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#STEMStories: Alexandra, Product Design Engineer, UK

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? 

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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)