Anjul Loiacono - 2018 SPIE Women in Optics Planner
Manager of Business Development and Strategic Marketing
Thorlabs, Inc., USA
Country of Birth: USA
My mother was a phlebotomist/medical technician and my father was an engineer. I used to go into the hospital's diagnostic lab with my mom and look at specimen slides under the microscope. I sat in my dad's office using his tools and calculators and drawing complex machines on his whiteboard. When a family friend introduced me to biomedical engineering when I was 14, I knew that is what I wanted to study.
I think I have one of the most interesting jobs in the industry, working closely with the owner of Thorlabs. Some of my responsibilities include developing relationships with academic and industrial institutions in the pursuit of advancing the photonics field; evaluating new investment opportunities; developing strategies that will define the direction of the company; and overseeing our tradeshows.
Someone once told me that there are five aspects of life that you should balance: career, family, health, friends, and sleep. Striking balance is a constant struggle that I am always working towards. Along with a very supportive husband, I have three children and a 1-year old dog. I try to manage balance by accepting that there will be times when wide swings happen in life and I try to counter-balance these swings. Identify what is important to you and make sure you dedicate time to keep it in balance.
Don't wait for things to be handed to you or expect someone to tell you when you are ready. Create your own path and push yourself in that direction. Know that you are never going to be 100% ready for anything, but trust yourself to take on that next challenge and succeed.
Understand who you are and embrace it. Don't compare yourself to others. Find a mentor, but take what you learn from them and figure out how it works for you. Don’t accept boundaries on what you can do. If you have a passion, anything is possible, you just have to find a way to make it happen.