She became quite successful at such a young age so Smita Shah recently went on the radio to discuss how she managed to do so well for herself when she only was 24. She started out in math class in high school where she realized she was in the minority in terms of both gender and ethnicity which motivated her to become all the more successful when she grew up. As a college student, she found herself excelling in academics at Northwestern University and gradually rising to the top tier of her class. During this time, she discovered her love for civil engineering and decided to make it her major. After she had successfully obtained her bachelor of science degree, she relocated to Massachusetts to enroll in grad school at MIT.
While she was in grad school, the opportunity to intern at the office of the white house chief of staff arose and she decided to take it. Once she had successfully completed her master’s program, she decided to take a job offer she received from a company called SOM. She served as their structural engineer for nearly a year before she decided she was ready to become the founder and CEO of her own business. As such, 1998 saw the birth of Spaan Tech, a company dedicated to connecting the world by constructing bridges, railroads, and highways. They also create the lighting for airport runways, lampposts and various other machinations throughout the nation.
When she first started the business, she had no idea it was going to be a huge success but she knew that, even if she ended up failing, she could always fall back on the other companies out there. While she was initially reticent to embrace the full potential of the company, she later realized the necessity of keeping the company above water, especially due to the significant amount of employees at the office. Over the years, she has come to notice the distinct lack of females throughout the fields of math and science which is why she’s consistently encouraging women to be helpful and supportive of each other to help them get ahead in their respective fields. It hasn’t always been easy for her either as the head of her own business. Learn more: https://cee.mit.edu/tag/smita-shah/
She finds that some of the people who come through the front doors have often mistaken her for a level-entry worker as opposed to the head honcho but she has said that she does not let this type of misunderstanding bother her. Her daughter seems to be a bit more extroverted than her brother but she was never one to play favorites when it comes to her family or friends. Although she does think there is still a ways to go, she was proud to find out that the female student population at her alma mater is now up to 47%. They have now been in business for over two decades and are still going strong. We wish them the best of luck.