As she shaped her dreams, they led her, quite literally, to the bathroom when she accepted an internship with the Geberit Group – a well-known European leader in sanitary products. There she learned about industrial operations, fresh and wastewater piping, and expanded her horizons on environmental issues.
Great achievement comes from surviving the lows
As a young scientist, Aegerter expresses concern for the lack of female mentorship for young women to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). She observes, “We need brave women in STEM at all levels of the education system who can inspire young women earlier in life, as well as later in life, showing us how to balance personal aspirations with academic goals…the entrepreneurial world needs female investors and role models too.”
Emerging inventors often face tremendous set-backs. Even Thomas Edison, who is not only famous for inventing the lightbulb, but also for never giving up, once said of his failures, “I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” The key to survival, according to Aegerter, is perspective, patience, and resilience in the face of adversity. “If things do not go right, go left,” she says.
Aegerter is quick to note; however, that success does not take place in a vacuum. “It takes a team, a family – an entire support network for anyone to be successful.” She credits her parents for always making her feel valued. She also expresses gratitude for her Antefil co-founders who supported her through both the good and the bad times. They held up a mirror that helped her reflect on her progress and see her way through the moments of disappointment when she all but considered giving up on her experiments. Thanks to their support, the Antefil team has filed a patent and Nicole Aegerter is finishing up her doctoral dissertation. With some reflection she says, “Some of my greatest achievements in life have been simply surviving the lows.”