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?   My name is Alexandra Good, I’m 21 years old and I live in Liverpool, UK. I’m a Product Design Engineer at a company called DefProc Engineering. My job mostly involves working on electronics-based product development and prototyping for businesses and individuals throughout the UK. In my free time, I love getting involved in charity work and experimenting with technology to work on my own projects. 2. How did you arrive at this career (or point in your life/work)? Was it always something you knew you wanted to do?   I’ve always been passionate about charity work and humanitarian projects, but I didn’t think that I could make a career out of it, until I started working on my own projects in sixth form. Being able to combine my interests in technology and helping others really excited me, so I decided to study Product Design Engineering at university and did a 9 month placement as a Biomedical Engineer at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. I graduated with a 2:1 in 2018, and I worked as a freelance Product Designer and STEM tutor for Liverpool Girl Geeks for a few months. I now work as an Engineer at DefProc, where I get to work on projects that make a difference to the world around me - which suits me perfectly! Throughout my career, I’ve worked on a wide range of projects - including children’s prosthetics, VR-based assistance tools for sight impaired people, 3D printed explosive replicas to aid in mine risk education in Syria and Mali, British Sign Language to English translation equipment and devices to help elderly and isolated people make new friends in their community.  3. What about your job makes you jump out of bed in the morning, especially on those cold, dark mornings?   What gets me out of bed in the morning is knowing that every day at my job is an opportunity to learn something brand new, which is really exciting to me. No two days are the same and there’s always a new challenge, so I never find myself feeling bored.  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 feeling stressed, it helps to know that I work in a very supportive environment. If I’m feeling overwhelmed I know I can always talk to the people I work with, and they’re always able to offer me advice and help me solve more difficult problems. I try my best to keep a positive attitude and make sure I don’t give myself a hard time if I find something more challenging than I expected. Outside of work, I like to relax by going for walks, spending time with friends and playing guitar. 5. Who is your role model? If no one, any thoughts on this? Some STEM-related role models that stand out to me are Alan Turing, Mae Jemison and Rose Will Monroe - also known as the real Rosie the Riveter (I even have a Rosie poster in my room!). Outside of STEM, my role models are Malala Yousafzai and Marsha P. Johnson, as well as the wonderful people around me, like my co-workers, my friends and my family. Even though they aren’t all in STEM careers, I am inspired by how hard they work to pursue their different passions.  6. What advice would you give to yourself if you could go back in time?   If I could go back in time, I’d encourage myself to do more of what I enjoy. I was so preoccupied with choosing a university degree that would secure me a high-paying job that I didn’t realise that the answer was right in front of me until I started sixth form. I think if I focussed on pursuing what made me happy more than what would get me money, I could have saved myself a lot of stress!  7. Top 3 tips for girls starting out in STEM?   Look for companies and brands that have morals that match your own, even if they’re not ones that are big or well-known. Not only can this help you understand what type of career suits you best, working on projects that you’re passionate about will make your job much more fun! Find opportunities to network when possible, it might be intimidating to start with but there’s a chance you’ll discover an exciting new company or job role that you’ve never heard of. Try and get work experience (whether it’s volunteering, an internship or a part time job) that’s related to what you’re interested in. It’s a good way to work out if that career is right for you, and it helps you stand out from the crowd when looking for a job.  8. How do you measure your success?   When I want to measure my success, I look back on where I was at that point the year before. I’ve done this since I was about 15 and it always helps because a lot can happen in a year!  9. Where can we find out more about your work?   To find out more about DefProc Engineering, you can find us at our website: https://www.defproc.co.uk/ or you can follow us on Twitter: @DefProcEng  10. Are you social? Will you share your Twitter handle, or LinkedIn profile, or Facebook so that young women can connect with you?   To find out more about me, you can find me on Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn My Instagram : alexandragood.design My Twitter: Alexandra Good My LinkedIn: Alexandra Good (BSc Hons)  
