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?
Don't let your experience of STEM subjects at school/college/university influence your view of STEM careers. While I was at school I despised maths which meant I never considered a career in engineering. However I really enjoyed biology and that had a massive effect on my choosing of my degree. Fast-forward to present day and I am now working in an engineering company and I love it. Looking back I wish I had considered engineering or similar as a degree and learnt to embrace my fear of maths.
How did you get to where you are today?
Growing up I always wanted to be a vet, however as I reached A-levels I realised I no longer aspired to that career. I knew I enjoyed biology and since that and animal management was all I had ever known I ended up choosing a degree in Zoology at Cardiff University. Within half a year of my degree I knew it was the wrong subject for me, I was interested in evolution and biotechnology so changed to a Genetics degree. My new career aspiration became wanting to do a PhD and become an academic. This led me to undertaking a year in industry working on rare hereditary diseases. However I quickly realised this career wasn’t suited to me and therefore spent the rest of my degree concentrating on getting the best mark while taking part in as many opportunities as possible. I completed my degree with a first class but no idea what to do next. Up to this point I had always made rather snap decisions and so I decided to take a year out to really think about my next steps. I ended up working in a small property management firm and I hated it! But it gave me the motivation to find the perfect career. All through my life I have always loved working on projects; it was my favourite thing about my year in industry being able to run a small project from beginning to end. I starting researching project management as a career but I was keen to stay inside the STEM sector. I applied for the project management graduate role at Babcock Marine Devonport in October 2017 and got accepted in January 2018. I have been in my new role for 4 months now and it’s great. I get to work on massive projects involving submarines and warships and spent every day learning something brand new.
What do you do on a daily basis in your work?
I arrive at work for 7.30am start and go through all emails. I will then start any placement work, at the moment I am working within business improvement my time is therefore spent liaising with key stakeholders, attending and chairing meetings, problem solving tactical and strategic issues arising from the business and implementing changes. I have lunch at 11.30am, normally try and meet up with other graduates over lunch to have catch-up. After lunch I may be doing other work including organising STEM events or APM Challenge work. I may also spend my afternoons onboard a complex asset like a ship or submarine, understanding how the work I am performing has an impact with the projects undertaken by our company.
Who or what inspired you to get into STEM?
Not one thing or action inspired me into STEM. I am a trier and will give anything a go once, I found that STEM subjects interested me the most both inside and outside of work. Even now I have moved into a engineering company I still keep up to date with any genetic health news. Looking back I wish I had someone I looked up to in STEM instead I would inspire myself through hard-work. However I don't think it is vital to have an inspiration, if STEM interests and excites you that is enough! Along the way you will meet people who you inspire to be. My advice would be to contact these people, maybe even ask them to mentor you. Make the most of every opportunity offered to you and you will find you are continuously inspired.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
The multiple opportunities for learning and development, I am just starting out in my career and the opportunities available to me are endless. As someone who likes to get involved in everything it can be difficult to get the right balance however it is giving me a chance to decide where I want to take my career. I enjoy the variation day-to-day I can spend my day in the office or outside on-board.
What do you like to do outside work?
Outside of work I am into my sports mainly triathlons. Training for 3 different disciplines (swimming, cycling and running) can be challenging and demanding but is extremely rewarding. It also gets me outside enjoying the beautiful coast we have in the South West.