VP Engineering, Illumina
Country of Birth: Iran
Educational Background: MBA, UCLA Anderson School of Management, USA; BS Engineering Science and Mechanics, The Pennsylvania State University, USA
I'm thankful to my high school math and physics teachers who taught me about science and engineering, guiding me down a path that led to an incredibly fulfilling career and lifelong passion.
The most successful product developers work and take ownership as part of a system - the scientists and engineers who take a holistic view of their responsibility, with a thirst for interacting with other seams, are often the most valuable to the company; not only is their own design better, they drive a more successful final product. This brings me to the second learning: defining your job. A job description may call out the responsibilities of an engineer designing a particular subsystem of a product. You may approach this job by studying all aspects of your parts and their specs as a black box; alternatively, you may approach this job by learning about all systems your parts will interact with. I can guarantee that the second approach, although the job description may be the same, will
lead to a stronger contribution and career growth path.
I would describe STEM as the most exciting career path imaginable. Science and engineering are driving the future; they ill define a better and more fulfilling life for all of us through advances propelled by professionals in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This is a revolution you can count on to continue, and we need the best and brightest minds
to make it happen. These important fields have been historically underrepresented by women, and it's time for that to change. Many of my highest technical contributors have been women; we must make use of this rich talent base to make our dreams of the future a reality.