By Maryam Gharebaghi
Maryam is a Chartered process engineer currently living in Aberdeen, Scotland. She started her career in petrochemical industry in 2000 in Iran before she moved to Cyprus for Masters and then Leeds to complete a fully-funded PhD. Since 2011 she worked for Worley.
STEM has always been a special part of my life, whether I took part in a group activity such as ‘People Like Me’ or helped in setting up an activity in the background as to ensuring ‘there is enough saline for making slimes!’. However, the activity that I completed in early 2021 will always hold a special place in my mind.
The activity was developed based on writing a blog for shielding students in Stornoway during pandemic. In COVID-free days, I would have packed my bag and travelled in-situ to tell the students of my journey of becoming an engineer and how that had changed my whole life.
However, in COVID days, I decided to pass my message via a more limited means of communication – video. I spent a good couple of days to explore my personal photos, for all the signs of my passion for engineering: universities I studied in and graduated from, my first site visit, my first offshore trip and first time I presented in front of an audience. I put them all together and as a final personal touch, instead of using words flying in and out, I talked on it. I am not a native English-speaker and by sharing my not-too-perfect accent, I wanted to tell the students that all they need to pursue engineering is endeavour and passion – the rest will follow.
The feedback I received was ‘Students really enjoyed your biography. It gave the pupils a real insight into your journey into engineering.’