Una Song has experience in management, marketing, and sales at Fortune 500 companies and the Federal Government. She started at the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) at the end of 2017 and currently manages a variety of technical assistance programs, including: Environmental Management Systems; Endangered Species; Site Resilience; and Composting. She also manages her Team’s web presence and recently redesigned the office’s online technical assistance portal. Prior to DOE, she was at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Association of Energy Services Companies, Dell, IBM, and AT&T, as well as consulting to small businesses. Una has a Bachelor of Science from Duke University and a Master of Business Administration from the New York University Stern School of Business.
What inspired you to work in STEM?
I was good with computers in high school and was encouraged by my teacher to pursue this area of study. My father was a nuclear engineer and also encouraged me to go into STEM.
What excites you about your work at the Energy Department?
I really enjoy the diversity of missions and projects here at the Department. I manage a number of different technical assistance areas – some in sustainability, others in environmental compliance. We work with all the Sites, who have diverse missions, depending on the Program Office with which they are aligned. Many Sites are managed by contractors, therefore there are many different program missions, contractors, and issue areas that we need to deal with on a regular basis. I love this variety.
How can our country engage more women, girls, and other underrepresented groups in STEM?
By emphasizing that there are many different types of jobs in STEM and that STEM fields need diversity in order to thrive. There’s the “hard core” STEM jobs where you’re working in a lab, running experiments, and writing papers. Then there’s the outreach and technical assistance side that I’m in. You work with STEM subjects but you have to bridge the gap between the scientific and other communities to help them understand each other’s perspective. Science that stays in a lab cannot be impactful if it can’t be communicated to and used by a broader audience.
Do you have tips you'd recommend for someone looking to enter your field of work?
Be patient. Careers are often a long and winding road. Rarely does someone end their career in the same place they started. Also, be on the lookout for opportunities to grow and move beyond your comfort areas.
When you have free time, what are your hobbies?
Spending time with friends and family. I like to try new restaurants. My husband and I enjoy biking, hiking, skiing. I used to be an Angry Birds high scorer but hung up my slingshot to try new video games.
Learn more about our programs & resources for women and girls in STEM at http://www.energy.gov/women