Where the STEM jobs are
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"My future plans are to get a solid grounding in the technical aspects of my job for the next few years, allowing me to be the single point of contact in the UK for technical issues for the Siemens wind turbine fleet"
Which university did you study at? Why did you choose to go there? What did you study and why?
I studied at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. I chose this university as it offered the course I was looking for – Aero-Mechanical Engineering - and it has a very highly accredited engineering department with well-equipped engineering faculties. The degree I chose was a good balance as I was keen on both mechanical and aeronautical engineering, however didn’t want to commit fully to one at such an early stage. The programme also offered an option for study abroad which I was keen to do as part of my degree.
Did you know from an early age that you wanted to go into SET?
I didn’t know from an early age that I would go into the engineering field, however I did gravitate towards the sciences during high school. It wasn’t until I had to make a decision regarding university choices that I decided that I was going to go into engineering. This was due both to the job prospects in the engineering field, in terms of opportunities and career progression, as well as developing more of an interest in the maths/physics side of things throughout my 5th year.
What problems (if any) did you experience as a female going into SET, how did you overcome them?
I haven’t had any major problem to be honest. The wind industry is a relatively young sector, which doesn’t give rise to many outdated or sexist views. There has been a few hiccups along the way as not everyone is comfortable with a female doing what they consider a male role, however this is something that is rare and not entertained for long. If anything I have found people tend to lean the opposite way in that I have a lot of support for being in the minority.
Can you give any advice to other young females who want to go into SET?
I would say don’t allow stereotypes or expectations to influence your choices in the slightest. If an engineering or science -based career is something you are interested in, then why let anyone else influence you otherwise. It is a good career choice with excellent opportunities for progression and travel. I would say that it is important to get a solid grounding in maths and science at university and to make the most of the opportunities you have at university in terms of societies, study abroad, different classes, work experience etc.
What are your future plans?
My future plans are to get a solid grounding in the technical aspects of my job for the next few years, allowing me to be the single point of contact in the UK for technical issues for the Siemens wind turbine fleet. At this stage I couldn’t say what would come after that, although with this background I feel confident that I will have a lot of opportunities down the line.