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WiE Lunch and Learn attendees standing together as a group.

Adams Fortifies Lunch and Learn Event with STEM Career Pillars

Angelique Adams, PhD, shared her “Three Pillars to a Dream STEM Career” with engineering students in a specially presented Lunch and Learn hosted by the Tickle College of Engineering (TCE) Women in Engineering Program (WiE).

Adams previously led a global R&D leadership career in the aluminum industry. She now brings her expertise to UT as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence for TCE. Through this role she offers faculty, staff, and students the opportunity to meet during office hours and discuss and design careers as entrepreneurs.

The Lunch and Learn presentation focused on the highlights of her 2021 book, You’re More than a Diversity Hire, Women in STEM: The Five Keys to Unlocking Your Full Potential.

“I was thrilled to share my ‘Three Pillars to a Dream STEM Career’ with the UT Women in Engineering program,” said Adams. “I’ve had the opportunity to speak with hundreds of scientists and engineers over the years. While we all have different motivations and goals, we have three things in common: We want to be paid what we are worth, respected for our work, and to have those things without sacrificing the people and projects we care about. I address strategies to achieve these goals that are so basic to our success and happiness as driven STEM professionals.”

Each student who attended the Lunch and Learn received a copy of the book as a gift from the WiE program. It includes fillable tables and worksheets, career planning strategies, and summaries of lessons learned during Adams’s years of professional experience.

Adams’s three pillars are: 1) prove your performance, 2) nurture your network, and 3) master your mindset. Her presentation prompted attendees to self-reflect on their past and present experiences through “self-tests” and then to identify the steps they need to take to achieve their goals in the future.

“My number-one tip is to write down and celebrate your accomplishments,” she said. “That list will serve you when you are interviewing for a job, preparing for your performance review, or just having a bad day and need to remind yourself of all you’ve done.”

After describing the key pillars, Adams offered tools for implementation, discussed her role as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at UT, and opened the floor for Q&A from the audience.

Students were able to submit questions ahead of time, or they could ask them during the event. Discussion ranged from how to address discrimination or isolation in the workplace, to resources that are available for career development at UT and beyond, and how to identify the job that you want.

“I was so impressed with the audience’s engagement and questions,” said Adams. “It’s clear that UT engineering students are proactively seeking professional development at all stages of their academic careers.” Adams’s brief but impactful presentation emphasized the value of self-reflection, taught students about tools and planning resources, and highlighted the power of choice that everyone has when navigating their careers.