"I Can See Myself in STEM" Ambassador Profile - Megan Torrance

Megan Torrance

She/her/hers
Founder & CEO
TorranceLearning


Personal Statement:

My family was one of the first I knew to get a computer in the early 1980s. When I took my first programming course, I wrote a quiz game to help me study my history. In college I studied visual communication and organizational communication. Designing and building digital learning experiences brings all of this together!

Tell us a little bit about the work you do:

My company designs and develops online learning experiences for all sorts of topics - medical and healthcare, food science, driver safety, sales, and overall work effectiveness. We get to learn new topics all the time, then determine the best ways to learn about them, build neat tools to deliver that experience, and then evaluate how it works with data that we get from the software.

What types of things interested you when you were a kid?

I was super into science of all sorts - environmental, nuclear physics, biology, earth science... you name it. I was also into writing and public speaking - teaching really! My dad was a journalist and that fed into my interest in communication. What I love about my job now is that I get to keep learning and creating.

What were your favorite subjects in school?

Science and math.

Did you face any barriers or challenges growing up? What were they?

Confidence. There is a high social cost (from peers, family, society) for girls to say, "I've got this", and even higher when they fall. This mindset often held me back from taking on hard things, or from sharing my successes with others.

What type of advice do you have for girls who are interested in pursuing a STEM career?

Girls often feel that they have to be "perfect" in everything they do. This can lead to a lot of anxiety, or to holding yourself back. Failing and mistakes and hypotheses that don't turn out like you thought they would are a natural part of science, of learning... and life. It's not until we realize what this drive for perfection is doing to us that we can overcome its grip.

What do you think is one important piece of information you would like to share with our audience?

There are so many roles in STEM that sometimes get overlooked or don't seem like "STEM" careers. STEM needs communicators, project managers, fund raisers, writers, designers, marketing, sales, educators... people who get the word out and help others adopt new technologies and ideas.


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