How long have you been at Aiforia, and what do you do?
Areeha: I’ve worked at Aiforia for eight months as a Field Application Scientist. I provide customer support by helping our clients build, set up, troubleshoot, and analyze their models using Aiforia Create. Regarding Aiforia’s Custom AI Services, I help train AI models for our customers.
What is your background?
I did my undergrad at Stony Brook University in Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies and Biology. I did my Masters at New York Medical College in Medical Sciences. Since then, I’ve worked in a biomedical informatics lab, a pancreatic cancer lab, and finally ended up at a pharmaceutical company where I worked on the whole pipeline — from biomarker research to digital image analysis and AI model development. There, I was a customer of Aiforia, which landed me here.
What challenges do you face as a woman in science?
The main challenge is that it takes effort to be taken seriously sometimes. For me, at least, age is a factor. Because I'm quite young, I have to say things multiple times for it to stick or for someone to take my input seriously. It can be hard to be assertive and to have what I’m saying be valued.
What is it like to work at Aiforia as a woman in science and technology?
There haven’t been any real challenges; Aiforia has been a very welcoming and supportive environment! We have a good mix of diversity, it's a pretty good split on our science team. On the customer service side, there have been people who have come up to ask irrelevant questions with the intention of trying to prove that I’m not knowledgeable, but I choose to smile, have patience, and try to answer their questions as best as possible.
What advice would you give to women wanting to start a career in science?
The best advice is to do your research. Think about who your coworkers are going to be. That's something that gets overlooked so often. If you’re starting higher education, like a Ph.D. or a master's, you should consider who your advisor is. It shouldn’t be someone who is the most academically decorated but one who matches your personality and will provide you with the support you need in a field where you are the minority. Having a good sense of community in these situations is so important. Also, just go for what it is that you want!
What is your favorite part about your job?
The customers that I get to interact with daily! That human connection is so important to me. I love helping scientists make models to fit their needs. It's almost like a puzzle — everybody has something different they're trying to do, and I have the same set of tools to execute a unique task for each project.
What do you do for fun?
I love painting, spending time with my friends, immersing myself in nature, and I’m a huge foodie! So you can find me at all of my local restaurants trying new things.