Where you can find her:
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/erinwinick/?hl=en
- TikTok: https://m.tiktok.com/h5/share/usr/97659576946176000.html
- Personal Website: erinwinick.com
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/erinwinick
Education: BS Mechanical Engineering, University of Florida, 2016
Current job title: Science Communications Specialist
What experience first got you interested in science and is that field the same one you went on to pursue?
I don’t think I had one specific moment, but I’ve always been someone who really enjoyed making things. Whether it was LEGO, cooking, writing, crafts, or sewing, that’s what got me interested in engineering. I’ve been able to use this passion in my engineering and science communications experience.
Tell me about some people who helped or inspired you along the way, in your early training and later in your career.
I had a mentor at one of my summer engineering internships, Cat Tradd, who is still a part of my life today. She is a fantastic sounding board, and has always given me great advice. She has never been judgmental and has always been open to listening to my career preferences, even if they might be nontraditional.
Can you tell me about any moments of doubt you had as a student or early in your career and how you dealt with it?
I had so many moments of doubt, especially because I was carving a nontraditional path for an engineer. I was going to an entrepreneurship and communications route, rather than the industry or academia paths that most of my peers followed. I talked to my family and my boyfriend at the time. I had a lot of really hard soul searching conversations. But the real solution for me was actually doing. Trying the things on a small scale I was interested in with freelance gigs or internships allowed me to solidify my passions.
Can you share two or three surprising twists or turns in your early scientific training and your later career path.
I’ve had so many twists! I made the jump from engineering internships, to running my own 3D printing company, to getting an internship in London to write about science and technology. I would have never seen those coming years ago, but those twists allowed me to find a career path telling the world about science.
Can you give some examples of how you have incorporated your non scientific interests into your work.
My company, Sci Chic, made 3D printed science and engineering inspired jewelry! It allowed me to combine my passions for making, science, fashion and outreach. I still combine these passions in personal projects that I share on social media even though I closed down the company after 5 years to move on to new things. Recently my skirt based on the Perseverance parachute went viral and got lots of attention. It was fun to see people respond to science art in that way. I also get to use my love for communication in the TikTok videos and Instagram posts I create.
Is there some advice you could share from your own experience to help someone with a science degree who is just starting off on their own career path.
Explore all of the wild and crazy career paths out there! There are so many different options open to you. Take the time to test them out, and explore where your passion really lies.