Doctorate student for Veterinary Medicine at the University of the Philippines

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Success in a field is only dictated by your passion, no one else.

Louise Lao

What do you do?

As a student, other than studying hard for my degree, I try my best to expose myself to volunteer work at wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centers, shore clean-up drives, mass vaccination and spay and neuter programs and attend as many seminars and workshops to nurture my passion for animal care, wildlife conservation and environmental preservation. I also try my best to share my advocacy of protecting the environment to interest my friends and family to do the same.

Why did you choose this field?

As a daughter of practicing veterinarians, I always saw myself working in the same field. Growing up, my passion has steered from animal care, wildlife conservation and eventually more so towards environmental preservation. My aunt, an environmental scientist, has inspired me to look into efforts to help the environment. It was through my exposure from both my parents and my aunt that I want to help animals cope with climate change.

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

I always thought that in order for me to be heard and to make a difference, I should already have finished school, gotten a degree and maybe even be employed. However, I’ve learned that it’s one thing to understand the technicalities of a topic but being able to translate that knowledge into understandable terms is the key to work hand in hand towards finding real workable solutions and promoting advancement in a field.

Why do you love working in STEM?

STEM education has always challenged me to apply the concepts I learn in the classroom in real life by understanding the importance of technology and innovation. Nevertheless, STEM has taught me that failure is as important in the learning curve of success. Although I may feel discouraged, the resilience STEM has taught me always helps me get back up and take failure as a learning exercise.

Best advice for next generation?

I am fortunate to have known at a young age that women are as capable of pursuing careers in STEM and hopefully, as more and more girls are exposed and inspired, there will be no stereotype to be broken. Success in a field is only dictated by your passion, no one else.

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

Alongside my academics, I have joined triathlons and swimming competitions and have been dancing ballet for 17 years. All of which have inspired and disciplined me to become the person I am today.

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