SPARKED: A Leap of Faith—Sophie’s Story
Growing up in Scotland, Sophie Edgar was a born tinkerer. She would often help her dad around the house, painting a room or restoring a piece of furniture. She was known for designing and building clubhouses in the backyard, and she also liked to knit. From an early age, it was clear that Sophie enjoyed understanding how things were put together. She never felt that as a girl she couldn’t design and build things. It wasn’t until high school that a male teacher tried to discourage her. The joke, however, was on him when Sophie was one of only three students (all girls) who qualified for his class in their final year.
With a clearly defined love for engineering and design, Sophie decided to pursue a five-year program at university that would allow her to graduate with both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. However, she decided to leave the program with just her Bachelor’s degree after four years because she felt it was also important to gain industry experience. She accepted a position in Johnson & Johnson’s graduate development program, which allowed Sophie to rotate through different departments and try various roles. Sophie then took a risk and moved to the U.S. for another position at J&J where she joined a group innovating diabetes care. While in the U.S., she also completed her Master’s in mechanical engineering.
Sophie’s greatest challenge in her career has been choosing exactly what she wanted to do. But this can be seen as positive for someone considering a career in STEM2D today. Sophie is excited about how much STEM fields are growing, and she sees even greater opportunities ahead for those starting out. Her advice is to keep your options open and be willing to take a leap of faith. It can lead to tremendous growth, just as it did for Sophie.