1. Say hi :) who are you what do you do?   Hello! My name is Sophie, I am a researcher and science writer with experience in healthy aging, patient engagement, and scientific research. My articles regarding the intersection of technology and healthcare, including how innovations transform the management of chronic disease for diverse populations, have been published extensively, most notably appearing in PBS Next Avenue, Forbes, MarketWatch, Brandchannel, Pfizer Get Old and other media outlets. I have a bachelor’s degree in bioinformatics, a master’s degree in public and community health and a graduate certificate in gerontology.  2. How did you arrive at this career? Was it always something you knew you wanted to do?   As a young girl, I was an avid reader. I had a budding interest in science and became inspired by my mother’s love of science and healthcare. She started and operated a community pharmacy for several years, where I became exposed to different views of health including patient engagement, health promotion, and preventive medicine. After I graduated with my master’s degree, I launched Global Health Aging, a web-based publication featuring news, research and policy implications on healthy longevity. The website is listed as a resource for research on aging and age-related diseases by the Dahlgren Memorial Library at Georgetown University Medical Center. Global Health Aging has also been nominated twice by Wego Health for the 2015 Rookie of the Year and 2017 Patient Leader Hero Awards. I am very fortunate to have a diverse background because of the different paths I’ve followed and opportunities that have presented themselves to me since graduation.   3. What about your job makes you jump out of bed in the morning, especially on those cold, dark mornings?   Contributing to valuable research that impacts science and public health gives me a sense of purpose. I am passionate about improving healthcare through research, innovation, and collaboration, my latest report explores the social and financial costs of millennial dementia caregivers. Also writing for various media outlets such as Salon, Brandchannel and PBS Next Avenue have been a dream come true.  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 am a proud bibliophile! I de-stress by reading, my favorite genres are fantasy, science fiction, and even cookbooks. I also curate my book account on Twitter, where I share my love of books and movies. In times of doubt, I try to remember my past successes and read inspirational quotes, I especially love this quote “You are worth so much more than your productivity.” My family and close friends also offer the best motivational talks. Self-care is essential, my goal is to make it a priority and never take it for granted.  5. Who is your role model? If no one, any thoughts on this?   My future self. I’m inspired to do better each day physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I must also mention my mother. Her example and mentorship had a huge influence on the formation of my career goals. She encouraged my fascination with science, I still have fond memories of her explaining chemical reactions and equations at the dinner table. Thanks to my mother, chemistry was and still is one of my favorite subjects.  6. What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self? Work smart as well as hard because it will pay off in the future. Realize that your challenges and struggles are temporary although it may not feel so. Always remember to confide in family members and close friends, they are your biggest allies. And finally, there are many paths to your dream, so believe in yourself and embrace your unique gifts. Remain committed and practice patience to achieve your goals, ignore the negative.  7. Top 3 tips for girls starting out in STEM?   First and foremost, it’s awesome that you’ve chosen the STEM field! Find allies within and outside your field. For the longest time, my closest allies were colleagues in other fields like social work, international business and nursing. They were my cheerleaders in difficult and challenging times. Find a mentor. Mentors can help you develop your career. I’ve had mentors at different times in my career, it makes a big difference. A mentor can also encourage you to join professional organizations that are relevant to your field. Volunteer your time, energy or skills. This can help with building your network and connecting with people who share your passion and purpose. A couple of initiatives include The STEM Squad and Her STEM Story. Personal branding (marketing yourself and your career as a brand) is also important as you build your STEM career. 8. How do you measure your success?   I’ve realized that success is relative. The most important lesson is to learn to give yourself grace and celebrate your achievements, whether few or many. Everyone is on a journey and it's uniquely their own. Here are some of my favorite inspirational quotes that show what success to me is.  “Have courage and be kind.” “Be the change you want to see in the world.” “Different paths in life are not always the wrong path.” “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” “Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.”  9. Where can we find out more about your work?   https://soinspiredhealth.com/   https://globalhealthaging.org/   10. Are you social? Will you share your Twitter handle, or LinkedIn profile, or Facebook so that young women can connect with you?   Yes! I would love to connect with young STEM women. I’m active on Twitter @sophieokolo
Name: Bathabile Mpofu Role/Occupation: MD at Nkazimulo Applied Sciences Country: South Africa Bathabile Mpofu is the Managing Director at Nkazimulo Applied Sciences and the creator of the science kit, ChemStart. ChemStart was designed to help young people become scientists by giving them a chance to perform science experiments themselves, to better understand the practical component of their lessons, thus preparing them for science careers. As part of the package, the company also does science experiments at schools to get young people excited about science. As a young girl, Mpofu had aspired to become a doctor, however the secondary education offered to her could not adequately prepare her to meet this aspiration, “Imagine how it feels like to come to the knowledge that your future as you imagined it, is never going to happen and it’s not your fault? You are capable but are disempowered?... Thousands of learners go through this experience every year! That is not right,” she recalls. Ultimately, she studied a BSc majoring in Chemistry