Meet Suzanne Balima

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Suzanne Balima graduated with her Bachelors of Applied Science (BASc) in Biomedical Mechanical Engineering from the University of Ottawa in 2012. This degree has lead her to her current position as an Innovation lead at Deloitte. In her position she works in an Innovation lab focusing on emerging technology. Suzanne, in her spare time enjoys travelling, writing and blogging, doing crafts and DIY activities, volunteering and learning.

Favourite Movie(s): The Sound of Music.

Favourite Sport(s): Tough one! But I’ll pick soccer.

When did your love of STEM begin?

As a kid (around 7-8 years old?) I wanted to become a surgeon so I used to cut my dolls’ legs and try to put them back together. I think part of it had to do with “fixing the doll”, but the other side of it was looking forward to understand the internal structure of the leg. Later on, I fell in love with biology; more specifically the ability to zoom in and out from cells to more tangible elements, and understand life sciences on so many levels!

What is the best part about working in the field of STEM?

The ability to explore and question things. Everything is based on hypotheses that we try to validate, or get an understanding of the reasons why our hypotheses might be wrong.

The mix of exploration, solution seeking and applying common sense is a combination that thrills me!

What advice would you give young women interested in a career in STEM?

I have 3 pieces of advice to share!

1/ If you are curious by nature, jump right in because you will definitely enjoy it! Don’t let the fear of a “male-dominated industry” scare you out of it.

2/Take the time to meet and talk to people in different STEM areas because you might have an idea of what you want to do, but the world of opportunities is SO big!

3/ I know there is a big women in tech movement, and it’s important to support each other; but I would encourage you to surround yourself with men AND women in the STEM space because you’ll gain a lot from the 2 perspectives.

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