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#STEMStories: Eleanor, PhD Student in Molecular Biology, Jamaica

#STEMStories: Eleanor, PhD Student in Molecular Biology, Jamaica

1. Introduce yourself, who are you what do you do?

I’m Eleanor Terrelonge, I’m a PhD student in molecular biology at the University of the West Indies, Mona in Jamaica.

2. How did you arrive at this career (or point in your life/work)? Was it always something you knew you wanted to do?

I was always interested in science but I fell in love with genetics and molecular biology once I started learning about epigenetics in high school. I also knew I loved being in the lab, so I figured research was where I wanted to be.

3. What about your job makes you jump out of bed in the morning, especially on those cold, dark mornings?


4. What is your personal cure for stress or how do you raise your spirits in times of doubt? Can you share a Story?

I try very hard to cultivate my life outside of the lab by filling it with things that make me happy.

I’ve also found a sense of community online by interacting with other scientists around the world. Twitter definitely makes me feel not alone! The mistakes and the hard days in my lab aren’t because I’m inept, that’s just part of the scientific process. The community has helped raised my spirits a lot.

5. Who is your role model? If no one, any thoughts on this?

I don’t have a role model per se, but there are many women that I look up to in different ways.

6. What advice would you give to yourself if you could go back in time?

I would tell myself to do a little more research on what it would take to do a PhD and what research entails.

7. Top 3 tips for girls starting out in STEM?

  1. Don’t be limited by thinking you have to have a career in academia or industry. STEM can open many doors for you.
  2. Try to get as much hands-on experience as you can.
  3. You’re limitless!

8. How do you measure your success?

I measure my success against progress towards my personal goals. I try not to compare myself to other people but rather trust my own journey.

9. Are you social? Will you share your Twitter handle, or LinkedIn profile, or Facebook so that young women can connect with you?

@JamaicanLabrat on Twitter & Instagram. Facebook: Eleanor Ann. LinkedIn: Eleanor Terrelonge