Being a student, you are always looking at ways that you can enhance your CV. Roles that will give you those good ol’ transferrable skills that everyone desires. A lot of people do volunteering work just for the sake of it, but why do that when you can volunteer for something that you are not only good at but are passionate about. I’ve worked in a charity shop, don’t get me wrong, it’s very rewarding giving your free time to help others but I also found it very boring. So you’re sitting there in your underwear reading this article and eating junk food wondering what on Earth is this weirdo on about. I’m talking about becoming a STEMNET Ambassador.
So what is a STEMNET Ambassador? STEM stands for Science Technology Engineering and Maths, all the things Imperial are good for, and the NET stands for Networking. It’s a charity that provides volunteers to schools all over the United Kingdom. When schools are running careers fairs, science days or after school projects they request a STEMNET Ambassador, normally specifying what kind of work you’ll be doing. STEMNET collate of these activities in to a spreadsheet and send them around to STEMNET Ambassadors. The beauty of it is that you choose what events you want to do, when you are available. So it’s up to you how much time you commit and how many events you do, the only requirement is you do at least one event a year.
I’ve done my fair share of activities; they range from delivering careers talks about engineering to assisting in engineering days. One of the stand out activities I was a part of was the Create Sport Challenge, it was effectively a Creative Design Week for Year 8 students, the only difference is that I was the engineer. It was a project that took a couple of months and one that I balanced during my exams but the finals were held in Arup’s offices (that we later got a tour of) and the school I was paired with won. I know it’s a bit of an overused line, but it is genuinely rewarding when the teachers thank you for the work you have done. I always think it’s a bit odd, I’ve turned up and volunteered for an hour like I said I would, it’s not such a big deal. However, from their perspective, an undergraduate in engineering has given their pupils an insight in to the realities of engineering and shown them that becoming an engineer is actually very accessible and very rewarding. At a time when there are so many negative stereotypes for young people, you’re giving them a positive role model and when you think of it that way, it’s not very hard to see why the teachers and staff are so grateful.
Even though the pupils are too young to be deciding what career they are doing, it gives them a new option and something to think about when they do come to decide what degree they want to do. So there you have it, being a STEMNET Ambassador in a nutshell. You get to volunteer and promote engineering all in one role, the Holy Grail for your CV. So how do I sign up and get involved I hear you cry out? Don’t you worry young civil engineer, Peter has got you covered. The link is below, just fill it out, attend an induction in Holborn with some delicious free food and before you know it you will be inspiring the next generation of engineers. What are you waiting for? No seriously, go do it now. Now.