What is a STEM gig?

What is a STEM 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? My name is Denisse Vega Ocasio, I am a Global Health and Infectious Disease researcher originally from the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. I completed my undergraduate training in Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus. Following that, I completed my Master’s Degree in Public Health and Health Policy in Philadelphia from the University of Sciences. I am currently a PhD candidate of the Translational Biomedical Sciences graduate program at the University of Rochester. My thesis project studies how social and biological distress can influence an individual’s ability to mount an effective immune response toward arboviral infection in communities in Ecuador. The experiences I have acquired through the years have allowed me to work efficiently with individuals of multiple cultural and scientific backgrounds. Furthermore, these interdisciplinary experiences have granted me the opportunity to apply basic science and global public health to my research methods. 2. How did you arrive at this career (or point in your life/work)? Was it always something you knew you wanted to do? Let me share with you a little bit of my journey. First, I never thought I was going to end in this career path. Originally I wanted to become a doctor in medicine. It wasn't until my third year of college when I was exposed to research and community outreach (Thank you Ana-Rita Mayol!) that I became interested in research and even more passionate about science outreach and mentoring. There was something about sharing science and working directly with community members that caught my attention and inexplicably made me eager to explore other career options. So in my last year of college, after taking the MCAT, I decided to pause my original plan and last minute I applied to a Master degree in Public Health (Yes, my parents freaked out lol). I got accepted and moved to Philadelphia, I applied to every opportunity available that would reduce my tuition fee, and I immerse myself in every opportunity that came my way. Over the next three years I fell in love with population sciences, global health and health policy. I moved to Denmark to complete an internship at the World Health Organization and at this point, with the multiple opportunities I had to engage, I understood the importance of combining basic sciences with population health and how significant these skills were in science. I was finally passionate about my work and confident about what career path I wanted to take, which led me to pursue a doctoral degree in Translational Biomedical Sciences. Without a doubt, the uncertainty and the multiple roads to get here have been the most exciting part of this adventure. I share my experience with you because I think it is important to understand that everyone has a different career path. Some paths are more linear or traditional, some others look like mine. Do not compare yourself with others, and trust yourself enough to know that non-traditional scientific paths are equally important and valuable. If you are still exploring career options, I want you to know that it is OK to change your mind multiple times and to give yourself permission to explore. I did it, I continue doing it, and I don't regret it. 3. What about your job makes you jump out of bed in the morning, especially on those cold, dark mornings? Honestly, I would not be able to get out of bed without a strong cup of Puerto Rican coffee! But once I am finally awake I find a great deal of joy in what I do. Therefore, in those cold, dark mornings I get motivated by thinking about the communities that I work with that have always made me feel as part of their family. I also really enjoy mentoring and advising other students interested in a career in global health and infectious diseases and promoting more latina representation in the field. 4. What is your personal cure for stress or how do you raise your spirits in times of doubt? Can you share a Story? Emotional self-care! However that looks for you. Throughout my academic journey I have learned to implement healthy boundaries into my routine. I make sure to take time for myself, my friends and to continue doing things I enjoy (watch a movie, grab coffee with a friend, or grab a glass of wine). Applying these behaviors as part of my routine has helped tremendously in managing stress. Furthermore it has resulted in more productivity and improved quality of work in a shorter amount of time. By no means am I saying that I have mastered mitigating stress - rejections and “failure” are part of the scientific path - but it is important to continue learning about what causes my stress and when to take a step back. 5. Who is your role model? If no one, any thoughts on this? I have many role models and each of them have inspired me at different levels. On a personal level my family has always been my support. I was blessed in my family with a big group of strong amazing women (and my awesome Dad!) who taught me kindness, hard work and perseverance. I try to remember that without them I would not be flying today. They all are my biggest role models, and each day, independently of how difficult things can be back home, their resilience continues to inspire me tremendously. 6. What advice would you give to yourself if you could go back in time? I would tell myself to practice taking time off without feeling guilty and go easy on myself . Make sure you are enjoying every step on the way and the people around you. 7. Top 3 tips for girls starting out in STEM? Tip #1: ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, remember your roots! Be proud of who you are, where you come from, and never stop being your authentic self. Diversity is beautiful and we belong in science. Tip #2: Explore! There are multiple pathways that can lead you to your goals. Science is not a linear approach and building your career shouldn't be any different. Being open to opportunities will expose you to a more interdisciplinary training that might uncover hidden talents you didn't know you had. Apply to every internship, programs, and opportunity. Believe in yourself! Tip #3: Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. 8. How do you measure your success? This is a tough question since success can’t be measured by one definite standard, but I would say for me success is measured by feeling joyful about my work and being able to share my experiences and ideas with others. 9. Where can we find out more about your work? I am happy to chat more about what I do. You can email me: denisse_vegaocasio@urmc.rochester.edu 10. Are you social? Will you share your Twitter handle, or LinkedIn profile, or Facebook so that young women can connect with you? You can find me on Twitter ( @den_veg5 ). Feel free to write!
