Lisa Dunleavy earned her degree in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Here she shares a little about her career and the inspiration behind it.
What is your specific area of STEM?
Business, with concentrations in finance and consulting
How would you explain your STEM field to young girls?
A field where you use your skill set in order to solve problems.
What traits might a child possess that may indicate an interest or aptitude for your STEM field?
What did you know about your STEM field when you were a child?
My older brother really liked math and my whole family does business, so focusing on math homework was encouraged in my house.
I also had very inspirational and great math teachers. They would make math relatable to every day life while making it fun. Imagine saying that - math is fun (my teacher had a poster that literally said that in the classroom). Having a great math teacher makes all of the difference.
My teacher knew most people when they grew up were scared of fractions, so she did an exercise where we all screamed for 2 minutes about fractions. This made it fun, and I loved fractions after that. Using analogies like "you can't break up the brother and sister" would help as well.
I'm not going to lie, anything computer-related freaked me out. It wasn't until college when I took a computer science class that I became less freaked out. I wish I had learned more about it when I was younger.
Why did you choose your STEM field? Were you inspired by someone?
I think it was just the teachers I had that made math fun. Then I started getting involved with Mu Alpha Theta (math competitions) with my friends which were a ton of fun! I think being at a certain school and where it's fun and cool to "be nerdy" is awesome.
What are some really cool things that people in your profession work on?
Consulting and finance technically don't really fall under "STEM", but I've had really great opportunities in those areas. Accounting may fall under STEM. With audit (there's not really a cool way to put this) it's making sure that companies report their finances correctly in order to prevent fraud or misrepresentation to people who are invested in their company.
What inspirational message would you give young girls to inspire them to pursue STEM?
Pursuing a career in STEM will allow you to shape the future of the world we live in. It allows you to come up with creative solutions to the world's problems and help others.
Thank you for contributing, Lisa!
Women in STEM, we invite you to take our survey. You'll inspire young girls and contribute to the success of the STEM Girls Books series!