Women in STEM: Susanne Lettner, Engineering Communications
STEM fields open a world of opportunities for careers that are not limited to the traditional science, technology, engineering and math disciplines. In this interview, Susanne Lettner shares highlights of her career as a journalist within the engineering industry. Susanne earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and PR, and Master’s Degree in Dance Studies from Free University Berlin. She is an ambassador for the Berlin based initiative, "MINT Zukunft schaffen“ (MINT is the German translation for STEM). Below she shares a little about her career and the inspiration behind it.
What is your specific area of STEM?
Journalism / Engineering Communications
How would you explain your STEM field to young girls?
I’m a marketing specialist (focus: corporate communications) and I work at a mechanical engineering company. I promote topics such as e-mobility, autonomous driving, digitization or Industry 4.0. My area of responsibility includes the development and implementation of effective marketing and communication measures. I do the press work and write articles for magazines, press or the newsletter.
What traits might a child possess that may indicate an interest or aptitude for your STEM field?
You need a technical understanding, an interest in the automotive sector and also an interest in learning how machines and robots work. Furthermore linguistic competence is necessary to communicate the topics and also creativity. When you are asking the "why" questions, that demonstrate a natural curiosity about how things work.
What did you know about your STEM field when you were a child?
The STEM field topics such as e-mobility, autonomous driving, digitization or Industry 4.0 are new. But teachers at school encouraged us pupils to follow our interests and fueled our curiosity. It helped that I got to know the basic science principles really easily.
Why did you choose your STEM field? Were you inspired by someone?
I’m interested in new technologies such as e-mobility, autonomous driving, digitization or Industry 4.0. So I really like that I have the ability to work together with engineers and developers to promote future technologies.
What are some really cool things that people in your profession work on?
I’m an ambassador for the Berlin based initiative „MINT Zukunft schaffen“ (MINT is the German translation for STEM). The initiative works together with schools, universities and companies to help young girls and boys to find their way into the STEM field.
What inspirational message would you give young girls to inspire them to pursue STEM?
I advise young girls to get a first impression of the STEM fields by discovering. In Germany we have the event called Girls’Day, which allows girls to spend one day getting insight in a company or a research institute. Also student internships are a good opportunity where young girls can talk to professionals who can give them tips. So they can learn from them and know what they expect in their studies, which career prospects there are and already test whether this is the right job.
STEM is an important field and it helps to shape our future through technology. For that we need smart, creative and bright people working on solutions. People in STEM are the inventors and they work to make our planet a better place for everyone.
Thank you for contributing, Susanne!
Interview published 6/24/2018 at STEM Girls Books by Kristi Grigsby