BECOMING A STEM AMBASSADOR.
When I was first made aware of STEM Networking and the role they play in the engineering and construction industry I had no hesitation in enrolling myself on the induction and putting myself forward as a STEM Ambassador.
Throughout my career I have been placed in many positions of seniority and management – I have been responsible for engineering teams and have been the line manager of staff members at all levels. From team managers to juniors and apprentices my approach to management and leadership has always remained the same.
I have always felt a sense of responsibility for all the people I have managed - making their careers and future advancement a priority. Because I have empathy to their needs and can relate to the position they are in, it has given me a great relationship with all the staff I have managed. I believe that having personally been in similar situations to theirs, or simply understanding their needs, I can relate to many of the issues they have to deal with.
By making their goals an important part of their working lives and creating an understanding environment builds trust within a team and therefore makes the team stronger and more robust.
'Your team believes in you, and knows you have their best interests at heart'
With this in mind and with the experiences I’ve had, I believed the qualities I could bring as a STEM Ambassador to schools and universities would be a valuable asset and could, in a small way, help in the UK wide campaign to bring engineering to the forefront of younger peoples thinking. Starting my career as a trainee and working for both small consultancies and large multi-disciplinary global practises I can explain, and give a better understanding of, careers and pathways within the engineering industry.
Currently engineering has a workforce of professionals that need to pass on their experiences and knowledge to the younger generation of engineers and technicians, allowing them to carry forward the built environment and infrastructure projects of the future. There is huge potential for entrepreneurs and leaders to change and develop how engineering is delivered in the future and we need to enthuse and support apprentices and graduates, giving them the tools and knowledge necessary to create the buildings for the future.
Preparing the next generation of professionals before they leave school or college to be better equipped for business and work life is essential to help them succeed. Giving them an understanding of what to expect and what will be expected of them will help to put some reality into their potential aspirations. By motivating and inspiring students prior to, and at the beginning of their professional journey, we can create a mindset to achieve great things at work but also encourage and nurture young people into loving what they do.
I have a passion for engineering, but I also have a passion in wanting everyone to succeed within their chosen profession. I believe that school leavers and college/university students need to be aware of the hard work, patience and dedication it takes to be successful. In the business world things never run smoothly and it can be all too easy for younger people to give up and feel demotivated when they find themselves in situations that are difficult to deal with. Being given the right advice and encouragement early can make a huge difference to how situations can be dealt with.
Creating a career is a long-term investment in yourself and to become experienced takes many years of work and training – this MUST be something that the next generation has to be made aware of. With everything in life today being instantly available, it can easily be seen as failure if you haven’t achieved perceived goals you have set yourself in short time frames. We have a duty to educate and develop an understanding that there is no such thing as ‘an overnight success’ – it takes lots of time to accomplish success, and success is achieved in many ways.
Serving as a STEM Ambassador will help me to reach many young people in schools, colleges and universities to give them an understanding of work life and perhaps educate them further and better prepare them for their futures.