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#STEMStories: Mariah, Founder of FemSTEM, Georgia

1. Say hi :) who are you what do you do?

Hello! My name is Mariah, and I run FemSTEM.com! I am the Founder, and Editor-in-Chief!

2. How did you arrive at this career? Was it always something you knew you wanted to do?

Oh, boy. Freelance writing is really a tough field in general. But I find it’s been a challenge even running my own site.   I’ve been freelancing for years now, and started off working for others. Unfortunately, I never worked for anyone who paid me well.  After I got let go from what I thought was going to be my big break, I started FemSTEM on my own.

Yes, I’ve always wanted to write for a living.  What I didn’t know  was that I would be interested in writing about STEM in particular.  That was a whole new idea for me.

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

It helps that I can do this from home, haha!  But when I’m not on break (as I have been lately), what gets me excited is the STEM community surrounding the website now.  I have met so many wonderful Women In STEM through this, and they’re always so willing to help one another. It’s amazing.

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 don’t think there’s ever a cure for stress, haha!  When I am over-stressed, I try to just walk away from my project and revisit it later.  Drink some tea, or watch some mind-numbing television or YouTube for a little while. Breaks are important!

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

I’d say I have a lot of different people who I would consider role models.  From my parents, to lots of different authors, and scientists, I have a hard time narrowing it down.  I think you need to pull good qualities from many people, and learn from all of them that way.  Sticking to one person as your role model could maybe even be dangerous for you emotional health -- unfortunately, the saying “don’t meet your heroes” exists for a reason.  So my thoughts are, try to learn from everyone you meet, and use good traits as your models, rather than one specific person.

6. What advice would you give to your 18 year old self?

Stick with math.  It can be so incredibly intimidating, but stick with it.  You’ll need it, and it’s really not as bad as you’re making it out to be right now.

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

-- Learn from everyone.  Every single person you come across.

-- LISTEN. So many people you will come across in this field have good advice to share, and you can and will learn so much if you open up to them and listen.

-- Take everything one step at a time.  It is so easy to get completely caught up and do way too much at once, but you will burn out that way. Burn out can kill your joy, even for something you are extremely passionate about. Take it slow.

8. How do you measure your success?

I don’t have a great answer for this, unfortunately. Honestly, I tend to not be so healthy about how I measure my own success.  But it is important to remember that everyone measures it differently, and to not let others bring you down. They may not see you as successful for one reason or another, but you cannot let the opinions of others dictate what you do and how you see yourself.  This can really kill your joy.

9. Where can we find out more about your work?

Just check out FemSTEM.com!  Honestly, the more interesting things are the interviews I do.  Those women and their work are so much more interesting!

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

You can find me on:

Twitter: @officialfemstem

Instagram: @officialfemstem