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MEMP Alum Profile: Mentorship for the Win

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Caroline Boudoux, MEMP PhD, ‘07, Assistant Professor, Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal

“If you cannot see where you are going, ask someone who has been there before.” ~ J. Loren Norris

If you ask Caroline Boudoux what influenced her most during her time as an HST student, she says her most meaningful takeaway was the importance of finding the right mentors. She emphasizes that multiple mentors are needed for different aspects of life. “You can’t expect one person to have all of the experiences that you need for your life.”

For Caroline, this awareness of the need to learn from colleagues and advisors would be the key to success not only during her time at HST, but also currently as an Associate Professor at the Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal and as a co-founder and co-president of Castor Optics—a company that makes fiber optic couplers specifically designed to meet unique medical needs all over the world.

Caroline was fortunate to start her career with mentors from her own home. Her mother was trained as a pharmacist and her father worked in a research laboratory. She said, “My mother always had a good explanation for how the human body worked.” And her father was the one who urged her to pursue engineering physics.

With the advice of her parents and propelled by her own strong passion for math and physics, Caroline studied both physics and engineering as an undergraduate with the goal of later applying her knowledge to the medical field, which had always fascinated her.

After Caroline finished her undergraduate program, she decided to explore programs offered at Harvard and MIT out of curiosity, not thinking that she’d actually apply and be accepted. But when she learned about the HST program, she said “this is exactly what I want to do and for a brief moment I thought that someone had designed the program just for me. I thought, someone understands!” Finding the HST program was a dream come true for Caroline as it enabled her to couple her engineering physics expertise with the medical world.

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