One of the best parts about working on Careers with STEM is talking to a wide range of inspiring scientists, tech role models, engineers and maths experts who all have exciting jobs and fascinating study and career pathways to share. Below, we have rounded up career tips for STEM students that five of these STEM peeps have shared with us. These are great to keep in mind while considering your own path and where you’d like STEM to take you in the future.
1. Work out your goals
Materials engineer, Laura Clemente, says the first step to STEM career success is to know yourself and your goals.
“A career in STEM is rarely easy, and there will always be new problems and challenges to be encountered, she says. “If you’re the type of person to back down when faced with hard problems that would really make you think, then you may want to reconsider. But, if you like all sorts of puzzles and challenges, then STEM is the right path for you. Keep yourself curious, read about all sorts of topics to expand your perspective, and never let anyone tell you that something’s impossible to do, unless you’ve tried more times than you’ve failed.”
2. Chase opportunities
Number two on our list of career tips for STEM students is embracing opportunities as they come to you! Madhuri Ranjan, who is a paint chemist for Dulux, says that if it weren’t for her willingness to take every opportunity, she may have missed out on her dream job in STEM.
“If you know exactly where you want to end up, the opportunities that you need to take to get there are pretty clear cut,” she says. “But for me, it’s all about the learning and the journey of it. If you dream about it, if you want to make it happen, just go and do it.”
Software QA engineer, Chrisnel Tiglao, says if you’re interested in STEM, then you should try lots of different areas before you discover your passion.
“Do not be afraid to test the waters. If you love what you’re doing, you will surely excel and reap your reward.”
4. Don’t drop maths
Maths can be so undervalued, so next on our career tips for STEM students list is sticking with it! Madeleine McCowage, who is a global economist for the Reserve Bank of Australia, advises anyone against dropping maths in high school.
“It’s such a bad idea!” she says. “Maths is a stepping stone to so many careers.”
5. Travel extensively
Systems and humanitarian engineer, Huy Nguyen, says seeing the world is super important for aspiring engineers, in particular.
“Travel extensively and get to know people and communities,” he says. “That informs and enriches our view of the world and challenges our status quo. “But when travelling, remember we are not there to solve people’s problems, we’re there to learn, listen and share stories. It’s important to be open minded.”
Author: Louise Meers
Louise is the acting digital editor for Careers with STEM. She has a journalism degree from the University of Technology, Sydney and has spent over a decade writing for youth. She is passionate about inspiring young people to achieve their biggest goals.