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

Shilpa Rumjeet is research administrator at the Centre for Bioprocess Engineering Research (CeBER), at the University of Cape Town (UCT), where she is responsible for the coordination of various projects. Her main project focuses on wastewater generated by biorefineries and the value-added products that can be created from this wastewater if processed appropriately such as biofuels and clean water. She is also involved in many side projects which range from investigating post- mining transformation through the fibrous plant economy to the assessment of the techno-economics of valorisation of vinasse in the sugarcane industry. Rumjeet’s main aim is creating value from waste, “I strongly believe that we need to move towards a bio-economy where the traditional petroleum derived products such as fuel and plastics are substituted with their bio-based and biodegradable counterparts.” Rumjeet believes in a waste free future, “incidentally we must move towards a circular economy where there [is] no waste generated when waste is treated as a resource from which we can extract value. My work revolves around these emerging concepts and I derive immense satisfaction in knowing that I am contributing in the move towards a sustainable future.” Rumjeet has journeyed far to reach her current position. She completed her primary and secondary education in her home country of exotic Mauritius; after which she pursued a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering at University of Cape Town in South Africa from which she graduated with honours in 2012. She then obtained a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering, specialising in Bioprocess Engineering. This was followed by her return to Mauritius where she worked as a bioprocess engineer involved in the production of biogas from wastes at a start-up company. However, her true passion has always been research and when she was offered a job in the research centre of her former postgraduate supervisor, Prof Harrison she gladly accepted and returned to South Africa. From her experience thus far in the engineering field, Rumjeet surmises that “it has been easier to navigate [her] professional life in an academic environment as opposed to an industrial one. Being a female engineer in the field presented more challenges where sometimes you would feel undermined with regards to your male colleagues.” One of the highlights of her career thus far was being selected as one of the 25 winners of 736 applicants from over 100 countries for the annual international competition called Green Talents hosted in Germany in 2018. Green Talents focuses on identifying promising potentials in sustainable development research and enterprise. The participants joined a local 2-week science forum where they had an opportunity to learn about the German sustainable development research landscape. With regards to her opinion of the future of STEM in Africa, Rumjeet is very optimistic, “I think there is a lot of space for the STEM community to grow especially with South Africa’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals...” She is also positive about the progress of African women in STEM, “There is a growing incentive to attract more girls to STEM fuelled by organisations like Women in Engineering, who are doing a marvellous job of providing support to both students as well as budding professionals and entrepreneurs.” Her advice to young women aspiring to enter the STEM field is “sustain your motivation and drive throughout your education/career. Remind yourself that hard work eventually pays off.” Read more about this Geeky Girl, Shilpa Rumjeet in an insightful interview below, which will have you converting words into knowledge in much the same way as she converts waste into value. 1. Describe what your work entails. I am involved in the coordination of various projects in CeBER. My main project revolves around wastewater biorefineries targeting the use of wastewater as a resource for producing value added products such as biofuels, bioproducts and clean water2. My side projects include (i) a community of practice projects to investigate post-mining transformation through the fibrous plant economy3; (ii) the techno-economics assessment of various process options for the valorisation of vinasse in the sugarcane industry. 2. Describe your STEM journey. After the completion of my secondary education in my home country, Mauritius I moved to South Africa to pursue my tertiary education at the University of Cape Town. I enrolled in the Chemical Engineering programme and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering with honours in 2012. I went on to obtain a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering in 2016, specialising in Bioprocess Engineering. I returned to Mauritius and worked as a bioprocess engineer in a start-up company dealing with the production of biogas from wastes. Being driven by research, I accepted a job offer in the research centre of my former postgraduate supervisor, Prof Harrison and returned to South Africa in mid-2017. 3. What excites you about your job? What motivates you to get out of bed every morning? I strongly believe that we need to move towards a bio-economy where the traditional petroleum derived products such as fuel and plastics are substituted with their bio-based and biodegradable counterparts. Incidentally we must move towards a circular economy where there are no waste generated when waste is treated as a resource from which we can extract value. My work revolves around these emerging concepts and I derive immense satisfaction in knowing that I am contributing in the move towards a sustainable future. 4. How would you describe your experience as a woman in the STEM space? Personally, I felt it has been easier to navigate my professional life in an academic environment as opposed to an industrial one. Being a female engineer in the field presented more challenges where sometimes you would feel undermined with regards to your male colleagues. It was more tedious to earn respect from your peers. 