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. Say hi :) who are you what do you do? I’m Jennifer Wadella, a JavaScript developer, international speaker, and the founder of Kansas City Women in Technology, a non-profit working on growing the number of women in technology careers. 2. How did you arrive at this career? Was it always something you knew you wanted to do? I fell into being a developer by accident - I went to school for graphic design and business management,  but when I graduated the economy was awful and I couldn’t get hired. I was able to book freelance gigs as long as I could build the websites as well as design them, and ended up falling in love with the development work more than the design work. 3. What about your job makes you jump out of bed in the morning, especially on those cold, dark mornings? I love solving problems - whether with code or otherwise, so any time I’m working on something that’s challenging me I’m excited to get out of bed and work on it. 4. What is your personal cure for stress or how do you raise your spirits in times of doubt? Can you share a Story? When I’m stressed I’m a big fan of handwritten to-do lists. It’s a very tactile activity that helps me feel calmer about everything I have to work on when I physically write out the things I need to do over the next week. 5. Who is your role model? If no one, any thoughts on this? I don’t have specific role models, that’s a lot of pressure on one person. I tend to draw inspiration from acts of others, whether it’s a woman gathering the courage to submit and speak at her first technical conference, or a woman finding ways to pay her success forward and help those behind her. 6. What advice would you give to your 18 year old self? Don’t worry, you’ll find your people some day. Also, be less judgemental. 7. Top 3 tips for girls starting out in STEM? Don’t compare yourself to others, if you do you’ll lose sight of the unique things only you have to offer. Figure out what your learning style is, and do everything you can to learn new things and set yourself up for success. Find your tribe. Having a community of those who share your interests, inspire you to be better, and help lift you up when you’re feeling down is crucial for success. 8.  How do you measure your success? I measure my success my setting goals and accomplishing them to my satisfaction, while also making sure I’m always learning, growing, and challenging my own viewpoints. 9.  Where can we find out more about your work? https://jenniferwadella.com 10. Are you social? Will you share your Twitter handle, or LinkedIn profile, or Facebook so that young women can connect with you? Twitter is best: @likeOMGitsFEDAY    
Name : Colette Jaff Role/Occupation : Energy Engineer / Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. Country : Cameroon Colette Jaff is an Energy Engineer at Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. As an energy engineer, Jaff is responsible for maintaining all aspects of energy management on telecom Base Transceiver Stations. This broadly involves supervising all regulatory compliance activities during implementation as well as helping to ensure site energy security policies and practices. Jaff initially wanted to become a medical doctor, it was one of her absolute passions, this passionate later shifted to engineering as she got older. She studied Physics with Computer Science as an undergraduate student and then went on to achieve a masters degree in Renewable Energy Engineering with focus on solar and biomass energy. She currently works as a Renewable Energy Engineer. She is motivated by the desired electrification of remote parts of Cameroon through renewable sources of energy. Jaff feels that “our world would be a much better place if everyone works, thinks and acts at FULL POTENTIAL,” and that full potential can only be achieved through authenticity. “Renewable energy brings every environment closer to authentic modernization,” she elaborates. As a young girl, Jaff had a neck for going after anything that was tagged “NOT FOR GIRLS”. She vividly recalls her tree climbing and hunting adventures as lone girl amidst a crown of boys, “those days greatly shaped my future. Every time I was told I couldn’t engage into whatever activity because I was a girl, I became more determined to excel in it.” Jaff feels that STEM fields are still highly male dominated fields, with many stereotypes against women and that being a woman in engineering an be challenging and discouraging, “you have to prove your worth against a vast number of male counterparts and many a times to a bias management,” she explains. She maintains her composure by reminding herself of her worth and competencies, “I hold my head high, and when I fail as sometimes I do, I learn from the mistakes and confidently move on,” she elaborates. Her advice to young women aspiring to enter the STEM field is to simply believe in yourself, “my dear sisters, be confident and make your impact to bring change in your community and the world at large, “ she emphasises. With regards to the future of STEM in Africa, Jaff feels that girls need to be shown that STEM is as fun and rewarding as the somewhat more glamorous career options in show business. She feels that girls need to be shown that, “We don’t just make careers in STEM, we build our lives, identities and leave a better environment for generations to come.” She believes that African STEM women should reach out to the youth and become role models for them, thus “letting them savour the fragrance of the flowers that bud and blossom in STEM.” There have been several milestone moments in Jaff”s career, the most recent one being her selection as an Emerging Leader for the ongoing TechWomen18 mentorship program in Silicon Valley. As part of the program, she learnt new skills as a female leader in STEM from other amazing female leaders who have being making strides in the STEM industry. She described this opportunity as a one of a kind experience, “a breakthrough from all those chains and setbacks that kept you going round in circles, a moon-shot in [your] network with inspirational persons that share your vision and enlighten your path.” Read more about this energetic energy engineering Geeky Girl, Colette Jaff in an interview that will inspire you to reach your full potential by discovering your authenticity.  Describe what your work entails.   