STEM Ambassador Spotlight - Keith Kirk
Issued: Mon, 16 Feb 2015 17:09:00 GMT
Name: Keith Kirk
Profession: Software Engineer
Principal Area of Expertise: Technology
I heard of the STEM Ambassador programme for the first time a few weeks after I'd joined BT and one of the other graduates asked "are you a STEM Ambassador yet?" It's been almost two years since then and I can say without a doubt that my time spent as an Ambassador has been one of the most rewarding things I've had the good fortune to be part of.
So far I've had the opportunity to attend numerous workshops and even organise a few events myself. I know that all of our Ambassadors – myself included – get a lot of enjoyment out of the chance to demonstrate engineering in practice.
I'll never forget when one student remarked to me "I want your job!" Showing pupils how engaging STEM careers can be is what we're in this to do so hearing that our event had opened someone's eyes to a possible future career was great to hear.
Many people struggle to understand exactly what it is Software Engineers do in their day to day jobs and hearing pupil feedback about their understanding of what we do is quite amusing. We always like to put these misconceptions to rest and make sure that by the end of our workshops we can leave in the knowledge that we've dispelled some myths about what it is we do.
Along with showcasing STEM careers I also find that running workshops with pupils helps me develop both my communication and coaching skills. Coming from a technical standpoint I found it easier to communicate in a low level way and this can make it hard for the non-technically minded to interpret what I’m saying. However, when you have to explain complicated concepts to pupils at STEM workshops you get more practice and experience and learn to communicate in a clearer and concise manner.
It’s for these reasons and more I would encourage anyone interested to become part of the STEM Ambassador programme and why when our BT team hires new staff I'll always be the first to ask "are you an STEM Ambassador yet?"