In our first team Q&A interview, Maureen Ferrer, Communications Executive, shares her early experiences of STEM and how that shaped her career ambitions.
As part of our commitment to providing the best opportunities for growing and developing young people interested in STEM careers, we want to ensure everyone has access to STEM. By connecting and creating platforms for young people to be positively exposed to a career in STEM, we want to offer the gateway to education and help those who are already on their journey.
Developing a passion for STEM
In our first Q&A series, we interviewed Maureen Ferrer, the Marketing Intern at Engtal x Biotal and Communications Executive of Diversify the Future. Maureen is also working towards her BSc to learn more about her passion for STEM and how education providers and employers can encourage the next generation to consider careers across the industry. Interviewer: Tell us a little about yourself I am currently a student at Central Connecticut State University in Connecticut, working towards my Bachelor of Science in Marketing. I have always been interested in entrepreneurship and owning my business. However I've always had a passion for learning! When I was younger and used to be in a series of STEM programs that entailed building things out of Lego, building and programming robots, stop motion animation, coding, etc. It was so much fun, and I learned from play. I was born and raised in Connecticut, USA. I grew up around people working in professional roles - that had worked hard, and my drive to create and have a career was instilled in me at a young age. A passion of mine has always been giving back to my community, for several years, I supported kids at an afterschool program. During my time, I had the opportunity to teach STEM classes alongside my mentor, where the kids did experiments and learned more about the fantastic things STEM had to offer. After many sessions, my kids expressed their excitement for STEM and wanted to be scientists, doctors, nurses, vets, or even astronauts.
Interviewer: How did you feel about science in school? In middle school, I was very passionate about Molecular Gastronomy in cooking, so I taught myself how to do it and presented it as my exhibition project. I enjoyed certain science subjects in high school, such as biology and forensics, so much to the point I considered a career path in being a forensic scientist or work for crime science investigation (CSI). This was also fueled by my unhealthy obsession with Criminal Minds, Law & Order: SVU, and Forensic Files! Once I got to college, I took Environmental Justice which was highly informative and historical in teaching people about the effects of pollutants and redlining, and took a course in galactic astronomy, which explained the composition of stars and space.
Interviewer: What is the best advice you were given growing up? Be happy with what you are doing, and do not worry about the money- money comes but being happy matters most. I always knew money was necessary, but I was more passionate about having a fruitful and enjoyable career. When people don't believe in your dream, it's actually a motivation to me - and keep those in my corner who always believe in my vision.
Interviewer: What do you love about your job? I love the creative exposure I have in my job, and now being part of the Diversify the Future Foundation is inspiring; we're doing some very valuable work and providing a platform for people who may not have had the financial resources to consider a career in STEM and I am proud to be part of such a worthy cause. If you'd like to learn more about what we're up to at Diversify the Future, follow our LinkedIn page to keep up to date with our latest news, updates and scholarship funding.