As an energy engineer, I am responsible for maintaining all aspects of energy management on telecom Base Transceiver Stations. Supervising all regulatory compliance activities during implementation and helping to ensure site energy security policies and practices. My duties include: Carryout energy audits, solutions design and site configuration Supervising onsite material logistics Implementation of Base Transceiver Station energy solutions Developing ways of improving existing processes and promoting the integration of clean energy through Huawei’s hybrid energy solutions Installing and commissioning AC/DC rectifiers Project documents classification Implementation of cooling systems in Telecommunication equipment rooms Design technical drawing for energy solutions and emergency exit plans Oversee the design, installation, operation and maintenance of Access Control, CCTV, Fire Detection, Suppression systems facilities in Camtel Data Centre structures   Describe your engineering journey.   As a young girl, I always went for anything that was tagged “NOT FOR GIRLS”. I still remember so vividly, my tree climbing and hunting adventures as lone girl amidst a crown of boys. Those days greatly shaped my future. Every time I was told I couldn’t engage into whatever activity because I was a girl, I became more determined to excel in it. This developed in me a dying passion to become a medical doctor, later shifted to a mechanical engineer, and today I am a Renewable Energy Engineer. I studied Physics/Computer Science as an undergraduate, and later a master degree in Renewable Energy Engineering with focus on Solar and Biomass.   What excites you about your job? What motivates you to get out of bed every morning?   I am passionate about the electrification of the most remote parts of Cameroon from Renewable sources of energy. I believe firmly that our world would be a much better place if everyone works, thinks and acts at FULL POTENTIAL. Being authentic, is very essential to attaining full potential and renewable energy brings every environment closer to authentic modernization.  How would you describe your experience as a woman in the engineering space?   Being a woman in engineering an be challenging and somewhat discouraging as you have to prove your worth against a vast number of male counterparts and many a times to a bias management. STEM fields are highly male dominated fields, with very many stereotypes against women.  I always have to remind myself of my worth and competencies and be satisfied with what I do, love my work and be proud of myself even when no one else does. I always wear my “Power Bracelet” before stepping out to work or anything else. I hold my head high, and when I fail as sometimes I do, I learn from the mistakes and confidently move on. I give a deaf ear to every demeaning stereotype whatever the source or popularity.   What advice would you give to young women aspiring to enter the STEM field?   I have just one word: “believe in yourself”. Any woman looking towards building a career in STEM is strong, intelligent, smart, unstoppable, has a vision, is in touch with and loves her environment/community. Therefore, my dear sisters, be confident and make your impact to bring change in your community and the world at large.   As a STEM woman in Africa, how do you foresee the growth and progress of STEM on the continent? Is Africa a “land of opportunity”?   My heart feels heavy at the trends we see in our young girls nowadays; everyone thinks of nothing but ‘Showbiz’. That is what our world and models portray: that Showbiz offers a heavenly life. We need to show our girls that STEM is as fun and rewarding and why not more. We don’t just make careers in STEM, we build our lives, identities and leave a better environment for generations to come. African women in STEM have a duty to reach out to our youths and become role models for them by letting them savour the fragrance of the flowers that bud and blossom in STEM.   Have there been any milestone moments or eureka moments in your career?   There have been several milestone moments, the most recent being my selection as an Emerging Leader for the ongoing TechWomen18 mentorship program. I am learning new skills as an emerging female leader in STEM from amazing female leaders making strides in the STEM industry here in Silicon Valley. This is an experience compared to none other; a breakthrough from all those chains and setbacks that kept you going round in circles, a moon-shot in my network with inspirational persons that share your vision and enlighten your path.   How do you maintain a work-life balance?   My principle has been one of simply focussing on what I have to do at a given time. I do everything within my power not to take work home. This allows me to give my family my full time and attention once with them. In the same way, I do not take my family challenges with me into my work place. My colleagues and work deserve a happy and focus collaborator.   Who is your role model? Who inspires you?   I am most inspired by my beautiful mum. She does all things well even to this date, always finding the balance between her family and personal life. Though an Agricultural Technician whose role required lots of travelling and long hours work, she is always available when needed. I learned from her, the art of multitasking while staying focused; “Effective Multitasking”.   Where can more information or insight into your work be found?   LinkedIn Profile: JAFF Colette Twitter Handle: @CKwatika   Colette Jaff  interviewed by Dhruti Dheda Dhruti Dheda is a Chemical Engineer with a strong interest in media and communication. She is the editor of the Engineers without Borders South Africa Newsletter and the Community Manager – South Africa and Regional Outreach for Geeky Girl Reality. If you wish to collaborate or network, contact her at  dhruti@geekyreality.com  or find her on twitter  @dhrutidd
