Thursday, 13 August 2015

Huge News: I am the first EVER 'Sparx of the Month' Ambassador! #ilooklikeanengineer

People of the internet, this is really happening.

I am the first person ever to become a Sparx Ambassador.  As 'Sparx of the Month' I have been named as a month-long ambassador encouraging people, especially children, and even more especially girls, to consider and enter STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers. What an honour, I am incredibly grateful. My campaign feature in a Q+A interview format, learning more about me and how I ended up studying my degree, can be read here: www.sparxx.org.uk/sparx-of-the-month.html

Of course, #ilooklikeanengineer . Naturally so.

Sparxx is a new initiative created by Women's Engineering Society (WES), the group who created National Women in Engineering Day (NWED). Sparxx will inspire 11-18 year olds to enter STEM careers. The interesting concept about Sparxx is that they want to support the use of artistic and creative skills in people entering STEM careers. They do this with the very simply effective and straightforward message: Use your technical and creative skills to enter into STEM. 


From the national (maybe international) positive reception I got for my National Women in Engineering Day blogpost, I realised that I helped so many people. In the blogpost I gave exposure to two female university students, friends of mine, working in the STEM-related industries; myself and my friends gave a shedload of advice to other students about internships and how to secure one; lastly, my blog contributed to the infectious and inspiring energy that National Women in Engineering Day (NWED) was generating. A whole lot of good deeds. Writing the article made me feel really good; the feedback and globe-trotting readability made me feel even better because it meant the tips were being passed along. All that positiveness led to this amazing opportunity - being asked to become the first 'Sparxx of the Month', and collaborate with WES and NWED

For some reason, there is a notion that you have to choose between humanities and technical subjects/careers, or that the skills in each category are antagonistic. In honesty, there are some professions where combining artistic and technical skills and knowledge is not needed. However, there are a great number of professions that thrive on individuals using both skill-sets together. Engineering is a perfect example. There are, arguably, 35 types of engineering professions and each use creativity in different ways. In my opinion, Engineering utilises various intensities of creativity across all its disciplines.

A look at Grand Designs episodes ('love this programme) shows the magic when architects, structural engineers, civil engineers, chemical engineers, mechanical engineers, carpenters, and other STEM and non-STEM related professions come together to create beautiful interpretations of what a home is.

Rightly put by the people of Sparxx, STEM careers involve 'CRESTA' - CReativity, Engineering, Science, Technology, Art. There is a new era for females in STEM subjects and the #ilooklikeanengineer movement epitomises that in a globally exciting way. Amina, who took my interview, has written an article on this new era. I thoroughly enjoyed sharing my story into STEM with Sparxx, thankful that I was chosen to help launch the initiative and international campaign as the first Sparx of the Month, and so proud that I even managed to sneak a cheeky mention of Nikola Tesla in one of my answers! I cannot wait to see what else life has in store for me. How amazing that starting this blog when I was 19 with a desire to 'take courage' and figure out how I can apply the attitude to my personal and work life, can lead to an opportunity like this. How brilliant it feels when being yourself is praised, wanted, and appreciated. I hope everyone gets to feel the same way.

Take Courage,

Olivia

(PS - Reading my interview on the Sparxx website, perhaps having coffee with Nikola would been hugely inspiring. Yet, whether he would have been manifested before or after he attempted to make a death-ray gun was not confirmed or clarified. The taste of fear and coffee does not sound like a palatable pairing... so I put my tastebuds before Tesla. SorryNotSorry, buddy.)

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