Monday, 30 September 2013

The Real Deal: Renee Hlozek, Cosmologist

Today High Heels in the Lab meets Dr. Renee Hlozek, who is living her dream job as a cosmologist. Her fun-loving nature sure shines through and we love the fact that she is constantly inspired by those around her. She’s inspired us too! 

Want to know more? Renee is on twitter: @reneehlozek

What do you do and give 3 words that describe how you got there?
I am a cosmologist at Princeton.
Hard work (almost one word!), passion and funding got me here.

What career did you think you would have when you were younger?
I actually hoped to have the career I do have when I was younger!

What is it that makes you want to come to work each day?
I love solving problems, and asking questions about how the universe works. And the people I work with inspire me.

What is the one thing you'd love to achieve in your research?
I'd love to build a research group which all works together to solve these problems, and to also work with artists on science-art collaborations!

What is the best/worst thing about your job?
It is very hard to switch off from work (she says checking mail on a supposed holiday), so creating work-life balance is really important.

What do you enjoy other than science?
I love singing, art and making cocktails!

What would be your ideal holiday?
I'd love to go on a holiday that combines sight seeing with relaxing on the beach. Enter: Zanzibar, which is on my bucket list!

Who or what is your greatest inspiration (science or otherwise?)
I think people who have achieved in spite of difficult circumstances really inspire me. An example of this would be the women who weren't allowed to have research careers but continued without salary or recognition anyway.

If you could give your younger self any advice, what would it be?
Relax and just be yourself. People who try to change you away from the 'fun-loving-caring' direction don't count. And it is ok to wear nail polish to work!