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011| [ENG] Mental Health for High-Achievers: Emily Anne Vargas, Materials Science PhD Candidate @ USC

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Emily is the embodiment of a high achiever. She is an Industrial Engineer that had done 6 engineering internships in 5 different cities before graduating from undergrad. She is a Fellow for the National Science Foundation and the GEM National Consortium. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Southern California.

Emily shared with us her experience working for companies like Eaton, Procter & Gamble and Boeing and working on composite materials. She has also published scholarly papers on carbon nanotubes and their physical properties.

She also opened up and shared with us how she was close to burning out after graduation and ultimately chose to take a gap year before starting her PhD. She walked us through strategies she developed to avoid burnout (before it happens) and what she did to recenter herself with the help of role models, self-care and professional help.

We talked in depth about the value of role models in STEM and her leadership roles

We talked about a wide variety of topics including:
– Materials Science
– Carbon Nanotubes
– Her journey working at companies like Eaton, Procter & Gamble and Boeing
– Mental health and depression
– The value of taking a gap year
– The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers
– And more importantly, how to be a high achiever while avoiding burning out

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