Mac McGuire
Southern Methodist University
AWIS member since 2023

“If you think something isn’t right, it probably isn’t.”

AWIS member Mac McGuire

What’s the most important leadership lesson you’ve learned?

I serve as the President of the Chemistry Graduate Council at Southern Methodist University (SMU). This experience has taught me that you have to be confident in, and be able to back up, the choices you make because there will always be people that judge the decision to be the wrong one.

What do you consider to be your most important career achievement or milestone?

My most important career achievement to date is earning the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship award. This allows me freedom to pursue my goals without worrying about funding.

What do you aspire to accomplish in your career and why? What obstacles will you overcome?

I aspire to be a scientific consultant because I love solving problems in unique ways and bringing my expertise to the table. I have already overcome many obstacles such as my former principal investigator, who abused their power and made the work environment incredibly difficult to thrive in.

Describe an amazing opportunity in your STEM career.

One potential amazing opportunity in my STEM career will be to go to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the fall and conduct research for my PhD program dissertation.

How was AWIS helped you professionally and/or personally?

AWIS has already helped me by giving me a community to engage in. It has also allowed me to share my experiences with other people so they can learn lessons or techniques on how to handle difficult situations, as well as allowing people to know they are not alone.

What is your favorite word? (only one word)


How do you define it?

The drive and ambition to persevere and overcome anything to achieve your goals.

How has this word influenced or inspired your career?

It has influenced my career greatly because I have overcome many things to realize my goals. Poverty in my youth, disparaging remarks about my gender, questioning my abilities as a researcher and scientist, and more.

What are you currently reading or listening to?

I’m currently re-reading the Throne of Glass books. I even have a tattoo of my favorite quote from the series, “You do not yield.” I’m listening to Paris Paloma, Fleetwood Mac, and Depeche Mode.

What do you consider the best professional or personal advice you’ve ever received?

The best advice I’ve ever received is to read The Prince by Machiavelli, and if you think something isn’t right, it probably isn’t.


Mac McGuire is a current Masters student at SMU, pursuing her PhD in the fall in geophysics, as well as her MBA in Business Analytics. She’s 23 years old, attending culinary school part-time, and usually found cooking or baking in the kitchen while listening to music. She loves reading political science books, running Spartan races, playing with her cats, and getting tattoos. She lives with her partner in Dallas, TX where her current goal is to work as a scientific consultant.

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