Patricia Kelly is a third year student studying Biochemistry and Immunology at Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences and is currently taking part in the STEMAspire programme. STEMAspire is a year-long mentoring programme by global technology giant Dell. The programme is for undergraduate female students and was created to help tackle gender inequalities in the technology sector. Throughout the next twelve months, Patricia along with the other participants, will receive one-to-one mentoring, as well as attending various on-site events with Dell. Patricia shares her STEMAspire experience so far.
Why I chose to take part in STEMAspire
Prior to joining the STEMAspire programme I did not have any experience in the technology sector, however this programme was of interest to me because I think it is important to expand your skillset outwith that of your core subject. By gaining experience in technology sector I will gain an insight into a different industry, and as well as this, I will be introduced to a professional work environment, allowing for the opportunity to increase in confidence.
The programme was kick-started at a launch event, which took place at Dell EMC, Glasgow in October. At the launch event, we got the opportunity to speak to last year’s graduates and we heard what benefits they got from their participation in the programme. It was great to hear their achievements and how they had personally developed in those twelve months. Team building activities were also set up to help us meet new people from different universities and colleges. This was an excellent way to meet other people who were in the same position and find out what their motivations were for their participation. At the launch event, we also got to meet our mentor, who we were matched with according to our results in the Myers Briggs personality test taken prior to the programme launch.
Experience so far
What amazed me about STEMAspire is that it really is all about you. You get to design the programme yourself, tailor it around the skills you want to develop and choose what you want to work on over the year, meaning that the experience is different for every mentee. This also allows a great degree of flexibility within the mentorship, as you can have your meetings when best suits you, and therefore does not get in the way of any uni work. With only one month in, already I have benefited in many aspects. Self-evaluation tasks and the construction of a document with scientific articles to help expand my general knowledge on key areas I am interested in, are just a couple of examples.
Over the next year, I will have continued meetings with my mentor. I will also attend the STEMAspire quarterly events, in which all the mentees and mentors come together, and take part in workshops for specific skills development. There are also some additional networking events planned for the near future. I look forward to the challenges in the upcoming months and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the programme will entail!