It’s not always easy to be the owner of your own company especially when you’re only 24 but Smita Shah has been able to have massive success with her business throughout the years. With so many people curious about how she managed to make it in such a competitive field typically dominated by men, she recently went on a radio show to discuss how she was able to rise to the top so quickly and how she deals with the responsibility of running her own company. As a freshman at Northwestern University, she quickly realized engineering was the field she wanted to go into and declared it as her major. From there, she quickly began performing well in her classes and subsequently graduated at the top of her class in the spring of 1994.
After her college career came to a close, she decided to continue her education at MIT where she went on to earn a master’s of science in civil and environmental engineering. During this time, she was also chosen to participate in an internship program working for the office of the white house chief of staff in DC and she finished her thesis on the impact of culture on public-private partnerships. After receiving her degree, she went on to work for SOM in November of 1996 as a structural engineer. She remained in this role for about a year before realizing she had all the knowledge and resources she needed to become the founder and CEO of Spaan Tech.
First opened in 1998, the company was created to build new toll roads, superhighways and suspension bridges to help commuters get to their desired destination. They also install lighting in various places throughout the country such as airport runways, emergency call boxes and sometimes even spotlights. When she was first getting used to running the company, she didn’t do too much to ensure it had a future because she wasn’t sure whether it would make it that far but, now that she knows it can withstand the test of time, she is adamant about ensuring the success of the company for countless decades to come. She knew that if things ended up going south, she could always sell it and then continue her career at a different company. Learn more: https://shiakapos.com/long-before-stem-was-chic-there-was-smita-shah/
However, if this new venture proved to be stable, she would be able to demonstrate how successful women can be in a field that is predominantly male. She was thrilled to learn recently that the number of women in the student population at MIT is now up to 47%, almost equal to the number of men. Over the years, she has dealt with people who come to the office only to mistake her for an intern as opposed to the head honcho but she mentioned that she never takes it personally. However, she does currently advocate for all female employees and encouraged them to be assertive to ensure that they receive fair and equal treatment from their bosses.