Grace Ward

Works Chemist at Monarch Chemicals Ltd

Why did you become an Ambassador?
When I first heard about STEMNET and what it was about, I really wanted to get involved. Being a young female in the science industry I felt I could offer my knowledge and experience of getting to where I am today. I hope I can inspire others to have the confidence to pursue a career in Science, to give them an insight into what a career in science is about and the many different ways you can get there. Even if you feel there are a few obstacles in your way, if you work hard and have the determination, you can achieve whatever you want to in life. 

How much time do you commit to Ambassador Activities?
I commit a few weeks over the year, varying from work experience and day activities in schools.

What activities have you been involved in?
I take part in a 2 or 3 events a year which vary between half day to whole day events. These have been mock interviews where I aim to give students who lack the confidence, the self-belief to pursue the career they want to. When I was at school I was lacking in confidence myself and I want to show the students that if I can succeed then so can everyone else. I also have work experience students with me which started last year for a week and I have two students a year at the moment to shadow my job. This gives a good idea of what is involved in a job in chemistry and they can see that there are many more aspects of a chemist’s job than the experiments in the lab. I also feel I can give advice and tell them of my own experiences with regards to their further education in science.

What do you feel were the positive outcomes for the pupils?
The primary outcome for the students is confidence. To see someone else in the industry and gain an insight into their job can boost students determination to succeed and to make a decision to whether that career is right for them or not. They also gain the knowledge of what is involved in different jobs and the range of jobs that are out there all relating to science.

What do you feel were the positive outcomes for yourself?
Through STEM NET I feel it has benefited me just as much as the students themselves. It has improved my confidence greatly to talk about my job and what I do, which also proves to me that I do know what I am talking about. It gives me a proud feeling that I are doing something good for the students and the company I represent.

Do you have any tips for future STEM Ambassadors?
My tips would be for anyone in STEM related jobs to get involved. You are not only inspiring a new generation of scientists but will have great benefits your self-confidence and meeting other like-minded people. I would make sure you have the time available to help at events but you only need to complete one a year. Also if you feel you do not want to complete an activity on your own, you can buddy up with other ambassadors to start with as well until you feel comfortable on your own. I feel for me that the main thing I want to fulfil from any event or activity is to give the students and insight into my job and what is involved as well as the other options out there but to also give them confidence to pursue the career they want to as I have found a lot of students lack the confidence to do what they really want to with no reason why they shouldn't.

 

"To see someone else in the industry and gain an insight into their job can boost students determination to succeed and to make a decision as to whether that career is right for them or not."