What is a STEM gig?

What is a STEM gig?

gig

informal, noun gig; plural noun: gigs

A job, especially one that is temporary

"working on the sea and spotting whales seemed like a great gig"

"I need an awesome summer gig to get some real work experience!"

STEM gig

  • Internships 
  • Summer jobs
  • Work experience
  • Mentor programs 
  • Scholarships
  • Networking events
  • Awards, contests, competitions
  • What else? Any opportunity that encourages a young woman in STEM before her professional career begins...

 

 


 

Are you "geeky" girl? Studying math, chemistry, physics, computer science, engineering, social sciences, biology, etc?

Geeky Girl Reality is here to kickstart your career. If you majored in physics, maths, social sciences, chemistry, computer science or similar STEM subjects, we aim to have all the resources you need to start building your career. 

Still studying?

Currently enrolled in university and still learning about possible paths and careers?

Take part in the student survey » 

Gigs are all about balancing work and study - getting some real-world exposure to your field of study. 

Not yet ready for a full-time STEM job? You need a STEM gig, girl! 

We highlight short-term opportunities like summer programs, internships and mentor programs.

Through our Geeky Girl Reality research we found that young women are looking for short term opportunities to help them start out in STEM careers.

Search our STEM gigs to find the gig to kickstart your career!

- The Geeky Girl Reality team


Interested in joining our team? Send your CV and letter of interest to discuss@geekyreality.com

 


 

Join our STEM community and access the resources »

Quotes from our survey participants

In our annual Geeky Girl Reality survey we asked young women currently studying STEM about their in the field and where they might be in 10 years...

 

 

We hope to help them get there with our social mission to support "geeky" girls living their reality.

Take part in the student survey »

Take part in the professional survey »

Join our STEM community and access the resources »

 

