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SHEs in STEM: Samantha Hau

Samantha Hau is a PMP and CAPM certified project manager, specializing in implementation and information technology project management. She has experience in many industries including retail, loss prevention, healthcare, and finance. Samantha currently oversees all project management efforts including IT and Operations projects for a national mortgage company headquartered in Brentwood, TN. Samantha has previously served PMI Nashville as the Director of Mentoring. She moved to Nashville in 2014 from Cincinnati, OH. She enjoys outdoor activities and traveling as much as possible.

SHEs In STEM: Samantha Hau

Name: Samantha Hau
Industry: Technology
Age: 32
SHEroines: my mother

Tell us about yourself: who are you, where are you from, what do you do?
I am an IT Project Manager who is working in the mortgage industry right now but have been in finance, asset protection, audit, healthcare and human resources sectors. I am from Cincinnati, Ohio and have been in Nashville for 3.5 years. As a Project Manager, I oversee all technical projects that involve software development and infrastructure (hardware) changes.

What was your path to becoming a SHE in STEM? Which area of STEM are you a part of?
I didn’t know I wanted to become a Project Manager until I graduated college and got my first job in Human Resources for Kroger’s Corporate IT Department. I had no idea what a Project Manager was or what they did, but when I learned it really became an intriguing career path for me. From there I started directing my next role towards project management. I have been a true Project Manager for almost 7 years. I graduated with a degree in Art History with a concentration in Fine Arts.

I do believe my art background helps me excel because I tend to bring more creativity to my approach and solutions.

What about being a SHE in STEM brings you the most joy?
I love accomplishing the end of a successful project and finding solutions to issues. I enjoy being a subject matter expert in my role.

What is the most challenging part of being a SHE in STEM?
The obvious is holding your own in a industry that is mostly male. I do believe I am viewed as being equal, but my point of view is not always on the same wavelength as my peers because men and women understand and evaluate everything differently. Sometimes my perspective has to be explained further to get my point across.

What’s the professional achievement that makes you the most proud?
I am a certified project manager with my PMP, CAPM and LSSGB. I also hold a VP position on the board for the Nashville Chapter of the global organization Project Management Institute (PMI) where I grew the mentoring program to one of the top 5 largest in the country.

What and who has motivated you the most in your journey as a SHE in STEM?
Myself. I am always setting goals and wanting to achieve milestones just to see how long it takes me and how well I succeed.

I have very specific career aspirations and a timeline for myself.

If you could go back in time and offer yourself sixty seconds of advice, what would you say?

Embrace and mature thick skin.

It can be very difficult to be an adult but even more difficult when you are in a role where its natural for people to not like you. As a project manager you have to say no, hold others accountable and manage conflict.

If you could give any advice to young women considering a path in STEM, what would you say?
The only person holding you back is yourself. Everyone can pursue their dreams and aspirations.

The technology industry in general needs women and our perspective to promote a more well-rounded environment for advancement. Be part of the voice leading the world forward.

Also, almost every company has to have an IT department of some sort, there are so many jobs out there and they will only keep growing.

Who are some other SHEs in STEM to watch?
Anyone in the younger generations who have been raised with technology have the potential to be the next Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerburg or Elon Musk. One woman making great waves for all the right reasons in technology right now is Whitney Wolfe Herd at Bumble. She is pioneering female lead dating, friendships and business connections for the 21st century.

What’s the most exciting thing happening in STEM right now?
Technology has so many untapped abilities when it comes to healthcare, transportation, artificial intelligence and products to make life better.

It’s exciting to see all the new discoveries and advancements that come out every day in the technology market.

What are some resources for SHEs to learn more about your field?
Project Management Institute is always a great resource, and the Nashville chapter offers a mentoring program for members. Me! Contact me to schedule a meeting or to shadow me for a day in my role.

You can find Samantha on LinkedIn.

ICYMI: Check out our other SHEs in STEM posts-Melissa Karlin, Rachel StuveKolisa Yola Sinyanya, Kara LutonStephanie ProvenceKira Bailey, I Don’t Know How To Science, Taylor Breland, and Kelsey Caffy. And don’t miss out on SHEspeaks: Rainu Ittycheriah with Eventbrite (ep 5).

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