Olivia Yu

Project Manager

Novartis

,,

Once you find what you like, pursue that.

,,

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I am a project manager for one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. This means we produce a lot of drugs so we can impact human health. In order to make sure these drugs are safe and effective clinical trials are conducted before these drugs are approved by the government to go to market. As a project manager I make sure that these clinical trials happen within the time, scope, and budget allocated by the company.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?

My entire family is made up of mathematically inclined engineers with advanced degrees. I however was more interested in the sciences and music. I actually was considering pursuing a career in piano performance since I have been playing since 5 years old. In college I entered as a double major in both biochemistry and music. I had a biology professor and mentor at the time that suggested that I get involved in a laboratory to do research to really understand what it meant to be a biologist. From there the field chose me and I dedicated by major and later, PhD, to biomedical sciences.

HOW DO/DID YOU TACKLE OBSTACLES?

I tackle obstacles by not taking 'no' for an answer. This means that, to me, the answer 'no' means there are more creative ways to get to what is needed. I see obstacles as opportunities.

WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"

If I had to look at younger me, I wish I would have had more self-confidence to understand I can achieve what I want to achieve. My biggest drawback is my own self-doubt. If I was more confidence in my capabilities, I think it would have been a better mindspace.

WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?

I love working in STEM because to me, it has a huge impact. Being part of a pharmaceutical company means that I am directly impacting human health. I wake up every morning knowing why I do what I do; that is to make a difference.

BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?

My best advice is to be fully aware of your likes and dislikes. The dislikes of certain roles and subjects are just as informative as what you like. Once you find what you like, pursue that.

INSPIRATION

Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin, and the other female scientist who, despite being an a male dominated field, pursued what they loved and prospered - they are all my role models.

NOMINATE A WOMAN IN STEM

For multiple nominations, email hi@1mwis.com

CHECK OUT OUR:

TEAM

STORY

PROJECTS