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Vicki Jeffery: An internship with WISE

Vicki Jeffery

The absolute highlight of my time working with WISE was the WISE Awards and Conference 2015

14 January 2016

When I was told that I was required to undertake an internship as part of my PhD studentship, I was very excited at the prospect of working in a different field, and knew straight away that I wanted to work in Science Communication. When the opportunity to work with WISE to help inspire more young girls to consider careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), an issue which I am passionate about arose, I leapt at the chance and immediately contacted WISE. I was delighted that my application was successful and began my 12 week internship at the end of September, 2015.

Launch event of People like me

I attended the launch of the revolutionary People Like Me resources prior to beginning my internship and was pleased to have the opportunity to get involved with this project at the rolling-out stage.

Create your Future event, Leeds

I was able to attend a variety of WISE’s events, including a Knowledge Sharing Event at RAF Cranwell. At this event, corporate and organisational members of WISE were able to get together and share ideas on how to engage girls in STEM. The attendees then also had the unique opportunity to observe the delivery of the People Like Me resources, by Shagufta Sharif (WISE) to 60 school girls who were attending the RAF Residential week – this was the first time I had seen the People Like Me resources in action, and was a real highlight of my time at WISE. I also attended a Create Your Future (CYF) event in Leeds with WISE associate, Fay Best, where 70 young girls and their teachers or parents attended to learn more about careers in STEM; the girls completed the People Like Me quiz, and met with inspirational role models to discuss their results. At the CYF event, the feedback suggested the girls were inspired to consider a career in STEM, with one girl stating ‘’I might change what I thought I would do – Hair and Beauty to Engineering!’’. It was fantastic to see how attendance at just one WISE event can change individuals’ perceptions and challenge the stereotypes associated with careers in STEM.

WISE Awards

The absolute highlight of my time working with WISE was the WISE Awards and Conference 2015. The WISE awards are an annual event to recognise inspiring individuals and organisations who are taking steps to address the key objective of WISE, to promote STEM to young girls and women. At this event there were 450 individuals including award winners, nominated individuals, supporters, and corporate members of WISE – and the awards were presented by HRH The Princess Royal. This was a unique opportunity where 450 individuals who are all passionate about WISE’s key message, to get more young girls involved in STEM, get together to celebrate the fantastic work which is being done across the UK.

I hugely enjoyed my time working with WISE and I hope to be involved in the future as an ambassador delivering the People Like Me resources to girls in schools across Norfolk, where I have returned to complete my PhD studies.

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