What is your current Job Title or Role?
Project Management Graduate
What advice would you have for young women who are interested in a STEM career or job?
Find a role model and/or mentor whose work and career path you admire, and build on this inspiration to develop your own career ambitions. Do something that you love, but also try and balance your passion with consideration of the prospects of your chosen career (I wish someone had said this to me when I was at school!), e.g. - Are you interested in working abroad? In another part of the UK? Or nearer to home? - Are you analytical? Or people focussed? - Do you want a career where you can travel? - Do the salary prospects of the subject match up to your expectations? Both immediately after graduating and long-term? Don’t let factors such as the percentage of women in your career of interest influence your decision. In my experience, being one of only a few women within a STEM degree/profession can actually be an advantage, as you can offer an alternative perspective on challenges, contributing to smarter and more innovative solutions.
How did you get to where you are today?
I have always had a strong interest in all things STEM. Since my early childhood I have been passionate about understanding how the world around me works - from the macro to the micro - and this has translated through into my career. I studied Chemistry at University, but was faced with a challenge during my placement, where I developed allergic reactions to many common chemicals within the laboratory. This discovery meant that a traditional 'lab chemist' career was no longer an option for me. I therefore changed the direction of my career to find a role where I could utilise my scientific knowledge without the hands-on laboratory element. My first role was therefore with a company manufacturing equipment for the IVF Industry (micromanipulators and lasers), which required an in-depth technical knowledge of both the subject of IVF itself, and the practical skills to be able to assemble, disassemble and demonstrate the equipment for workshops and exhibitions. This was a great experience for me, as alongside traditional STEM skills I was also able to develop my project management skills – a discipline that was well suited to my analytical, organised and thorough approach to tasks. From there, I took the step to focus on and further develop my abilities within project management by ja local company on their Project Management Graduate Scheme. I have been on the scheme since August 2018, and have loved the opportunities that this new career direction has opened up for me, both in terms of working towards formal qualification as a chartered project professional (ChPP) and working within an engineering company, learning about the complex infrastructure and equipment, and understanding the engineering principles behind everything that my workplace do.
What do you do on a daily basis in your work?
Every day is different! But in general terms, my role involves getting things to happen how they should, when they should, and within budget. I’m currently on a graduate placement scheme, so I move around the company on different placements within different departments, where projects could be focussed on submarines, warships and/or their associated equipment.
Who or what inspired you to get into STEM?
Supportive parents who made me believe that anything was possible; inspirational teachers; and a natural curiosity and drive to understand the world around me.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I most enjoy the opportunities to learn from colleagues who are experts in their field, understanding how the advanced and cutting edge technologies and equipment we use function and contribute to the wider engineering challenges being tackled.
What do you like to do outside work?
Getting outdoors and active; I love mountain biking; body boarding, coasteering, climbing, hiking, swimming... this list goes on!