1. Introduce yourself, who are you what do you do? Hello! My name is Emma Fattori and I’m a front-end developer that works at Q4 Inc - a tech company focused on Investor Relations products. Our office is based in Toronto, but I work out of the Hamilton office. 2. How did you arrive at this career (or point in your life/work)? Was it always something you knew you wanted to do? It took awhile for me to get to this point, but I’m so glad that I put in the work. After attending university, I worked for various digital Marketing agencies around Toronto in Account Management and Program Management roles. I realized around 2018 that I knew I wouldn’t be able to do this long term, and that I would need to make a career change. Having worked with developers in the past, I started to become interested in what their job entailed. I started to learn HTML on my own at home, and then was introduced to tech Bootcamps that were available in Toronto by my brother. I looked into them and decided to take a night class for a few months to see if I really liked development. After finishing the part-time class, I realized that I really loved to code, and I applied to Juno College’s full-time immersive Bootcamp and got accepted! I took another javascript course before the bootcamp to prepare myself, and I finished the bootcamp in December 2019. It was really difficult to make the switch, but happy to say that I started my dream job at Q4 in early Feb 2020! 3. What about your job makes you jump out of bed in the morning, especially on those cold, dark mornings? I’m still pretty new, so I’m having to figure out new solutions to bugs and different issues every day. On top of that, the people I work with are incredible and the company cares deeply about their employees. I’ve felt welcomed and included since the day I started. 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 think this is something I’m having to practice more now more than ever, since I’m working from home as a result of COVID-19. I’ve been going running when I can, and listening to music really loud at home when I get stressed out. When I’m at work, I usually go for a walk outside - it’s crazy how much this can help when you can’t figure out some code. 5. Who is your role model? If no one, any thoughts on this? My dad started his own business years ago when my brother was little, and I think it’s really admirable. Because of him, I’d like to start freelancing as soon as possible and eventually start my own business once I have enough experience. 6. What advice would you give to yourself if you could go back in time? I’d say that life isn’t always going to be outlined like you thought it would. You’re never too old to do something, and hard days will always be there but you really can get through it. My hardest days pushed me to do the things I want to do, like go back to school, backpack for 4 months, move cities, etc. 7. Top 3 tips for girls starting out in STEM? Have a few friends in your field that can support you. I have a group chat with three people from school and we’re constantly talking about coding problems, days that we struggled, and even recipes! Your field of choice doesn’t have to be your entire life. I struggled with thinking that if I didn’t code 24 hours a day, then I wasn’t really dedicated. It’s healthy to have other things you like to do. Listen to your gut and stick to your values. It was tempting for me to take any job that would hire me when I finished school, but I wanted a company that treated it’s employees well. 8. How do you measure your success? I measure my success by how I’m moving forward and learning. If I can look back and see improvements, new processes, or ways that I’ve figured out solutions then I consider it a win. I also measure success by how happy I am in the work I’m producing. 9. Where can we find out more about your work? You can find my personal website at www.emmafattori.com ! 10. Are you social? Will you share your Twitter handle, or LinkedIn profile, or Facebook so that young women can connect with you? Absolutely - I would love to speak with anyone that has questions or is looking to chat. I’m very open and would love the chance to encourage anyone to enter a STEM field. Instagram: @fattori.el Facebook: Emma Lynn LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/emma-fattori-30aa2273/ Twitter: @emmafattori
1. Introduce yourself, who are you what do you do? Hi! My name is Monica Vidaurri, and I am an astrobiologist and policy and ethics specialist. 2. How did you arrive at this career (or point in your life/work)? Was it always something you knew you wanted to do? It was an incredibly roundabout way to arrive here! I have always been fascinated with astrobiology (even before I knew the word for it!) and space science. However, as I grew up, I realized that there were issues with science that I wanted to fix. I realized that 1. there has to be someone representing and advocating for science in the policy world, and 2. there has to be changes to the internal politics of science that make it more inclusive, ethical, and accessible; science is not very kind to kids that grew up like I did, and it can even do great harm. So, I double-majored in biology and government and international politics, with a concentration in law, philosophy, and governance. About halfway into my bachelor’s studies at the University of North Texas, I accepted an internship position at the United States Senate as part of a DC intern experience program. This was for the policy side of my degree path. I absolutely loved it! In fact, I enjoyed my time in DC so much that I decided to stay there. That internship experience allowed me to take advantage of many different contract/consulting positions: Mentor Foundation USA, the American Chemical Society, various government agencies and another branch of government. I did all sorts of jobs from administrative things, to science and science policy, to defense and ethics. I eventually landed at NASA, where I was finally able to combine my science and policy sides. It’s been a dream come true. 3. What about your job makes you jump out of bed in the morning, especially on those cold, dark mornings? The people I do this with, the people I do this for, and the people that got me here. Not in the sense that I’ll let them down if I don’t continue, because that’s stressful. But I think about them in the sense that they want me to succeed, and that they’ve got my back/motivate me every step of the way. But I honestly love my jobs, as it combines my two passions. So sometimes what motivates me is the things I get to do on a daily basis! 