Q: What has been the highlight of your career to date?
A: The greatest highlight of my career has been focusing on innovation within cosmetics. I was granted a patent for a packaging concept that I conceptualized and prototyped a couple of years ago. I have always been excited and motivated by this idea of innovation. I thrive on the constant challenge of, in the simplest term—making it work. I believe ideas can come from anywhere and I truly enjoy working collaboratively in my current role to ideate. You never know when you might come up with the next breakthrough concept, no matter the industry. .
Q: How did your Villanova education contribute to your success?
A: The engineering program at Villanova taught me how to identify and approach a problem. That strong foundation gave me the confidence to successfully take on challenging roles and projects throughout my career.
Q: What do you know now that you wish you knew then (as a college student or new graduate)?
A: I wish someone had told me not to be afraid to explore a discipline that might be of interest. Few people are aware that every industry needs engineers. You can use your technical degree in a non-typical engineering job, so my best advice is to go after a career or industry that interests you and to network as much as possible! Don't be afraid to reach out to alumni to just speak to them about their career path and what brought them to their current role. Networking is important, no matter what stage you are in your career.
Q: What one piece of advice would you give to the next generation of female engineers?
A: Continue to share your stories and experiences. I applied to Villanova’s College of Engineering with my father’s influence and I cherish that, more so now than ever. Both my parents were born in Italy and traveled to the United States to build a life for their children. I wasn’t exposed to the engineering field growing up and frankly wasn’t quite sure what an engineering profession entailed. I applied regardless, and worked hard during my undergraduate years to study what I enjoyed. Even though the engineering curriculum was challenging, the skills I developed were invaluable. Every employer looks for problem solvers and that's what you become when you graduate with an engineering degree. So few young women are aware of the many disciplines and industries that could be career possibilities with an engineering degree. Take my story for example. Who would have known a cosmetics company needed an engineer to design its packages? And who better to do that than a direct user of the product, a woman! My lesson—instill confidence in yourself and extend that confidence and curiosity in the younger generation of female engineers.