Meet Erica Lee Garcia
Erica Lee Garcia earned her Bachelor of Applied Science in Materials and Metallurgical Engineering from Queen's University. She works as the Principal of Erica Lee Consulting & Professional Services Inc. In her spare time, she likes singing Jazz, solving puzzles, hiking, sushi-rolling, and mentoring young people.
When did your love of STEM begin?
As a kid when I realized that I could be part of tangibly shaping the world; I loved digging in the mud to make channels and streams! The moment I saw the periodic table also stands out for me; I was breathless with awe because it contained everything we needed to build the stuff we need to solve problems. It felt so powerful to me and I knew I wanted to be a part of making the world better, no matter what.
What is the best part about working in the field of STEM?
I love the opportunity to use my skills to make real impact; my clients who hire me to help their operations work more efficiently are grateful for the tools I can offer. It's about math and science -- I use statistics way more than I thought I ever would -- but it's so much more than that. It's also about people: building teams, making people feel heard and valued, setting up a goal and a vision and bring everyone along. It's also about business: making sure that the problems we're solving affect the bottom line, finding the right ways to measure our impact, and thinking about how our company fits into the world. There's so much variety available in STEM, and so many great people to meet!
What advice would you give young women interested in a career in STEM?
Don't let stereotypes or unspoken ideas about what girls are 'supposed' to do throw you off. You can have a rewarding, fun, challenging career in STEM that leaves room for you to be your whole self. Take time to get to know your strengths, and think about how you might like to be remembered at the end of your career. What do you want to leave behind? What really matters to you? Chances are there's a STEM component to it, and if you can find work that's aligned to your purpose you will enjoy it and you will thrive. There is a place for you! Go find it.