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Veronica Dike

Graduate Student Researcher, Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of California Los Angeles

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You don't have to have been working on STEM since you were a baby, you can start any time.

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I study the light from faraway galaxies to constrain properties of dark matter. I write code to do this.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?

I decided to become an astronomer after taking an intro to astronomy course in college. We took a field trip to the Very Large Array radio telescope and that's when I realized that it was a real job and it could be my job.

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

I'm really proud of publishing my first paper this year. When I was younger I didn't realize how little we knew about the Universe, let alone that I'd be writing papers about new knowledge.

WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?

I love that my job is about learning new things every day and discovering things no one knew before.

BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?

You can do it, just keep going. You don't have to have been working on STEM since you were a baby, you can start any time.

INSPO / FUN FACT

"It is better to aim for the moon and get halfway there than just to aim for the roof and get halfway upstairs." - Diana Wynne Jones