Women in STEM: Erum

The chemist Erum loves her instrument

My eighth guess is Erum, a passionate chemist working in Georgia. You can find her on Instagram under the name @basmatibuddy777.

Hi basmatibuddy777! First of all would you like to tell us something about you?

Hi! My name is Erum Alvi. I’m 33 years old, born in Pakistan. I have a degree in Analytical chemistry and am a clinical chemist in Georgia. 


When did you start your Instagram account? How did you get the idea?

I started it I think around 2010. I’ve changed my Ig from being a secular humanist to embracing my chemistry career and love for dance.  It’s so important to have a creative outlet and further learning and growing in STEM. Now my interests are pursuing a PhD in Clinical Neuroscience while I practice chemistry.


Can you tell us something about how you balance work and private life?

I try to keep being accountable of self awareness and personal growth. I try maintain a good relationship with my colleagues and practice mindful communication. All this leads me to create space and maintain a balance for my personal life and work. It is important to be honest and always work on your mindset and well-being. Always try to learn and grow in all endeavors so that balance can be created and maintained.


During your experience in academia how many women were in course? Why in your opinion?

There were enough women. I would say 50/50. I think the field is equalizing.


Have you ever felt harassed or being kept apart as a scholar because you are a woman?

I have been underestimated. I’ve had to bite my tongue and maintain my emotion and wait for an opportunity to present itself. The good thing about science is that it seeks truth. When truth is on your side you can easily deter harassment.


How did you became passionate about science?

I was always a curious child. It felt close to my nature of speculation and passionate search for the truth. 


Would you like to talk briefly about your job?

I work in medical diagnostics. I perform my tests using a UPLC and GC. I perform tests that covers the presence of vitamin A in the body; my second test is in toxicology–I test for the presence of pesticides. 


Thank you so much for your time. Lastly, can you give any advice to girls interested in stem?

I think you will find that this field brings a lot of self discipline, empowerment, and respect. If you choose this field you will grow a lot and will be very proud of yourself.

Also, we need more women!!! Show the world how brilliant women are!

Published by Martina Bodner

Biotechnologist, PhD Student in Food Chemistry, High school science teacher, STEM and autism advocate, mother.

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