The Importance of Strong Mentors #MySTEMrolemodel
As part of Digital Science’s celebrations for Ada Lovelace Day, for the month of October we are running a series of blog posts where inspiring women in STEM are sharing their personal role models. Anyone can get involved and we encourage you to share your role model on social media using the hashtag #MySTEMrolemodel.
Diliny Corlosquet is Senior Product Manager at BioRAFT, the provider of integrated laboratory safety and research management software solutions. She holds two degrees in Chemical Engineering, BASc, MASc, and a Masters of Science specializing in regenerative medicine. She has also worked as a Front-End Drupal Web Developer. Diliny is also a mother of two and lives in the Greater Toronto Area with her geek husband and Labrador retriever.
When thinking of strong mentors, I credit two women for helping me get my career off the ground. The first was Professor Christine Moresoli of the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Waterloo and the second was Dr. Roshni Dutton, currently the Director of Process Engineering AECOM and Adjunct Professor of Biological Engineering at the University of Guelph.
Professor Moresoli was my final year research project supervisor. She gave me—a relatively shy, bookish individual—an opportunity to carry out research in her laboratory. In the process, she opened my eyes to the opportunities in higher education for chemical engineers.
Her influence and support led me to continue on the research track and I applied for a summer research position with Aventis Pasteur in Toronto where I met Dr. Roshni Dutton. Roshni had previously completed her Masters and PhD at the University of Waterloo, and was to be my new supervisor.
Roshni opened doors for me in terms of offering a continued undergraduate research position at Aventis. She became my supervisor not only at work but for a Masters degree. Further, as my research work progressed and at the tail end of my Masters, she promoted me to a maternity leave placement for an Associate Scientist position in her group.
Mentorship was not strictly in the arena of critical thinking on an academic level. As an industry sponsored project – she was vital in showing me how to stay focused on product development and keep an eye to business driven results. She advised me on appearance, managing relationships, and how to keep my head in difficult group situations. Further, how to show appreciation to fellow members of my team. I also noted how she managed her work-life balance with two children and a working spouse. Through every stage of life since, Roshni continues to keep in touch with me and is an active member of my network.