I wanted to write a story to share with other parents, graduate students, postdocs and bioscience professionals. To those who are pursuing higher education, an academic or science industry position while maintaining a happy life, this is my story.
I completed a PhD in Biochemistry/Genomics at U of Toronto, a visiting year at MIT, a 2 year postdoc training at U of Michigan and have been in the biotech industry since. During this time, I married my sweetheart after my postdoc and am lucky enough to have 2 lovely daughters. I have tried to maintain as much science as I can while taking care of the well-being of my children. I was the one who would question how a woman would take a leave from a science career to take care of children...and after seeing my first born, I totally understood. I could not leave my baby with anyone else. I brought this life into this world and I wanted to take her and help mold the physical, intellectual and emotional growth of this child. That to me, was a full-time job. Different moms feel differently, but I felt that was right for me.
So, after a few years of a Senior Research Scientist/Product Manager position and after four months of maternity leave, I transformed my working description to what I wanted to pursue with the flexibility to work from home with 1-2 visits/week to the office as Director of Application Science. My proposal went well with the CEO and my balance of motherhood and industry blossomed. After the birth of my second baby while my first one was two, I have worked as an occasional Consultant from home (or away at a conference) as my days and nights were pretty busy!
I have always been active in music, piano, songwriting, vocals. My first vocal performance was at a church when I as three and I always loved the piano. I missed that aspect of my life so I started to teach my daughters (ages 6 and 3). Pretty soon, their friends wanted to learn, and now I have nine other students. I had always wanted to teach piano and music ever since my grad school days, and my "dream" is now a reality.
This is a story of how I integrate the PhD, science, family and my artistic passion for music. There will be passages about grad school, mentoring, marriage, landing the job, having babies, school issues and pursuing the artistic side. Much to cover, but I hope that some of these stories may help other students and parents balance everything in this short adventure called life.