Caleigh MacPherson • 27 • Lee
January 30. 2018 11:27AM
Family: Jill and Donald MacPherson (parents)
High school: Oyster River High School
College/post grad degrees: Mechanical Engineering (Bachelor's & Master's at UNH), Engineering Management (Master's at Duke University)
What is the best career advice you ever received?
I’m not sure about career advice but my finance professor gave me some great advice on what to do if I win the lottery!
Why did you choose your profession?
I chose mechanical engineering because I love to build things. It’s just how my brain works. I come from a family of engineers. And LEGO. I would say LEGO had a major part in my turning into an engineer. Your imagination just runs wild and you can build anything you dream up. That’s a huge confidence booster.
What motivates you to give back to your community?
I love helping people to learn new things. I am a huge advocate of the space program and I try to find a way to tie that in to anything that I can teach. New Hampshire is not exactly known as a hotbed of space exploration and I love being able to show people all of the amazing science that is happening!
What advice would you give your 22-year-old self?
As this was only a few years ago, I would say that confidence is everything. Confidence is the key to success in the way that you need to be confident in what you are doing. I’ve found that confidence is the only way to be taken seriously in professional industries.
What would make New Hampshire more attractive to young professionals?
New Hampshire itself is quite attractive. I would change that question to say: “What would make New Hampshire companies more attractive?” New Hampshire companies are not necessarily aligned with the state initiatives to keep young professionals in the state. Companies need to stay competitive with states like Massachusetts so that we don’t move across the border. I LOVE New Hampshire and I love being close to the mountains and the ocean, but it can be difficult when local companies do not update their practices to be in the 21st century.
What would you like to be doing when you’re 40?
I would like to be making a difference. I know that’s terribly cliché but as a young professional, it can be difficult to see that you are indeed making a difference in your industry (or in your community).
What was your last major achievement?
2017 TechWoman of the Year for the New Hampshire High Technology Council (NHHTC).
Volunteer activities: NASA Solar System Ambassador, FIRST Robotics, local host for NASA Space Apps Challenge, Dover Mini Maker Faire organizer, volunteer for NHHTC TechWomen/TechGirls initiative, American Society of Mechanical Engineers.