Samantha’s story is all too common in STEM. Having relevant qualifications and experience but being blocked from re-entering engineering.
With a Master’s degree and a PhD showcasing the very best of UK STEM innovation, Samantha’s talent should have been in high demand after her career-break.
“I completed my Masters in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, I then embarked on a PhD at Heriot-Watt University.”
“My PhD aims were to identify, design, manufacture, and test suitable sensing technologies capable of on-line real-time measurements which could meet the demand of the Food and Beverage Industry. The project aimed to develop techniques in order to monitor viscosity in real time while exploring the potential for multi-sensing capability.”
However, after completing her doctorate, Samantha decided to step out of her career.
“I decided to take a career break due to mental health concerns, instead focusing on raising two young children while I recovered.”
The break meant Samantha was ineligible for a number of graduate and entry level roles, even though she had the ability and desire to return to STEM.
“When I tried to return to work, I found I lacked industrial experience and was no longer eligible or able to manage any graduate schemes due to my career break and family situation.”
Working part-time as a stopgap, Samantha was then recommended the STEM Returners Programme.
“A friend had been through the STEM Returners Programme and recommended them to me. I had been happy working part time but was feeling much better within myself and missed being in an engineering environment.”
Finally returning into the engineering workforce, Samantha took her transferable skills to BAE Systems in Glasgow.
“The programme gave me the option to return to such an environment. STEM returners continued to help and highlighted to the company how I was open to different areas and where my skills could be used. This resulted in the company asking me back for a further interview when new positions became available, and I was successful.
“I’ve now been able to return, gain industry experience and gain employment with the company after my placement. Re-starting a career within engineering now means I have plenty of future career routes available to me!