What was your dream career when you were younger?
Vet or zoo keeper
What subjects did you study at school?
I did maths, physics, English, modern studies, drama, French, history and geography.
Geography was my favourite subject and I studied this right up to your equivalent of advanced higher. I also enjoyed English.
Who or what has been your biggest inspiration?
My high school geography teacher. She would show us pictures of her travels which made geography real. It’s probably why I like to travel so much now too!
How have the subjects you studied at school helped you in your career?
I was always interested in geography, and to me the job I wanted to do was going to be environmental or in sustainability. I’m now a Stakeholder Manager with a focus on environment so I use my communication, listening and writing skills from English class to engage with different members of the public in a number of different ways. When we talk about our infrastructure projects we work on I can use my environmental knowledge to explain what the impacts of the project are going to be on the environment and how we mitigate them. These use my geography skills I learned in school.
Please briefly describe your STEM journey since leaving school.
Whilst I don’t work directly in STEM, because I work for an engineering company, I work with a lot of people where STEM is a big part of their job. From the STEM knowledge I got from school, I’m able to communicate with those people on their specialist subject even with my basic STEM knowledge. This is why it’s important to try hard at subjects even if you’re not going to use them in your career, because you never know who you’re going to meet or work with in the future!
What skills do you utilise most in your career?
I work with the public to explain projects to them, keep them updated and hear their views. I use skills such as communication, problem solving, creativity, decision making, leadership and organisational skills to do this but the biggest skill I use in my job is to listen! We have one mouth and two ears for a reason!
What advice would you give to any young people considering a STEM career?
Don’t pick classes by which ones your friends are doing. You can see them at break, lunch and out of school. If you enjoy a subject, pick it because it may well be what you have a career in and there’s nothing better than when you love your job!