Latest from the Geeky Girl Reality Blog

1. Introduce yourself, who are you what do you do? Hi! My name is Dyna Cockus Rose, and I’m a drag queen! I live and perform in the SF Bay Area where I love to combine my “nerdy” passions for science and nature with something over-the-top, silly, glamorous, sexy and humorous! By day, I’m usually out of drag, where I go by my legal name, Dylan McClung, and work as a Microbiology PhD student at UC Berkeley. 2. How did you arrive at this career (or point in your life/work)? Was it always something you knew you wanted to do? Arriving at this point in life was unexpected and is still evolving. I remember in 7th grade thinking that I wanted to be a scientist, so I stuck with that general direction. Then in 8th grade, I auditioned for our school’s musical, High School Musical. I didn’t have any singing or acting experience at that point, but afterwards, I realized that I loved being on the stage. I performed in a couple more school productions until I decided to focus on taking more AP science classes instead of extra-curriculars. That lead me into college where I declared a biology major. In my sophomore year, I went to our campus’s annual drag show (my first ever). I thought it was so cool, but I was so worried about the stigma around cross dressing. I didn’t take the plunge until about 4 years later (in my 2nd year of graduate school). I had seen more local drag shows, became obsessed with RuPaul’s Drag Race, and decided that it was time for me to try it out. I found a drag mentor and performed for the first time a few months later! Over the next year and a half, I worked on building my confidence as a performer. However, I wanted to combine my passions for science with drag. I wanted to capitalize on my unique set of skills and stand out from the many queens in the Bay Area. A labmate heard about a campus science communication competition (the UCB Bear Slam) and told me to apply as Dyna. I ended up being chosen as one of seven contestants, and won the competition! We each gave 10 minute talks about our research, but had to make them understandable and entertaining, along with scientific. Giving a talk in drag really set in motion my current pursuits of incorporating science into my drag, and more drag into my science! One of my missions is to use drag as a way of engaging the public so that I can help create a more scientifically literate society. At the same time, I want to help expand the idea of “who/what a scientist is” by showing that scientists come in many kinds of packages - mine just happens to rhinestoned and glittery. 3. What about your job makes you jump out of bed in the morning, especially on those cold, dark mornings? Teaching other people science really gets me jazzed! Honest! I’ve realized through my PhD that I find much more joy in teaching and mentoring than physically performing experiments or analyzing data. Seeing someone have that “aha” moment or noticing the glimmer of intrigue in their eyes really inspires me to keep sharing science with others. 4. What is your personal cure for stress or how do you raise your spirits in times of doubt? Can you share a Story? As I mentioned above, I participated and won the UC Berkeley Bear Slam 2018 after giving a scientific talk about my research in drag. That night, I was elated! I practiced a ton, I combined two very different fields into a coherent presentation, and I had fun! Yet the next day, all of those happy feelings vanished. For no particular reason. I didn’t feel like myself, so after a few weeks, I decided to speak to a therapist. Through my time in therapy, I realized that I wasn’t being very kind to myself. And that lack of kindness had been damaging my psyche for multiple years. Through therapy, I started to shift my perspective to change the conversation in my head. I started to realize my value, to recognize my skills and my shortcomings, and to set realistic expectations. When I’m feeling stressed out, I try to be kind to myself. If I need a break, I take it without feeling shame or guilt. For me, that’s usually watching TV or playing video games. Also, I remind myself that I’m not perfect and that no one is expecting perfection. That usually helps me break down and identify what needs to get done, and what would be nice if I’m feeling extra and have time. 5. Who is your role model? If no one, any thoughts on this? My undergraduate research advisor, Dr. KT Elliott, is a huge role model for me. She introduced me to microbiology and is the reason that I fell in love with this field. Her excitement for science is infectious (pun intended)! She was an incredible mentor/teacher to me; she set high expectations, was direct and stern with issues, but had such a kind and caring heart. Her mentoring style inspires me and is what motivates me to share as much as I can with my mentees and students. 6. What advice would you give to yourself if you could go back in time? Be kinder to yourself, and be authentically you. You’ll be surprised by how many people will be inspired by that. 7. Top 3 tips for girls starting out in STEM? Find a mentor who genuinely supports you, your goals, and your successes. Surround yourself with people who have similar but non-competing goals. This will be motivating for everyone, without causing unnecessary stress from competition. Be kind to yourself 8. How do you measure your success? This is super cliché, but I measure my success by my happiness. 9. Where can we find out more about your work? Follow my social media accounts! 10. Are you social? Will you share your Twitter handle, or LinkedIn profile, or Facebook so that young women can connect with you? Twitter: @dynacockusrose Instagram: @dynacockusrose YouTube is coming soon!
1. Introduce yourself, who are you what do you do? My name is Dr Madeline Mitchell and I’m a plant scientist at CSIRO in Canberra, Australia. I use biotechnology and synthetic biology to make new crops to benefit consumers, farmers and the environment. My current research focuses on engineering cotton fibres with new and unique properties so we can have biodegradable, renewable alternatives to polluting, plastic-based artificial fibres. Wherever my career takes me in the future, I hope to contribute to the economic, social and environmental sustainability of agriculture. 2. How did you arrive at this career (or point in your life/work)? Was it always something you knew you wanted to do? The simple story is that I was a kid who loved nature, who studied science as an undergraduate, who was lucky enough to do a PhD at the University of Cambridge and then get a job at CSIRO, Australia’s national science organisation. But I didn’t grow up thinking I would become a scientist, mostly because I had such a range of interests. In high school, I studied French, literature and art as well as biology, chemistry and maths. At university, I studied history and philosophy of science, French and literature as well as plant sciences and molecular biology and biochemistry. I was drawn to study plants because they are so fundamental to agriculture and ecosystems and I realised I wanted to do something practical. While I love my job now, I’m on a fixed-term contract so I’m not sure whether I’ll continue as a researcher or whether I will move into other science-related areas. The uncertainty can be challenging, but I also know that studying and working in science has given me lots of skills that are valuable outside the lab. In the glasshouse with cotton plants. Image credit: CSIRO 3. What about your job makes you jump out of bed in the morning, especially on those cold, dark mornings? My work is intellectually engaging and I get to keep learning and being creative. I also enjoy the variety, flexibility and independence of my days. I love being part of the scientific community – this group of bright, engaged people – and also connecting with the wider community about my research. I want my science to make a positive contribution to the world so I am always interested in what value the public sees in it and how I could do better. 