As a PhD student in Biology & Biotechnology, Sabine has learned the importance of asking questions to enhance scientific discovery and uncovered the range of opportunities in a science career path.
Her mentors helped her to become a more confident scientist by encouraging her to ask better questions and giving her the space to pursue her passions. In addition to her love of researching, Sabine loves to give back to the STEM community as a teacher and mentor, helping make science more accessible to underrepresented groups such as women, people of color, and the LGBTQ+ community.
“I broadened my definition of what it means to be in STEM,” she says. “I entered graduate school quite certain that I wanted to be a Principal Investigator of my own lab. While I love research and writing, I realized with time that maybe it wasn't the only career path for me. I have done a handful of volunteering in STEM programs directed at young women. I tried out science writing by writing a blog or two for a biotech company. I got to teach undergraduate courses. I even took a class in The Business School to see if I was interested in pursing law school and becoming a patent lawyer. I have been given the opportunity here to network with professionals in various fields and go to conferences and meet new people of all kinds of backgrounds and career trajectories.”
Sabine appreciates the supportive environment of a WPI graduate program. “Even across departments and programs, each and every one of us is here for one another,” she says. “WPI maintains a friendly environment that encourages sharing and discussing data, troubleshooting experiences, and learning new skills and techniques from other labs—even ones in other departments.”
The project-based approach to WPI’s curriculum plays an important role in preparing Sabine for a career in STEM. “Project-based learning brings a certain depth to the material being learned. I feel that I am applying what I am learning to what interests me,” she says. The “curriculum has emphasized real-world application of the educational material, problem solving, time management, and teamwork.” This also allows her to work in a collaborative environment with other graduate students and scientists.
Her advice to those considering graduate studies at WPI is to ask questions and ask for help. “Whether it’s help on homework or a project, help with an experiment or new piece of technology, don’t be afraid to ask for help,” Sabine says. “The faculty, staff, and graduate community at WPI are here for you at every step of your graduate career.”
After graduation, Sabine wants to continue her education by pursuing a postdoctoral fellowship to gain more research experience. “At WPI, I was able to branch out and explore other career options," she says. "I feel more confident in all the options I have and I feel much more certain that I will be happy in whatever career I choose after WPI.”