5. What advice would you give to young women aspiring to enter the STEM field? Sustain your motivation and drive throughout your education/career. Remind yourself that hard work eventually pays off. 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”? I think there is a lot of space for the STEM community to grow especially with South Africa’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which requires significant contribution from the scientific communities. There is a growing incentive to attract more girls to STEM fuelled by organisations like Women in Engineering, who are doing a marvellous job of providing support to both students as well as budding professionals and entrepreneurs. 7. Have there been any milestone moments or eureka moments in your career? In 2018, I was selected as one of the 25 winners of the annual international competition called Green Talents. This competition aims to identify high potentials in sustainable development. Last year, 25 winners were selected out of 736 applicants from over 100 countries. We participated in a 2-week science forum in Germany where we had the opportunity to learn about the German research landscape on sustainable development. 8. How do you maintain a work-life balance? It is sometimes hard to maintain the work-life balance. I sometimes must make a conscious effort to leave work behind and focus on other things when I get home. However, it is important to maintain a balance for one’s wellbeing, both physically and mentally. 9. Who is your role model? Who inspires you? On a personal level: My mum. I admire her strength and resilience in adverse situations. On the professional side: My boss, Prof Sue Harrison. I admire her dedication to her work. She is passionate and extremely hard-working. 10. Where can more information or insight into your work be found? 1http://www.ceber.uct.ac.za/ 2http://www.futurewater.uct.ac.za/FW-WWBR 3http://www.resilientfutures.uct.ac.za/ https://www.greentalents.de/awardees_awardees2018_shilpa-rumjeet.php Shilpa Rumjeet 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
1. Introduce yourself, who are you what do you do? I’m Jasmine Greenaway, and I write code, and teach others how to do it too through speaking, workshops, and small projects! Right now I do those two things (plus a little more) as a Cloud Advocate at Microsoft. I also teach beginning web development at a local college, and co-organize a local meetup called BrooklynJS. 2. How did you arrive at this career (or point in your life/work)? Was it always something you knew you wanted to do? As a teen, I was hogging the house computer all the time! I would customize my MySpace and LiveJournal and do it for friends as well. Eventually this led to making websites on Geocities, a web hosting platform. At the time, however, I was certain that I wanted to be a meteorologist because the movie Twister had a huge impact on me at a young age. When I got to college, I declared my major in research meteorology, with a minor in computer science because I was certain I’d need it for a better competitive edge in the job market. 2 years in, I realized I really loved my CS classes and switched my major to software engineering! 10 years and a master’s degree later I can still say with confidence it’s the first of the three best decisions I’ve made for my life so far. 3. What about your job makes you jump out of bed in the morning, especially on those cold, dark mornings? My task list! I usually write one in my work bullet journal for the next day before I finish work for the current day. Though we have specific responsibilities, my team’s role is a very “choose your own adventure” approach, so we have to be self starters to a certain extent. Because of this, the tasks I have are the result of something I participated in, or started myself, so I always have something to look forward to. 4. What is your personal cure for stress or how do you raise your spirits in times of doubt? Can you share a Story? Usually I’ll take a long break where I go for a walk and listen to fast paced music, or sit somewhere comfy and look at funny memes. Recently, I recognized what mental exhaustion looks and feels like for me. Stress is so unhealthy, and the more you let it invade your life, the less you’ll notice it’s impact! Sometimes when I have a really hard and stressful week, I’ll take a sick day or even a half day and go do something fun or relaxing. I think stress should fall in the sick day category, because, in my mind if I don’t take care of myself now, I’ll be taking more days off to recover in the near future. I know some may not be into that, but it’s truly an investment in your health and sometimes a weekend isn’t enough, especially if you’re “Sunday scaries” prone. 5. Who is your role model? If no one, any thoughts on this? My mom. I admire her ability to adapt and think on her feet. She’s a pastor; I watched her start and run a whole church for over 25 years and really handle everything like a boss, she’s a natural leader. 6. What advice would you give to yourself if you could go back in time? “Be true to yourself” 7. Top 3 tips for girls starting out in STEM? You’re your own worst critic, don’t beat yourself up! Negative thoughts are NEVER helpful. Asking questions is an integral part of your career, get into a comfortable rhythm of asking for clarification or asking for help sooner rather than later. Take a deep breath or two (or three) before attempting any difficult task. (I have an extra one!) One of the greatest gifts you’ll receive in your job is downtime, use it to your advantage. 8. How do you measure your success? Before and during whatever I’m working on, I try to visualize a successful outcome so that I can adapt, adjust, or iterate. 9. Where can we find out more about your work? On my GitHub! 10. Are you social? Will you share your Twitter handle, or LinkedIn profile, or Facebook so that young women can connect with you? My Twitter handle is @paladique and is currently the best way to connect with me.
