June 23 marks International Women in Engineering Day, a day to recognize women in the field of engineering. We interviewed Sarah, one of our engineers, about how she chose engineering and her experience working at Phenix.
I was in my early twenties. I had been a server for several years and knew I needed to pursue a respectful career that could both allow me to do meaningful work and sustain me financially. I was considering going back to school but not sure for what.
I was fortunate to be working on a day when an engineering conference was in town and several of them had come into eat. They talked to me about my life and asked me what I was interested in. They strongly encouraged me to look into engineering because women were strongly underrepresented in the field and spoke highly of the opportunities engineering offered.
I had never considered it before and really knew nothing about what an engineer was. It was at that moment I knew that’s what I was going to do. If it weren’t for that moment, I would probably have pursued something else.
I really enjoy research and development because I am always on the front line for new advancements. I love working in labs and doing experiments to prove or disprove something. It gives you the opportunity to think outside of the box and get creative with how you find a solution.
Mental fortitude. There will be things you don’t know anything about. There will be problems that seem impossible to solve. There will be endless obstacles to get in your way. It’s crucial that you have the ability to push through all the challenges to reach the finish line.
In one word, diverse. I get to be a part of so many different activities on any given day. I get to work on things that make a direct impact and things that will impact us in the future. It’s challenging and rewarding; it gives me the opportunity to learn and grow every day. It’s always evolving, and we are always getting exposed to new challenges.
Not all paths are the same and it doesn’t matter where you’re starting. Just do it! Get involved in everything you can and explore all the things you can do in STEM. Don’t let anyone say that it’s going to be ‘too hard’ and ‘it’s not for you’. The field of engineering can put you in literally any industry. It’s a great opportunity to carve your own path.
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This was the helmet that our founder, Ray Russell, used in service during his time as Assistant Chief and Senior Instructor for fire control 3.
Read more about the history of this helmet.
This is one of the many helmets featured in our fire museum. Feel free to stop by in visit us if you are ever in Riverside, CA!