Encouraging people into the world of STEM

by Silvie Francisci | Sep 22, 2023

I joined CC nearly a year ago and my time here so far has been fantastic. I was recently promoted to project manager in the wireless and digital services division and work on projects alongside other engineers. Over the years, I have gained extensive experience by working in many industries like Biotechnology, IT, Research and Education. To highlight my STEM journey so far, let me dive into what I get up to at Cambridge Consultants.

A typical day in my job role consists of supporting and supervising several projects that my colleagues are working on. I am involved in client meetings which allow me to provide updates to the project team on the development status of their project. Managing risks, cost tracking and making sure that a project stays within the budget are all components that are important in my job role. As well as making sure that it delivers on the agreed terms and stays within expectations. The team is always striving for innovation solutions and sometimes relates to the unexpected client needs. That’s where the real value of project management is.

Clients come to us with requests from a range of industries and from countries all over the world. Some interesting projects I have worked on to date are to do with radar and Bluetooth technologies and software for satellites. We are always striving the extra mile with what we can develop.

Volunteering at Cambridge Science Centre

At CC you are provided with 16 weeks of billable outreach time and I have been well supported through the outreach work I have done so far. I have been able to volunteer with the Cambridge Science Centre over a few weekends. CSC gives you lots of training and information before volunteering alongside the children. The team onsite are always helpful when showing how the different STEM related activities function.

The events are to encourage children to try, experiment and be open minded about STEM. I have been able to demonstrate how to experiment in a safe way through things like showing how a magnet functions or explaining how electricity is generated. It is valuable to guide children and their parents through the activities and answer any questions they may have.

We have recently helped with an event called CW Techsters which was held in the Bradfield centre on the Cambridge science park. Myself and a few other outreach volunteers from CC set the young adults with a challenge. They were given three weeks to complete the task of finding out ‘How can technology combat or help the cost of living crisis?’ before being judged by CC engineers.

During the challenge, I was able to use my project manager skills to encourage the young adults to organise and set deadlines to get parts of their work done in the right time frames. The purpose of the activity was for them to solve the challenge and coordinate their efforts well. It was good to highlight the importance of partnership through teamwork and guide them on what they should focus on next. This gave the Techsters the chance to be open minded and co-operate within their groups to be successful.

I love being able to influence fresh minds into STEM and expand horizons to make it available to everyone. I think it’s important for children and their parents to gain knowledge about science and how it impacts their lives. And providing new solutions like the CSC does has been a great way to show this.

One of the important aspects of volunteering for me is that I can diversify my job role. It’s something that I don’t usually do in my day to day and its rewarding to come across others that I can support and influence. Promoting STEM in avenues such as volunteering is something I find fulfilling.

Being an employee at CC gives you access to various opportunities with a balance between work and social time. We are able to maintain collaboration with colleagues in the US and Asia which is a proactive way to learn off each other. There is an obvious team spirit throughout the whole company and everyone strives for excellence. The want and need to improve and change things for the better is contagious. And for people who want to continuously learn, there is the option to do so.

Expert authors

Project Manager | View profile
Silvie is a proactive and goal-oriented project manager with extensive experience in building teams and delivering high-value projects.

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