1. Introduce yourself, who are you what do you do? Hi! I’m Claudia, I have a PhD in astrophysics, and I’m a science communicator. My job is doing my best to let people know what science is about and what are the latest results in many different fields, make them believe in themselves, and that they can be scientists too if they want to! 2. How did you arrive at this career (or point in your life/work)? Was it always something you knew you wanted to do? When I was 17, I realised I wanted to study physics, and if I went back in time I would do it again. I’ve always been very curious and wanted to know more how things worked. I didn’t really think that being a science communicator was a career possibility - I started getting involved during my PhD, started to really enjoy it and found I had a talent for it too! After some years in academia, I decided to change job and after some soul searching I decided this was what I wanted to go for. 3. What about your job makes you jump out of bed in the morning, especially on those cold, dark mornings? I love the idea that I’m able to involve people in science and technology in non-traditional ways, for example firing a roller skate rocket, or building a tactile sheep. I love surprising people around me and looking for innovative ways to make science an enjoyable and accessible 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? The thing that uplifts me the most when I doubt myself or I struggle, is to remember about a workshop I ran a few years ago with a group of young girls. At the end, we asked them to write down what they thought about the workshop. One of them wrote “Claudia, you are awesome and when I grow up I want to be like you”. That was the first time I realised I could be a role model for young people, especially girls, and make them discover their potential to do science. 5. Who is your role model? If no one, any thoughts on this? Growing up I looked up to many illustrious scientists and writers. Many people think I had a female scientist as a role model, and I knew about some famous women in science, such as Marie Curie and Rosalind Franklin. I would say my main role model has been Virginia Woolf, especially from her essay “A Room Of One’s Own”, which I think should be read in all classrooms. In those pages, Woolf describes the spirit of independence a woman in the Victorian age had to display to build a metaphorical and physical small space to create her (literary) work; as I progressed in my studies, I viewed my BSc in physics as the “room of my own”, that I kept expanding by furthering my education. 6. What advice would you give to yourself if you could go back in time? Believe in yourself, you’re better than you think. Learn to listen to others, and learn to speak up when it’s your turn. Your opinions are valuable. 7. Top 3 tips for girls starting out in STEM? Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Asking good questions, not knowing the answers, is what makes a good scientist. Respect others, and ask for respect. Lift other people up. Be there and look out for each other - especially for LGBTQ, women of colour, disabled women, women of different religion. Science is a team effort, and you’ll need to treasure and learn from people from all walks of life to grow. People will try to bring you down. Some people out there still think that STEM subjects are not for girls, but they’re wrong. Keep being yourself, and destroy that stereotype just by loving what you do. 8. How do you measure your success? I like challenging myself to grow. I try to come up with new ideas and exit my comfort zone - at the end of a project I stop and think: what did I want to do differently from the way I, or everyone else, has always done this? Did I succeed? If I did, how? If I didn’t, why? It’s important that the main source of success is inside yourself, not in others. Sometimes, success looks very different to different people, and for me, success means I could learn more and learn to think differently, even when maybe I didn’t achieve the best result. 9. Where can we find out more about your work? The best place to find out more about what I do is through following me on Twitter! I share my projects, the events I’m organising, or cool science stories, on my Twitter account, @CA_AstroComm. 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 LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/antoliniclaudia/. It’s best if you write me a message saying why you’d like to connect with me! If you need a hand with your CV or some practise for an interview, get in touch with me and I’ll be happy to help.
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