BLOG: Being a Woman in STEM
A great read from one of our 4Youth Community members, who talks about how much she loves her job in STEM!
Science has always been my passion and it has been an aspiration of mine to have a career in the industry. My first dream job was to be a vet – this was quickly vetoed after my sister told me where my hands would end up! After I finished my A Levels, I spent some time working in retail as a visual merchandiser. This mainly involved squeezing myself into tiny gaps to change window displays and almost being flattened every time I tried to change a mannequin. After I realised retail wasn’t for me, I spent some time working in the food industry helping to develop new food-to-go products. After realising, again, that this wasn’t something I wanted to do long term, I left in search of a science-based role.
University was something that didn’t really appeal to me. Looking back, if I had made the decision to go to university, I would certainly have more friends! But you know what they say, quality over quantity….. unfortunately either one applies!
I am currently working as an apprentice Bioengineering and Chemistry technician. My role is very varied, and every day is different. I am constantly learning new things and putting them into practice, and I am excited to complete my apprenticeship at the end of the year and grow within the world of science. Apprenticeships have always appealed to me because I like the hybrid approach of learning and working. Before I came across this apprenticeship, I didn’t think it was possible for me to access a role like this without a degree.
I have learnt a great deal so far including learning how to use and carry out maintenance on different equipment, giving training to post-graduate students and staff and helping in the teaching labs supporting undergraduate students. Some days are very reactive, and I have to deal with equipment malfunctions and things going wrong in the lab. Fortunately this doesn’t happen often, although I must admit I like the change of pace – just don’t tell my manager!
When I am not engrossed in the world of science, I spend my time following my cat around the house (I wish that was a metaphor) and travelling to different worlds via the pages of a good book. I am also a huge foodie, and as a newcomer to London I am always out and about discovering new food spots.
I have always had great admiration for women in STEM careers and now I am in that position myself. As a young woman I am honoured to be able to fly the flag and hopefully inspire other young women to pursue a career in science and engineering.
“As a young woman I am honoured to be able to fly the flag and hopefully inspire other young women to pursue a career in science and engineering.”
I have just over six months left of apprenticeship, and I am loving every second of it. I feel like my love for my job comes across and I have received some excellent feedback so far. My hard work and appetite for learning has resulted in me being nominated for the Papin Prizes, an award that recognises the invaluable role of technicians across the country. I must admit it was an incredibly proud moment.
As the wise philosopher Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”.
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”