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Patti Gillespie

Associate Chief
Electro-Optics and Photonics Division
Army Research Laboratory

Country of origin: USA

What I do.
I am a branch chief who directs research in a government laboratory. This requires mentoring and encouraging other scientists, as well as identifying new research areas.

What I find exciting.
I think that my career in optics has taken many turns, but the bottom line has been that the work, the research, has always been very interesting, and as a result, fun. My career has included quite a bit of travel, including international travel, that has expanded my view of the world outside of science.

What I wish someone had told me.
If you're considering a career in science, do it! It is the most exciting, mind expanding career that I can imagine, but be prepared to work hard for tangible rewards. Also, women in science need to network with each other, and encourage other women entering the field.