Girl Up Career Interview: Kiara Whittle by Sasha Lawrence

Tell us about how and why you entered your career

  • Went to HS with Nitaya, met in research biology class

  • Decided what classes she liked

  • Majored in chem, minored in math

  • Went to Clark ATL

  • Took a few months after college to get job

  • Went to liberal arts at first, then took more science realized her favorite science was chemistry

  • Did retail while in college (poor experience)

What skills have you found vital to your job?

  • Patience and Discipline, you must stay true to yourself all the time

  • Mostly Indian team, two white people, mostly women

What is your favorite part about your career (current or past)?

  • In pharmacy school pharmacology and toxicology

  • Working in a toxicology lab

Was there a career setback you faced which you later realized was an advantage?

  • Being a woman, being a black woman, being a black woman in stem, can be a setback if you let it, it can be an advantage if you’re a minority and people see you in this career

  • Covid is moving her closer to the infectious disease track

What is some advice you would offer to someone who is interested in your work?

  • Make sure you like what you are studying

  • Khan Academy will be your best friend

What should they major in?

  • What classes should they take? Biology, chemistry, and physics. All of the Sciences go hand in hand.

  • Since she majored in chemistry she would push chemistry, although it truly depends on the type of path you wish to embark on.

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