Lara Grabitz

Masters student in Theoretical Physics, University of Heidelberg

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STEM needs diversity and people with different talents and ideas to push further into the unknown.

What do you do?

I study physics, so I spend most of my time studying, calculating and coding. I am also engaged in STEM initiatives. I am a board member of both the German Network of Young Scientist and the young German Physical society where I try to connect people in STEM, help to provide an inclusive and diverse atmosphere and organise science projects for school pupil.

Why did you choose this field?

I was always into maths and sciences and I have always enjoyed this environment at the intersection of logical thinking and creative problem solving. In my last year of high school I conducted my own research project about batteries and took part in the German research fair "Jugend forscht", where I won several prizes. This experience helped me to be sure that I want to pursue a career in physics. I never intended to get into Theoretical Particle Physics, that was pure chance. In my Erasmus year in Glasgow I took the Quantum Field Theory class (another coincidence made possible by timetable issues) which was aimed at students 3 years ahead of me. I discovered the beauty of Field Theories and the underlaying symmetries in the Standard Model and I am still fascinated by nature everyday.

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

I have spend quite some time to deal with uni bureaucracy and was then able to spend time abroad and pursue a double Bachelor degree (two degrees at the same time, one in Chemistry and one in physics). My younger self would have not known that double degrees are possible and that I can deal with the challenge.

Why do you love working in STEM?

I love that the scientific community is (mostly) driven by reasoning and that everyone can make a point with good arguments and ideas.

Best advice for next generation?

STEM needs diversity and people with different talents and ideas to push further into the unknown. Whenever you feel overwhelmed, talk to your classmates, you won't be alone and you can do it!

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

"Do not grow weary
but gently
to the wonder
as if a bird should light
hold out your hand." Hilde Domin

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