Kimberly Clavin the STEM Master
Never one to back down from a creative challenge, Kimberly Clavin is the definition of innovation. From STEM outreach to corporate engineering, Clavin’s got many different talents under her belt. Currently working at Pillar Technology as an Engineer, Educator, and an Innovator, Clavin continues to make the world a better every day with a smile on her face. Kimberly has hosted many seminars for women in STEM around the Central Ohio area for years now, and encourages female participation in a STEM and corporate environment on a daily basis. Successful beyond a doubt, Kimberly has been the recipient of the 2014 Straight A Fund Grant, the 2011 OSU University of Advancement of Teaching Grant, The 2008 Above and Beyond Award for College of Engineering, and The 2008 OSU College of Engineering Technology Grant. Experienced in the world of both business and technology, we interviewed Clavin for an insight into some of her success.
First of all, Clavin recommends an extracurricular participation in your work. “Attend casual meet ups, conferences, and even clubs if you are older and having a hard time connecting with others. Don’t be afraid to create or update a professional social media account- post a lot daily about what you are doing or interested in. I’ve also found research, and connect with other scientists with similar interests. It’s kind of like Pinterest but for science articles.” If you are nervous about reaching out for help, Kimberly recommends you look for opportunities with local businesses. She recommends you use LinkedIn or e-mail to professionally connect with them. Kimberly also suggests that you really start local with the opportunities you have closest to you, mentioning that many kids are unaware of how much companies want to encourage the younger generation. “They want to help you!” she stresses. “Try and be heard- that is probably the most time consuming part. And keep on trucking- that’s hardest part”. In terms of college education, Clavin also encourages that if you’re interested in Engineering and Business, don’t get a bachelors in business- go with engineering. “It’s much easier to go engineering to business, but you can always do a minor in business with engineering as well. The overlap between the two really helps you try new things. Companies like it when you try new things, like starting your own place- even if it’s online! They are looking for that impact, even if you’re just inventing a coffee pot that turns on when the garage door opens!”
In terms of women in STEM, Kimberly has a couple of suggestions: “Primarily, have an open mind” she says, “…as well as really learn how to network with others. Also, try reading books on men’s communication style- this will help you get an idea of the difference between men and women’s perspectives, and help you not jump to any conclusions.”
Working at Pillar, Kimberly really loves how equally both men and women are treated. “So many people are genuinely interested to hear you talk. It’s a very equal environment”. Kimberly also love how good the company is to women in tech, and how diverse both in people and in perspectives the environment is. She adores how her work focuses a lot on culture, and the interdisciplinary approach the company has, as it is very creative. The workplace itself is quite open concept and thought provoking, and Clavin says it really encourages people to follow their passion.
In everything she does, Kimberly radiates inspiration. Never without a smile on her face, it’s hard not to look at her and know she is having an amazing time. “Have fun” she says at the end of our interview, “…never look back, and always be on the lookout for opportunities that you enjoy”.
You can follow Kimberly on her Linked in here!
You can also follow her on twitter at @clavinator
Special thanks to http://blog.4eursole.com/4eursolestories-kimberly-clavin/ for the photographs [via Kimberly’s permission]