and Biology and then worked as a technician at the university. As a technician, she came across many students who experienced struggles similar to her known, this mobilised Mpofu to action and she founded her own company and developed ChemStart. “High school didn’t prepare me for tertiary education to learn to become a doctor, but now I have an opportunity to prepare and help others become the scientists they aspire to be through ChemStart... ChemStart makes science come to life and prepares learners for tertiary education,” she explains. Mpofu admits that running a business is difficult but she wouldn’t have it any other way, “because I am doing something I believe in, in something whose vision I crafted myself, I always work towards achieving it. I am not under compulsion but driven by passion.” She envisions that one day “a graduate of medicine [will say] that ChemStart contributed in their journey of becoming a doctor.” Her advise to young woman hoping to enter the STEM field is to utilise the power within, “the power to change one’s life for a better future lies within each person and if we dream about what we want, be willing to take action that leads towards making the dream a reality…we can achieve anything we want to achieve.” Mpofu feels that the current South African climate is conducive to the advancement of women in STEM, this country “has so many opportunities for women to pursue STEM careers… I have had some opportunities presented to me which I’ve taken hold of, I’ve been celebrated for being in STEM… It is a land of opportunity for everyone, but men still progress further than women. I think work needs to be done on mindset and not just the opportunities.” Read more about our Geeky Girl, Bathabile Mpofu, who makes science come to live more than a ChemStart kit in an inspiring interview below.  1. Describe what your work entails.   At the company I developed a science kit called ChemStart. This kit is designed to help young people become scientists by giving them a chance to perform science experiments themselves, preparing them for science careers, and to better understand the practical component of their lessons. We also do science experiments at schools to get young people excited about science.  2. Describe your STEM journey.   I wanted to grow up and become a doctor but high school education didn’t prepare me for this. Imagine how it feels like to come to the knowledge that your future as you imagined it, is never going to happen and it’s not your fault? You are capable but are disempowered? I know how it feels because is exactly what happened to me. Thousands of learners go through this experience every year! That is no right! I ended up studying BSc majoring in Chemistry and Biology and I was fortunate to get a job at the university as a technician and got to see many young people going to the struggle like I did. When life dishes you lemons, you make lemon juice, this eventuality defined my new purpose in life. High school didn’t prepare me for tertiary education to learn to become a doctor, but now I have an opportunity to prepare and help others become the scientists they aspire to be through ChemStart. I started a company so I could do this. ChemStart makes science come to life and prepares learners for tertiary education.  3. What excites you about your job? What motivates you to get out of bed every morning?   I love the fact that I can fulfil my purpose in life through my job. Running a business is not easy though but because I am doing something I believe in, in something whose vision I crafted myself, I always work towards achieving it. I am not under compulsion but driven by passion. What motivates you to get out of bed every morning? The opportunity that I contribute towards helping young people fulfil their dreams. I imagine a day when a graduate of medicine says that ChemStart contributed in their journey of becoming a doctor.  4. How would you describe your experience as a woman in the STEM space?   I have had some opportunities presented to me which I’ve taken hold of, I’ve been celebrated for being in STEM and the environment in this country is conducive and encouraging to women to advance in STEM. Whether women are able to use these opportunities is a different question.  5. What advice would you give to young women aspiring to enter the STEM field?    The power to change one’s life for a better future lies within each person and if we dream about what we want, be willing to take action that leads towards making the dream a reality…we can achieve anything we want to achieve. Right now SA has so many opportunities for women to pursue STEM careers 6. 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”?   It is a land of opportunity for everyone, but men still progress further than women. I think work needs to be done on women’s mindset and not just the opportunities.  7. Have there been any milestone moments or eureka moments in your career?   The moment I realised that my struggles and challenges I faced in my journey have helped me find my purpose in life. In Jan 25 th , 2015 I had that eureka moment where I said “I‘ve found my purpose in life”  8. How do you maintain a work-life balance?    Honestly this is hard, I have learned to ask for help as much as I can and then share the success with others. There is no-way I could do all this on my own.  9. Who is your role model? Who inspires you?    Oprah…she decided at a young age that she will be who she has become. After achieving all that she remains humble and is passionate about building other people.  10. Where can more information or insight into your work be found?   www.nkazisciences.co.za www.facebook.com/nkazisciences   Twitter Handle:  @BathabileMpofu Bathabile Mpofu 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
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