Say hi :) who are you what do you do? Hello! My name’s Clare McDonald and I’m a WordPress web design specialist.  I run my own freelance web design business and I am also the co-founder of GoWithThePro a membership which supports entrepreneurs and freelancers during the launch and early growth phases of their new businesses.  We specialise in digital marketing from social media management to content marketing and branding. How did you arrive at this career? Was it always something you knew you wanted to do? Erm, no!  The internet didn’t exist when I had my first careers advice chat!  My background is in the humanities. I have a degree in English Literature and History and my initial career was in publishing advertising sales.  I worked on the launch of a major consumer website in 1998 which started my love of the web. I was one of the first people in the office to have an email account (dial up of course!) and in 1999 I had my first training about the dark art of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). When my daughter was born, I freelanced for a few years in a variety of jobs including for an SEO agency and as a project manager and copywriter for a web design company.  I quickly realised it was easier for me to liaise with the client and make the changes than wait for the web developer to do them. I’ve been building websites for about 18 years, but everything changed when I discovered WordPress and just how much was possible.  My first client still probably has the biggest site I’ve ever built so it was a very steep learning curve but I loved every moment. What about your job makes you jump out of bed in the morning, especially on those cold, dark mornings? I’m very lucky that I work from home, so I don’t have to worry about the cold and the dark!  Working from home doesn’t work for everyone and I wouldn’t recommend it when you’re just starting out because it’s so important to have social interaction at work. The sheer variety of my day makes me (not quite jump out of bed) sit down and enjoy my working day.  At the moment I’m working for a variety of clients including creating the digital version of two university publications, a French brewery, a company who has created stylish and comfortable hospital clothing and a brewing machine manufacturer.  No one day is the same as another! You meet so many different people and learn so much about different industries that you are constantly finding out new things and challenging yourself to try new solutions to convey their messages. What is your personal cure for stress or how do you raise your spirits in times of doubt? Can you share a Story? This is really important for us at GoWithThePro because we have seen time and time again people struggle with what we call “overwhelm” and also “Imposter Syndrome”.  Overwhelm is the feeling that you have too much to do and no time to do it, so you start to panic and that usually means you achieve even less. Imposter syndrome is also interesting because it’s the feeling of doubt, that one day you will be “caught out” and people will realise you’re not actually any good at your job.  This can apply to people at any age too, we all remember being at school and thinking you’d fluked an exam or assignment. In reality we know deep down it’s because we knew what we were saying but it’s often hard to believe positive things about ourselves. A really good way of dealing with this is to write it down.  Make lists. If you have a million and one things to do, write them on a piece of paper and then go through and deal with the straightforward tasks.  Once they’re gone you can focus on the ones which are more demanding. I find my most productive days are the ones where I give myself shorter to-do lists so I don’t feel overwhelmed by all the jobs.  As a freelancer you are completely in control of your time so it’s important to be strict with yourself. It’s a skill you have to learn! It’s also important to step away sometimes.  The school run was always a good problem-solving time for me.  I was away from my desk, there were no notifications, so I could think things through.  I solved many a problem walking to and from school! Taking a walk and clearing your head (or even just getting up from your desk in the office and standing outside for five minutes) can work wonders! Who is your role model? If no one, any thoughts on this? That’s a really good question!  There are a few people I admire like Emma Thompson and JK Rowling who are not afraid to speak their minds and champion women in all walks of life.  The obvious answer is Ada Lovelace as a woman working with computers but there’s nobody I would point to and say, yes, her. Perhaps I’m lucky that I’ve always worked with great women! I will say that I have a card stuck to my desk with a quote from George Eliot; “It’s never too late to be what you might have been”.  I’ve had it for years and for me it became a reality when I turned 40 and started this new career! What advice would you give to your 18 year old self? Enjoy yourself!  Work hard but don’t worry about choosing the course of your life.  Things change, people change, circumstances change and you go with it.  Things happen for a reason. It might seem like a shitty reason sometimes but it usually works out in the end! Top 3 tips for girls starting out in STEM? Bit biased here but keep your horizons broad.  Pursue art or music or literature too if you enjoy it.  There is a lot of pressure on girls to succeed if they are in STEM but you also need to have an escape and time away from your chosen field. Support each other!  It’s hard enough to succeed in a male dominated world without competing against each other.  I work with four other incredible women so I promise it is possible (with the occasional bump in the road!). Trust yourself and your instincts.  Banish Imposter Syndrome and recognise your abilities and achievements.  There’s nothing wrong with saying “you know what? I had a really great day today and I’m really pleased with myself”. How do you measure your success? By how long my to-do list is?!  Seriously though I’m not sure I do.  I get so involved in projects I usually hate them visually by the end of it so I have to come back to them months later and think “that looks really good”.  We’re often too close to our own work to really measure how good it is. My “success” is probably other people looking at it and saying “that looks really good”! Where can we find out more about your work? Certainly not on my website!  I’m afraid I’m like the apocryphal builder whose house is a ruin; I’m a web designer who hasn’t touched her own site for years. You can find out more about GoWithThePro at https://gowiththepro.uk If you are a UCL Alumni you’ll soon be seeing my work too! 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: @wexy8   Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clarejmcdonald . LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/clare-mcdonald-0897b7b1/ Please can you share a few photos with us, our young women love to be able to put a face to their role models!   One of my co-founders Cathy and I (on the left) doing a Facebook Live.  Cathy is a superstar and knows so much about digital marketing I am very lucky to work with her. This is the GoWithThePro Team! Finally, this is me on my 21st birthday about to embark on my “life” as we’re told it should be.  I’m a million miles from there but I did marry the man in the picture and we have two children so it’s not all bad (apart from the length of my dress)!
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