Aspire – Top highlights from the event

At NuVasive, we are passionate about empowering our female Shareowners in STEM and paving the way for the next generation who are interested in pursuing STEM careers with our company.

We recently hosted Aspire, an event dedicated to connecting female college students with leaders in medical device. The event was led by Mary Hales, Development Engineer, and was planned in partnership with UCSD’s Society of Women Engineers.

The event welcomed several NuVasive leaders and about 30 engineers to present and share their experiences with the students. Massimo Calafiore, Executive Vice President, Global Business Units, and Ryan Donahoe, Vice President, Research and Development, kicked off the event with an overview of our Company’s culture and purpose.

“We believe that a diverse culture and a different way of thinking around the organization can fulfill our mission to advance technology and bring a better quality of care to the patient around the world.” 

-Massimo Calafiore, Executive Vice President, Global Business Units; Panel featured Shareowner

After the overview, students were broken up into breakout sessions facilitated by our engineers. Students had the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about how to start their careers and succeed in the STEM field. The sessions were followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with our panel of female STEM leaders at NuVasive:

  • Aviva McPherron, Vice President, Information Technology,
  • Jennifer Hester, Leader, Strategic Development,
  • Tara Stevenson, Leader, Quality Engineering,
  • Cara Coad, Staff Engineer, Development, and
  • Danielle Richterkessing, Senior Manager, Fixation Development.

Students were able to further engage with our leaders and receive advice about owning development opportunities, tackling difficult situations, finding mentors, and being empowered to chart their own path in traditionally, a male-dominated field.

Throughout the panel, the speakers shared impactful advice with the students:

“If you see opportunities for yourself where you get to dip your toe into what other people do and you recognize that it’s really interesting and you would like to continue to learn more, enough to where you’re thinking about making a move, don’t be hesitant to make that move. The more you try different things, the more you’ll come to learn about the things that you love.”

Jennifer Hester, Leader, Strategic Development

“If you think you know what you want to do, take every opportunity available to give it a trial run. You may realize that the engineering field you want to be in isn’t actually where your passion lies. Don’t be afraid to pivot if necessary.”

Tara Stevenson, Leader, Quality Engineering

“Slow down, ask for help, failing is okay, and not knowing something is okay. There are a ton of people throughout your career that want to help. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. It’s okay to be out of your depth sometimes.”

Aviva McPherron, Vice President, Information Technology

We value the insights and perspectives that our female Shareowners bring to our STEM community at NuVasive. With events like Aspire, we want to continue to empower young women to purse STEM careers and provide all of the necessary resources for them to develop to their fullest potential.

Interested in a career in STEM with NuVasive? See our open roles here.

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