‘I felt I was where I belonged’
Our 3rd annual Interconnect Student Conference & Awards was held on Tuesday 6th March at City of Glasgow College Riverside Campus.
The conference brought together 40 women STEM students from 14 different colleges and universities for an inspiring day of talks, workshops and networking with women STEM professionals.
Our keynote speaker this year was Ceri Shaw, Development Manager with our partner sponsor Sky. Ceri delivered an inspirational talk about her career path in engineering and technology and reflected on the challenges she has overcome and how she has made the most of development opportunities.
The conference received additional sponsorship from Balfour Beatty, FDM Group and Dell EMC who facilitated interactive workshops on developing networks, enhancing interview skills and building confidence.
Representatives from all of our sponsors were involved in a panel session to highlight what their companies are doing to advance gender equality in STEM. This session gave students the opportunity to ask senior members of staff challenging questions about their workplace culture, intersectionality and work-life balance.
A networking lunch involved further women STEM professionals from Ore Catapult, Scottish Government and Glasgow Caledonian University who came to share their experience with students and help them to develop their networking skills.
The conference included a presentation of the Interconnect Student Award 2018 which recognises women STEM students who are advancing gender equality on their campus. Our Runner-Up is Catriona Cook from Ayrshire College and our Winner is Yvonne Anderson of the University of Edinburgh.
Student feedback from the conference was excellent. Stephanie Anani, 2nd year Civil Engineering student at the University of Dundee said:
‘Today was such an exciting and inspiring experience at the Interconnect Student Conference. Being in a room full of successful and aspiring women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields fuelled my passion for STEM industries. From the panel discussion and networking lunch to professional development workshops, I felt like I was where I belonged and learnt so much from the wealth of experience in the room.’
Cheryl McCreadie, Project Officer for Student Engagement at Equate Scotland said
‘We are so pleased at how well the conference went this year. Our aim is to inspire and support students to make a successful transition from STEM education to STEM employment and student feedback has shown us that they left feeling more confident and empowered. We thank our hosts City of Glasgow College and our sponsors Sky, Balfour Beatty, Dell EMC and FDM Group for helping us to make this happen. It’s great to be working in partnership with organisations who really are trying to achieve gender equality in STEM.’