In2Science UK is a programme that takes young people from low-income and disadvantaged backgrounds of all academic levels studying STEM subjects, and offers them placement opportunities, working alongside researchers and industry professionals to get hands-on STEM experience over the summer.
Part of the experience includes mentoring sessions, where mentees get the chance to get to know a professional and receive tailored advice for their own needs. In some cases, this may be followed by an in-person placement. Last summer I volunteered as a mentor where I virtually mentored three students who had just completed their AS-level exams and were making decisions on what to do after their A-levels.
We met three times virtually, in the first session I told them a bit about my university and career journey, and what it means to be an Economist in the NHS and in government. In the second session we focused on their own areas of concern, these included time management and staying motivated. In the final session we spoke about the challenges associated with being a woman of colour in academic and professional settings, an especially relevant topic for a field like Economics which often lacks diversity.
The students engaged with me and learnt a lot about economics and analysis, two areas they were not very familiar with. The programme is a great way to reach young students and help broaden their understanding of Economics as a career. It is also a great opportunity for students to hear first-hand from professionals beyond the networks they might usually have access to.
If you are a year 12 student you can read more here about applying to be a part of the programme, and if you are an academic or professional you can find out about being a mentor and hosting a placement here.
Ranya is an Economist at NHS England & NHS Improvement as well as a Professional Champion here at Discover Economics, to learn more on how to become a Professional Champion and contribute, click here.