Hi, could you introduce yourself?

Hi, I’m Lily a Technology Graduate on the Technology Graduate scheme at BT. I joined BT having studied Physics at the University of Bristol. I have recently started the second rotation of my graduate scheme working in the Converged Core Design Team. For my first rotation I worked in Network Operations as part of the Transformation Team.

What are you working on?

In my previous rotation I worked in BT's Network Operations Centre, from which much of the UK's critical broadband, Wifi and mobile network is monitored and managed. As part of the Transformation Team I worked on a variety of projects with the aim to improve the processes and systems used to monitor the network. A lot of critical infrastructure relies on BT's network including the NHS, air traffic control and the emergency services so the centre is always running 24 hours 365 days a year. It was such an exciting, fast paced place to work I really enjoyed it! I have just moved into a new team and am really looking forward to learning as much as I can about Converged Core Design!

What are the challenges and successes in STEM?

I love working in STEM because I learn something new every single day! I love finding out how things work and learning about new technologies. I am passionate about developing my skills and am always trying to improve my knowledge and skillset. I also enjoy that projects I work on really matter and that I am a part of such an important job, keeping people connected! It can definitely be hard work and challenging at times as I still have so much to learn about the industry and there are so many technical terms and so much technical knowledge to get to grips with!

What are your goals?

I hope to continue working in technology, doing something that is challenging and that I really enjoy! I hope to continue learning new things every day; I love learning and will always be looking for ways to expand my knowledge and my skillset. I hope I will have developed my skills to be a good manager and mentor! I also hope I am still following my passion for STEM communication and to increase diversity in STEM and tech!

Do you have a mentor?

Yes, I have a mentor assigned to me as part of my graduate scheme! We have catch ups every month and talk about all sorts of things; career progression, technical knowhow, learning resources and lots more.

Do you mentor anyone?

I have recently signed up through work to be a part of the Mentor Together scheme. I am currently completing the training and will then have a mentee assigned to me. I am really looking forward to it! Also a few months ago I started a blog www.2sistersinstem.com where my sister and I share our stories and give advice and tips to anyone aspiring to pursue a career in STEM.

What could STEM do to better foster female talent?

I think it is really important to try and inspire and encourage girls into STEM at as young an age as possible. We need girls to see positive female role models working in STEM and tech careers so they know they can do it too! I am really passionate about community outreach and have done lots of work in primary schools as a STEM ambassador teaching coding, and I am now trained as a Barefoot volunteer. Barefoot Computing is a BT initiative to get more kids coding and to help primary school teachers learn about and run coding lessons!

What advice would you give to people getting into your field?

Do not ever let someone tell you can’t do something or that it is impossible! If you work really hard then you really, truly can achieve anything you want to! Pursuing a degree or career that the people around you don’t know much about can seem really daunting, but if you put the research in and lots of hard work you can follow whatever career path you set your mind to.

What’s the best piece of advice you have received?

My family always supported me growing up, I loved puzzle books and all sorts of science-y things and they encouraged me to learn as much as I could and made me believe that I could do anything! The physicist Marie Curie was also really inspiring to me and perhaps even partly why I studied Physics at university! Her quote - “We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves” – is one of my favourites!

Who do you follow? What blogs do you read?

I follow lots of women working in STEM in the UK and all over the world! There are so many brilliant blogs and Instagram accounts out there created by women in all sorts of incredible STEM careers. If you are interested in a particular career (however niche) have a look and hopefully you will be able to find someone who does it right now and can tell you a bit more about it!

What’s the best way to keep up to date with what you are doing?

I recently started a blog with my sister called www.2sistersinstem.com, we share our stories to hopefully inspire more women into careers in STEM! Come over and check it out – we would really appreciate it!

You can also find us sharing our stories, tips and tricks and STEM favourites on instagram and twitter @2sistersinstem