PHutures – 100 Alumni Voices »

Ashley Pitt

“With curiosity, if you stick with it long enough, over time you develop some type of knowledge base. You learn how to ask questions. And I think that is the uniform translatable skill that will help you for the rest of your life, no matter what you do.”

Krieger School of Arts & Sciences

Biology, PhD 2022

Associate at McKinsey & Co.

Ashley‘s Podcast Episode

In this episode, we discuss Ashley’s childhood interest in science and what led her to pursue a PhD in Biology at Johns Hopkins, the ways curiosity has guided her personal and professional journey and helped her to develop the crucial skill of asking questions, and her take on the importance of communication, accessibility, and equity in the sciences and beyond.

Learn More About Ashley‘s Story

I spent most of my childhood rotating the “what I want to do when I grow up” around different types of scientists. The first to find me was “dino doctor”. I was fascinated by paleontology and drawn to research, the focus required and spirit of exploration. My guiding principles then for what I want to do when I grow up follow me now: 1) have fun 2) pursue things that allow you to find answers to the questions you find interesting 3) it’s okay to rotate or pivot; when you grow up is just one time point of many and it can take many paths. Kid me learned that I can always pivot and try a new thing, sometimes it’s a job, sometimes it’s collecting fossils, joining the paleo society or just rushing to the natural history museum in any city. Curiosity doesn’t get lost if you follow it.

This photo is me on my 40th birthday hike in Hawaii. I never could have imagined how a degree in International Relations would lead me to the Aloha State. Now I get to surf, hike, and live aloha on a daily basis while making a difference in the state government and the community in general. Incidentally, my previous professional experience working as a development economist in the Caribbean regions has proved to be very useful as I work in the Hawaiian Islands.