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Abertay students supporting women in STEM

13 October 2016

Interconnect Champions main image

 Aleksandra Tomczyk and Itziar Ferreira Cores at the Scottish Parliament

Two Abertay Civil Engineering students have been chosen as Interconnect Champions.

Interconnect is the only network for women studying science, engineering, technology and built environment at Scotland’s colleges and universities.

It was set up by Equate Scotland in order to give female students the opportunity to meet women from across the country who are studying similar subjects, as well as network with female professionals in their field and build industry links.

This year, Abertay Civil Engineering students Itziar Ferreira Cores and Aleksandra Tomczyk have been selected.

Margi Vilnay, Programme Leader for Abertay’s BSc in Civil Engineering is delighted that two Abertay students have been selected.

‘Out of only 10 in the whole of Scotland, we have had two Abertay students selected as Interconnect Champions. It’s an amazing feat for a small department at a small University.’

Sara Orr-Saiz, Project Officer for Equate Scotland, said, ‘Our Interconnect Champions are very ambitious women. Itziar and Aleksandra wrote some of the best applications. They’re both very passionate about women in STEM.’

Itziar Ferreira Cores said, ‘For me, engineering means “challenge". I knew that studying engineering would be the adventure of my life.’

With 73% of women who studied a STEM subject not going on to work in the field they studied, Sara says it’s vital that female students have the right support network.

‘A lot female STEM students are one of only a few women on their course and they can feel left out, so it’s good to have a support network of other women. Interconnect also helps them work on their CVs and get exposure to different sectors and organisations so they know what their career options are. For example, what can I actually do as an engineer? Will I necessarily be on a construction site wearing a hard hat or will I be behind a desk designing?

‘As women, we tend to not be as confident at putting ourselves forward, so Interconnect tries to make sure that doesn’t happen. We want to build female STEM students’ confidence and let them know they’re great.’

Learn more about the Interconnect Network

Learn more about Abertay’s BSc in Civil Engineering

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