Interview with Stefanie Wilson

Finalist of the 2016 Interconnect Student Award and PhD Student in Biological Sciences at Abertay University

stefWhat inspired you to pursue a STEM career?

Science was always my favourite subject growing up so when it came to choosing what degree to pursue at university it seemed like a natural choice. My favourite part of my undergraduate degree was my honours project; I really liked the hands-on problem solving aspect of it so when an opportunity came to do a PhD I jumped at it.

Tell us a bit about how you support women in STEM

I try to support women in STEM by encouraging their passions and interests, and helping to run events that provide a platform for women in STEM.

How do you fit these activities around your studies?

As part of the Abertay University Bioscience Society we strive to split organisational responsibilities evenly as possible between our committee members so no one member has to shoulder all the work. I make sure I designate time aside separate to my studies so that I stay on track and organised.

What is the biggest reward of doing this work?

The biggest reward is seeing others get excited and participate in STEM events. Being around people who love actively being part of the STEM community is really empowering.

What are your top 3 tips to others looking to inspire women?

Find out what is going on around you, events, group meetings, workshops etc. Go along, get involved and get inspired
Be candid, nothing is more inspiring than listening to someone talk from the heart and engaging with their subject
If you want something, go for it! To paraphrase Yoda ‘do or do not, there is no try’ and even if you don’t succeed, there is always value in the process.

Describe someone outside your field of interest who inspires you and why?

Someone outside my field of interest that inspires me is Mae Carol Jemison. Aside from being the first African-American women to travel to space; she is also a physician, served in the Peace Corps, a dancer, an actress that has appeared on television several times including in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and is the current principle of the 100 Year Starship organisation. She embodies everything that inspires me. She has achieved so much in a variety of different fields and proves that you don’t have to stay fixed to one area.

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