27 Jan 2020

Let’s Talk About Routes Into STEM

Routes Into STEM - directions gif | Stemettes Zine

My route into STEM was always pretty linear – although not without the bumps along the way. Up to A-levels, I was doing a mix of both science and history. Eventually, I decided I’d rather stick with the sciences and applied for medicine. I’m still wading my way through medical school but it’s absolutely the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.

There’s so much opportunity at the other end, that I keep changing my mind about what I want to do when I get the opportunity to specialise! Shall I do forensics? Emergency medicine? Research? Radiology? Who knows! Every time I learn about a new speciality I get excited about the opportunity to learn more. For anyone else who wants to go into medicine, I’d say that it’s challenging, but in the best way. It’s a combination of problem solving, teamwork, and all of my favourite parts of science wrapped together. It’s a fantastic path to go down to keep your options open – you can do so much with a medicine degree that isn’t just being a doctor!
Ella, Second Year Medical Student

I’m definitely the making it up as I go along kind of girl. My main recommendation is to take subjects you legitimately enjoy, try lots of things out whether it be work experience, Stemette events, lectures, books, a mentor, and something will click someday. 
Sophie, Studying the IB


Routes Into STEM - do what you love gif | Stemettes Zine

I decided that I loved STEM, so I decided to study it. No one else but you should be able to tell you what you can or can’t do. I started with hackathons/coding camps, as well as additional maths classes. I did science/maths/computer science at GCSE, and then Computer Science and Maths at A-level. Now, my degree is in Economics and Management which I always knew I wanted to do. Economics is essentially applied maths, and it’s a great way to expand beyond the traditional STEM subjects. I’d love to be an entrepreneur, running my own social enterprise. I love the idea that I can carry on my passion with STEM subjects in an unconventional way whilst pursuing a career that’s hard work, flexible, and that wouldn’t exist without you starting it.

Be unashamedly you. Don’t be afraid to break the mould and likewise, don’t be afraid to follow a path you think you ‘don’t stand a chance in’ because it’s going to be super competitive. I’d advise you find a mentor to give you advice – just send an email around to people who inspire you, you’d be surprised how many people are super willing to help. And remember, you are worthy and amazing, there is nothing you can’t do if you put your mind to it, so dream big!
Joana, University Student

Letter To My Teenage Self: Karen - typing gif | Stemettes Zine

I was always good at maths but wasn’t sure I wanted to study it at university, but then went to a university open day and loved the talk by the maths department so much that I made up my mind. I didn’t end up going to that university, but I’m in the last year of my maths degree somewhere different, and so glad I chose to study it! My ideal STEM career is using something where I can use the knowledge and skills I’ve gained from the degree, together with my personality, to make a positive difference to people’s lives globally.

My advice is to go for it if you want to, because even if you’re not feeling too confident with it at the moment, or worried about going into a male-dominated industry, don’t worry because that confidence will come, and the STEM industries are getting so much better in terms of gender diversity. Don’t let worries stop you because it’s honestly so rewarding to be doing something you’re interested in and are good at (whether that’s STEM-related or not).
Rhea, Maths Student

I want to become a pilot for the RAF and although it’s not the most conventional, ‘uni STEM’ kind of route, it obviously takes a lot of science to make it. I’m currently in year 11 so have been looking at Sixth Forms and options and I am set on taking maths and physics. I wasn’t always completely set on taking triple science at GCSE but since the beginning of the course, I genuinely believe it is the best choice I have made. I know that a lot of the stuff you learn at GCSE is super-simplified from the way it actually is but I feel like I have learned so much and have fallen in love with learning about, well everything. I know there’s so much of a journey ahead of me as I’m still only at GCSE but I’d love to help inspire people.
Katy-Rose, School

I am trying to become a Software Developer I am in the process. My ideal career is Project Management and I think software development is a good starting point. Don’t just rely on school to give you contacts, go out there and network. Stemettes is a great place to help you with that and build your confidence.
Jess, Exploring Her Options

This article was written by members of the Stemette Society.


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