journey? If so, how? Without it I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’ve had some incredible mentors who still push me to my limits. That’s why I’m always open to mentoring other. I know the positive impact it can have on someone. 9. What has been your biggest achievement to date? One would be getting my P.Eng (professional engineering licence) which I received in 2020. Another would be writing a book about my experience of when i was an engineering student. It’s called “Wait, are good grades enough?” https://www.ironringgirls.com @ironringgirls

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