#MonsterConfidence has returned in full force, and our first stop was of the tour was Edinburgh, hosted by Heriot-Watt University. And what a comeback!

Team Stemette were really excited to welcome all the girls in Edinburgh. Already knowing how amazing the day would be, we were looking forward to sharing our excitement with all the girls who has not experienced #MonsterConfidence before. The girls were a bit unsure of what to expect and hesitant. An hour later, you could feel the excitement for the day to come.

Aisling Doyle, Engineering PhD, kicked off the day with a very inspiring keynote on her journey in STEM. One of the biggest lessons she passed on to all the girls in the room? “Watch your language – you are not a woman engineer. You are an engineer who happens to be a woman!”

Following her, was Karen Coulthard from GRAHAM Construction, with a lightning talk about her STEM career which got everyone excited for the day to come.

And then we were off – we had speed mentoring, panels and so many other activities going on at the same time.

The photobooth was also back with our signature purple wig, as a show of #MonsterConfidence. With that, we can definitely say social media was LIT – #lassiesinSTEM. Nothing beats the purple wig coupled with our very own Snapchat filter. This year, we ran a series of Social Media challenges – needless to say, competition was fierce across all platforms.

Our panelists ranged from Petrophysicists to Neuroscientists to Environmental Engineers. All great women, doing great work in STEM. The sky truly is the limit on where you can go and what you can achieve. A huge thank you to all of them for coming to show that we can, and we will.

Speed mentoring was the highlight session of the day. Everyone really cherished having the opportunity of a one-to-one with a person from within the industry. Don’t ever underestimate how much of difference, a few minutes with someone that already does what you dream of, can make on your career.

Our exhibitors were sensational, and we had some great contributions. EDF Energy, RBS, Pfizer were there showing and telling us about what they do and how more women would make a difference in their companies. Raytheon, The OR Society and Veolia also had fun and interactive stands.

The afternoon sessions were ushered in by Beatrice Pelloni – Head of Maths & Computer Science at Heriot-Watt University. Another very inspiring woman within STEM, having travelled all over the world pursuing her studies. Yet another story of pure inspiration. After a lightning talk from Lisa McKenzie who works for Veolia it was back to workshops.

We finished the day with two final lightning talks: from Victoria Stephens (OR Society) and Sharon Vass (Napier University) and then went into a series of fun challenges. The most important of which was our Soapbox Challenge. Five girls, filled with #MonsterConfidence got up in front of 100 people and told everyone what they had taken from the day.

This is what #MonsterConfidence is all about – giving girls practical skills through workshops and real interactions with the industry that brings out the purple monster in all of us.

Edinburgh, thank you for showing up and kicking off #MonsterConfidence with a BANG (a big one ;)! We couldn’t have asked for better. Photos are now up on our Flickr and a video will be up on our YouTube shortly.

Thank you to our hosts Heriot-Watt University, Tour Prize Partners Veolia and Candy Kittens for being our Sweets Partner. Of course, big thanks to Monster for being the star of the show. For more details about the tour, visit monsterconfidence.co.uk

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