Holly Borowski: Research Scientist
In Episode 18 we spoke to Holly Borowski, research scientist about her time in the Air Force, her experience in a male dominated industry and how she was encouraged to pursue math, science and engineering at a young age.
WD: What is your work/occupation?
HB: Research scientist. I currently work on designing and and testing missile tracking algorithms, but in January I'll be moving on to a new project that involves tracking and cataloging space objects.
WD: Is that what you thought you would be doing?
HB: Not exactly. For a long time I thought I wanted to be a pilot, but changed my mind when I went into the Air Force. But I've always loved math and science, so I have always sought out career paths in that direction.
WD: What is your biggest challenge professionally?
HB: Knowing when to be assertive, having confidence in my methods and ideas.
WD: What is your biggest source of stress?
HB: I tend to have multiple goals, sometimes conflicting. Figuring out how to balance them all (and let go of some) can be stressful.
WD: What do you want more of in your life?
HB: Exposure to different ideas and cultures. I think I have spent a lot of time around people who are a lot like me, and I want to diversify that some.
WD: Who are the women who are most inspiring to you?
HB: Women who are able to speak up about the things they care about, be confident in their ideas and self-worth, no matter what people around them seem to think.
WD: Who were your female role models growing up?
HB: My mom. She did a lot of cool stuff in her life on her own before meeting my dad, like living in Germany for example. She took a break from working to raise my sister and me when we were growing up, but then started doing things for herself again when we left home. She started teaching, and spent another year in Germany teaching on a Fulbright scholarship. She always cared a lot about her students, and it was also great to see her do something new (and scary) even when she was older.
WD: What is the best advice you've ever gotten?
HB: To work hard and focus as well as I can, no matter whether I enjoy what I'm currently doing. Sometimes, by working hard on something I initially didn't enjoy has actually made me enjoy it much more over time. Other times that didn't happen, but the fact that I still tried my best helped me get people on my side when I wanted to change careers (at the end of my time in the Air Force, for example).