16 Dec

Safiya Truchet (4A1) attended a week of work experience in Accenture, a science and technology company, in early November. This week aimed to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) for teenage girls. Safiya was then chosen to speak on a panel with employees of Accenture and various other companies, about research Accenture had completed titled “What next for STEM?”. This took place in Grand Canal Dock last week and three of Safiya’s friends from Transition Year attended to support her.

Please read Safiya’s article below on her experience;

During my TY work experience week at Accenture – a tech based company, I partook in an STEM camp specifically for girls, in an attempt to bridge the gender gap between girls and boys in tech careers. Initially I had a negative mindset starting the week. I believed that I would be sitting at a computer coding, and not really doing much. However, this was not the case. From the moment I arrived we were doing hands on, creative learning. Participating in helpful workshops such as; how to set up your LinkedIN account, what makes a good CV, how to give great presentations so people will listen, designing an app, and even reinventing the chair. A far cry from what I had in mind. Then there were the science labs. Inside they had robots, an air balloon that had been to space, Alexa operated lockers and even Haptic Suits, donated by Tesla.

All this proved very eye opening into the world of technology. It isn’t all about sitting at a desk, rather it is about creativity, having an open mind, stepping out of your comfort zone and teamwork. I learnt that you really don’t need to be the best at subjects to be in a STEM career, you only need to have a passion for the things you study. I chose to speak about this at the panel because STEM career/subject choices in todays generation are drastically declining. A consequence that our future generations will have to deal with as STEM careers will be the most needed. For example, did you know that the highest ranking career choice in Ireland for teens is teaching? Rather than the 1% that want to be Architects. Now I’m not saying that you can’t be a Teacher, however talking at the panel and researching into the ‘Accenture What Now For Stem’ report taught me that actually 59% of students are most likely to give up a difficult subject such as Higher Level Maths because of the pressure even if they have a love for it.

How does this impact you? You may be wondering what all of this has to do with you? You may like art and animals. After meeting a graduate from UCD at Accenture who studied zoology at college. And I loving art, figured out about product design: a career that involves drawing things to make anything from bicycles to loofas taught me that all you need to do to be in a STEM career is to be passionate about the things you do. “Do or do not, there is no try” – Master Yoda