Kimberlee Hixon '17: Don't Be Afraid of STEM

September 14, 2016

Kimberlee Hixon

Kimberlee filled us in on her summer internship at Novartis!

What are you studying at Simmons?

Biochemistry

What drew you to your program?

The professors. Their evident passion for science causes an environment of exploration and committed learning.

Where did you intern this summer?

Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research.

What was the application process like?

Dr. Canfield suggested that I apply. The application process involved multiple phone interviews with a variety of different scientists. They asked questions regarding my future aspirations — along with chemistry related questions.

What was the most rewarding part of your experience?

Being in an industry setting opened my eyes to possible job opportunities down the line. It allowed to me to see research in a company setting rather than just academia.

What are the top 3 lessons you've learned from your internship?

  • Take initiative. 
  • Participate in anything you can. 
  • Learn from every opportunity. 

What advice would you give to students considering studying STEM?

Don’t be scared of it. Science is fun — and for everyone. I think too often people put themselves in a box and say “I'm not a science person." Never limit yourself to using a certain skill set. I think true development comes from experiencing different avenues and possible careers because you're ultimately exploring different avenues in your brain.

What made you choose Simmons?

Simmons is a place to explore science and be exposed to a multitude of hospitals and research labs in the Boston area. I knew Simmons was an institution that cultivated women leaders and I strive to be just that. I also wanted to play basketball in college while being a serious student.

What's your Simmons Moment?

I was invited to speak at a roundtable discussion with Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Congressmen Joe Kennedy about women in STEM. I've found that Simmons is in a very special position as a women-centered institution to be a voice for all women. I think it's extremely important to convey that a STEM career is possible for any young girl who puts their mind to it.

STEM Lab

STEM at Simmons

At Simmons, we empower women and girls in STEM through every step of their educational and professional development. Through community partnerships, rigorous programs, faculty mentoring and an extensive alumnae/i network — we work to inspire the next generation of scientists, mathematicians and engineers.