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17th December 2018

Thirteen first year female STEM students recently attended the Monster Confidence Conference in the centre of the city and enjoyed an inspirational day of workshops and talks.

Chloe Jones shares her views

Chloe Jones shares her views

The event, which visits 5 cities across the UK, aims to engage young women who want a boost into their STEM career and inform them of the many options and career paths that are available. We caught up with Kirsty Richens, who shared her experience of the day.

"Throughout the day, we took part in several workshops such as Speed Mentoring, Mock Interviews, and Presenting with Confidence (where we were advised to practise our 'Power Poses' before an important presentation). These helped me feel more confident about speaking to potential employers in the future, as well as giving me some useful advice on how to develop my career prospects (for example, I was advised to take a look at Penetration Testing as I'm interested in computing, and to look at Oxford Mathematics Lectures and Residentials as I am interested in reading Maths at university). 

Later on in the day, there was a panel compromised of six inspirational women in STEM, one of whom was Nicola Grahamslaw who is the SS Great Britain's Conservation Engineer. I found this panel very helpful as it showed me that although women are outnumbered by men in many fields of STEM related careers, it does not mean that we are any less entitled to our roles. Another interesting point that was raised was that the most successful companies are those with the greatest diversity, something which I feel emulates the success of St Brendan's as a diverse college. It also made me feel empowered to know that not only would I love a career in STEM, but that STEM companies need me - need women - to solve problems that are not thought of in a male-orientated field. Did you know that when seat belts and air bags where first invented, they killed women and children as the crash test dummies were based on the average dimensions of a man?

Of course, being held at Just Eat, there was plenty of food provided throughout the day from muffins to apples. Lunch was a banquet of take-away pizza, which was devoured very quickly. Also at lunch, we were encouraged to partake in many challenges, such as a quiz about the job website which has plenty of career advice. I happened to win this quiz and so I was invited to a behind-the-scenes tour of the SS Great Britain which I am very much looking forward to!

All in all, the day was very beneficial for all, and I am very glad that I attended and had the opportunity to meet some great women."

- Kirsty Richens, first year St Brendan's student