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 like to think about the grandness of the universe during tough times. Not just in the sense that the Earth is just a small speck of dust, and that my problems are infinitely tiny in the grand scale of things, but I think it’s important to remember how lucky it is to be human. We are made of the same things stars are made of. And all these processes that we study – from supernova to galaxy formation to solar systems forming – had been going on for billions of years before we came about. They all came together in the way they did, our planet formed the way it did, and everything came about just at the right moment and the right place so that we can live. We’re walking stardust, and even though our human timescale is insignificant compared to that of the universe, the fact that we were able to steal a fleeting moment to observe the awesome universe we exist in is probably the greatest privilege I can think of. What a privilege it is to be human, and to share this perfect little planet with other walking stardust! It’s not really the fact that our world and our problems are so small that we shouldn’t care. It’s that we are alive, despite all the odds, to see all of this, to try to understand this great universe, and to spend this incredibly short time with one another; walking evidence of the grandeur of the universe. Light carries on into the vastness of the universe forever. You might have heard that when you look up at the night sky, those stars may be dead. But how wonderful it is that that star’s light, and its story, will continue for eternity. That means our light will continue forever, as well. And if some other civilization is able to see our light, and see our stories, I wouldn’t want them to see me feeling down on things that will pass! I would want to tell the best story that I possibly can. 5. Who is your role model? If no one, any thoughts on this? I have lots of role models! Lots of people whose pages I want to steal from their book, so to speak. Ellen Ochoa, the first Latina in space (also a musician like me!) who is resilient and level-headed, my advisor who is so selfless and empathetic, my students who are always curious and excited about life no matter what, Carl Sagan and his ability to see the best in humans, and many, many others. But while it is important to model the aspects of the people you look up to the most, it’s also important to remember that you are not a copy. I don’t aspire to be the next Carl Sagan or the mini version of my advisor – I want to be the first Monica Vidaurri! But I want to learn from the people I look up to, and make it a part of who I am. My role models are people who model characteristics I want to embody. 6. What advice would you give to yourself if you could go back in time? I would tell her that it’s going to get so, so much better. That she is going to grow up into the person she needed all her life. I would tell her that her dreams aren’t “too much” – that someday she’s going to find a job that lets her pursue all of them. That everything she’s feeling right now, and all those dark spots after dark spots are going to be outshined thousands of times over; she just has to be patient. But honestly – I think my younger self already kinda knew these things deep down. That’s why I’m here now, after all! So I would tell her to hang on to that: the idea that she is clinging to that everything is going to be alright, that she will find a family in an exciting new place, and that she is going to make it no matter what. I would tell her to keep looking to the stars for comfort; one day, she will find a purpose amongst them. I’d then advise her against wearing those bright-colored plaid bermuda shorts that were so popular in the 2000s. What the heck was that? Then I’d tell her to stop straightening her hair every day because her curls are going to turn out really beautiful if she takes care of them! 7. Top 3 tips for girls starting out in STEM? Be soft. Be kind and empathetic in a cutthroat field that has created this culture of working insane hours, getting to an idea first, and racking up as many accomplishments and papers as early as possible. To continue to wear your heart on your sleeve, to love and look out for others despite this, is to be soft. To fully understand the scariness of the world and to still be kind is to be truly strong. And practicing kindness and collaboration will get rid of these outdated principles. Be the one to lead that change. Be the light. Stand up for yourself, and stand up for others. If you notice people are being talked over, call it out. If you feel like your grade was unfair (sometimes teachers make mistakes!), challenge it. Systems, institutions, and rules are meant to be changed – take the lead. Other people will for sure feel the same way you do. Raise hell always! Never, ever doubt your abilities. Imposter syndrome affects us all, and it is perfectly normal to feel inadequate. Recognize these feelings, but never give in to them. If you feel like you don’t know as much about a subject as you should, think back to all the accomplishments you’ve made in that subject. Teach something from your field or your subject to someone else to prove how much you know! I promise, you are right where you need to be. You are stronger than you seem and smarter than you know. I guarantee it. 8. How do you measure your success? I don’t! Well, I do want to be successful in two ways: I want to leave my mark on the field of astrobiology, I want scientists to recognize the social enterprise that science is and pay more attention to ethics and policy, , and I want to make science and academia more accessible and inclusive. Those are all very broad and very ongoing things. But often what I’ve found in the STEM fields is that there can be an unnecessary amount of pressure on students and even senior researchers to publish a whole lot or be some sort of prodigal genius. The way I see it, if I go to work every day and am able to answer a few questions, leave with many more questions, and do at least one task that is paving the way for people of all backgrounds to do science and for science to be more ethical and just, then I am exactly where I need to be. I do set goals for myself, and I think goal-setting is important: go to X, Y, and Z conferences, publish a paper, make a new collaboration, etc. And I make sure those goals challenge me. But I recognize success as something that I’m going to be building all my life, and as long as I’m on that track, I feel successful. 9. Where can we find out more about your work? I’m very early in my career so I haven’t published a lot yet, but keep an eye out on arXiv, which is where I post pre-prints of my work, and twitter, where I announce my projects! 10. Are you social? Will you share your Twitter handle, or LinkedIn profile, or Facebook so that young women can connect with you? Yes! My twitter is public. You can find me at @AstroTraviesa  
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