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By Roadtrip Nation

Dima Elissa

Highlight

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
Was born in Beirut and grew up in rural Indiana; her father was a surgeon and both of her parents were very strict and disciplined.
She got a degree in chemistry from Hanover College, a small school in Indiana.
After graduating early, she told her parents she was going on a road trip to attend a friend’s wedding.
Instead, she ran away to Chicago, where she hoped she’d find a community that would be more accepting of her sexual identity.
Says she grew her greatest strength from forcing herself into that position, where she had no one to rely upon except herself.
Once she’d settled in Chicago, she decided she really wanted to work at NutraSweet, a large chemical company that produces artificial sweeteners.
She decided to send a job application not only to human resources, but also to NutraSweet’s vice president, who ultimately hired her.
She’s since pivoted into 3D printing, which she believes will “shape and reimagine our futures”; she’s the founder and CEO of VisMed-3D, a biomedical 3D printing company.
Keep following my journey

Career

Founder / CEO

We design and 3D print medical devices, body parts, and innovative instruments for healthcare.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Medicine
Technology
Building Things

Day to Day

As a founder and CEO, I spend my days negotiating mergers, directing and driving operations and profitability, and looking for new startups to partner with or help launch. I oversee the team as we design and create innovative instruments for healthcare. I use patient MRI and CT data to convert files for surgeons to use as guides and aids for pre-surgical assistance. In addition to this, I devote a lot of my energy to giving guidance to women founders and entrepreneurs in technology.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

Being a woman in technology is not easy. It is sometimes a very difficult industry to navigate. At the end of the day, my clients don't care if I'm a man or a woman, they care if I do good work. Value is what matters. Always think about what you are doing or could be doing to increase your value to your audience.

Recommended Education

My career is not related to what I studied. I'd recommend this path instead:

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Family:

"Why don't you just become a cardiovascular surgeon like your father?"

Challenges I Overcame

LGBT
First-Generation Immigrant

Interviewed By

Code Trip

Code Trip

Code Trip Roadtrip