4. What is your personal cure for stress or how do you raise your spirits in times of doubt? Can you share a Story? Having a supportive network of friends, family and colleagues has been vital. They are there to hear my concerns, to provide practical advice and, very importantly, to make me laugh and have fun. Research can be very slow, and failure can feel quite personal, so it’s good to have people around who remind me that I am much more than my work. It’s also great to have a community of peers who understand my frustrations and with whom I can also celebrate the wins. Simple as it sounds, I also make sure I eat well, get enough sleep, exercise and do things I enjoy. 5. Who is your role model? If no one, any thoughts on this? My role models in science are the people who are passionate about science and generous in their support of others. I am lucky to have been involved in two programs for women in STEM – the global leadership program, Homeward Bound, and Superstars of STEM – that have provided me with wonderful role models. I am now connected to hundreds of diverse and inspiring women who exemplify so many ways of being successful. Me on trapeze. Having interests outside of work is important and I love the playfulness and challenge of aerial circus. 6. What advice would you give to yourself if you could go back in time? Develop your own definitions of success. When I was younger, I often compared myself to others and allowed this to influence my own goals and sense of self-worth. I worried a lot about ‘failing’ and not living up to others’ expectations. I missed opportunities, held back from connecting with people and found it hard to enjoy or appreciate my achievements. I still have doubts and compare myself to others sometimes, but I am generally more confident in myself with clear ideas about why I do what I do. 7. Top 3 tips for girls starting out in STEM? Stay curious. You probably already are, or you wouldn’t be interested in STEM, but it’s important to maintain this quality. Staying curious keeps you engaged and asking “why?” and “what if?”, which are important skills for STEM professionals. You won’t always know the answer, which can be exciting and the start of new ideas! At this stage, too, there are probably whole areas of STEM or jobs you’ve never heard of so keep an open mind about where your interests lie. Build an awareness of what you like to do, what you’re good at and what gives you energy. You might like theoretical studies or physically making things, doing pure research or trying to solve technical problems. There is a lot of variety in STEM so knowing your preferences will help you find your niche. Remember that studying and working in STEM can lead to so many opportunities and career paths other than becoming a traditional researcher. You might end up applying your skills in areas like policy, research management or education. 8. How do you measure your success? Success for me is living a life that is consistent with my values. I want to help create a kinder, healthier world through my career and through my relationships with colleagues, family and friends. Research outcomes are important to me but so is advocating for a more diverse and inclusive culture in STEM. I hope to successfully influence for the benefit of others and support the next generation of STEM professionals. As part of my work to make crease-free cotton, I want to make a new, stretchy building block and send it to the plant cell wall. This image was taken using a confocal microscope and shows my new building block in the walls of leaf epidermal cells (blue) with chloroplasts in yellow/orange for reference. You can also see the outlines of the long thin cells of the leaf veins running through the middle of the image and the rings of chloroplasts inside the guard cells (stomata). Image credit: Madeline Mitchell and Vivien Rolland 9. Where can we find out more about your work? My work profile has links to some articles and interviews - https://people.csiro.au/m/m/madeline-mitchell . You can also search for “CSIRO no iron cotton” or something similar and you’ll find news articles. My social media accounts. 10. Are you social? Will you share your Twitter handle, or LinkedIn profile, or Facebook so that young women can connect with you? Twitter: @MaddiePlantSci LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-madeline-mitchell-6b326983/ Facebook: facebook.com/MaddiePlantSci
1. Introduce yourself, who are you what do you do?   Hello! My name’s Kaitlin and I’m an observational astrophysicist. That means I am the kind of astrophysicist who gets to use the big telescopes around the world. I used to study ancient stars--there is a lot they can tell us about what the Universe was like when it was so new that even galaxies hadn’t formed yet. Now instead of studying the stars I am looking for planets around them.  2. How did you arrive at this career (or point in your life/work)? Was it always something you knew you wanted to do?   Astronomy was one of the many topics I was obsessed with as a kid, but I kind of forgot about it after I joined band and decided I wanted to be a music teacher. Then in high school I learned it is actually really hard to be a teacher! I had to find a new career path and even though I was a C student in math and science I thought about what had made me excited as a kid and landed on astrophysics. It was really hard to make up all the math and physics classes I hadn’t taken and even harder to get over thinking I was “naturally bad at math”. But eventually I graduated with my astrophysics Bachelor’s degree and was accepted into graduate school for my PhD. Now I am in my fifth year and close to graduation. Afterwards, I will continue to do research at another university.  3. What about your job makes you jump out of bed in the morning, especially on those cold, dark mornings?   My exoplanet research is really demanding (a lot of people are involved!) but it is also really awesome to take steps towards discovering new planets that no one has ever known about before. I really want to know more about the planets I’ve found--are they big? Small? Rocky? Could they host life? Every day I get a little closer to finding out.    4. What is your personal cure for stress or how do you raise your spirits in times of doubt? Can you share a Story?   I have a long list of things that keep me sane! Talking to friends, playing video games, embroidery, creative writing, watching certain TV shows (I love Adventure Time!) Whenever I get sick of my research I just watch Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” and remember how awesome the Universe is.  5. Who is your role model? If no one, any thoughts on this?   I wouldn’t say that I have any one role model. I guess the people that I look up to in STEM are people who are kind. Many are good scientists, but kind people are rare.  6. What advice would you give to yourself if you could go back in time?   Probably to feel less guilty about doing fun things. Life doesn’t stop just because you have homework.  7. Top 3 tips for girls starting out in STEM? Those boys that sit at the front of the class and try to answer every question? Not as smart as they seem/think they are. Working with other people to solve problems doesn’t make you less capable, it actually makes you a better scientist. Real science happens in teams. Your mental health comes first. Take breaks and don’t feel bad about it. Binge that Netflix show. Get eight hours of sleep and don’t let other people bragging about how little sleep they got get you feeling inadequate. 8. How do you measure your success?   If I am getting eight hours of sleep and learning something new every day then I am succeeding.  9. Where can we find out more about your work?   Here is a cool article about what I do: https://nd.edu/stories/heavy-metals/… You can also email me at krasmus1@nd.edu!     10. Are you social? Will you share your Twitter handle, or LinkedIn profile, or Facebook so that young women can connect with you?   Yes! Feel free to DM me on Twitter  @toomanyspectra
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