One of the most important aspects of our work at BoSTEM is encouraging students to pursue careers in STEM by introducing them to people working all across the various STEM industries and fields. We do this through our program known as STEM Bites and Chats, a 15-20 minute video where someone working in a STEM field of interest will get the opportunity to talk about their life, journey, and career in STEM or give a lesson on STEM concepts related to their career. This gives the opportunity for students to hear directly from and questions to STEM professionals and help see themselves represented in STEM industries at large.
None of these chats would be possible without the help from our volunteers who graciously offer their time to talk about their stories to hopefully inspire others to follow in their path. In honor of our STEMcation week, a week of events to celebrate our volunteers, the community, and students and fundraise for BoSTEM, we wanted to highlight some of the best and most inspiring STEM Bites and Chats we have had the honor to host throughout quarantine. In just over a year, we recorded more than 140 STEM Chats and Bites to help give students access to STEM professionals during COVID-19. These videos were chosen by the BoSTEM team because we believed these would be the most inspirational to students and are presented in no particular order. We welcome anyone inspired by these volunteers and their stories to sign up to volunteer with BoSTEM or to register for our STEMCation Week.
Soufiane Younoissi is the Associate Director of Finance at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and in his STEM Chat, he spoke about his experience as an immigrant from West Africa and his path to finding a career in STEM. Younoissi said it is normal to face a lot of uncertainties in the pursuit of a career in STEM, but it’s easy to find your path if you advocate for yourself and to pursue lots of different opportunities to connect with other people in STEM careers. He also spoke on his passion to increase diversity in his field and offered advice for any minorities that are looking to pursue a similar career.
Benny Prats turned his childhood passion for airplanes and parachutes into a successful career working with NASA. In his STEM Chat, Prats spoke about how he was inspired by stargazing as a child and turned that into a career by taking risks and above all, making mistakes and learning from them. Prats also talked about his time in High School and College working with wind tunnels.
Alicia Kauffman joined us to talk about how she turned her passion for the ocean and the environment into a career as an engineer from Jacobs Engineering. Kauffman discussed how she believes that a person’s career path is defined by one’s passions, their sense of curiosity, their strengths, and even their weaknesses. While she said it’s important to try to commit to your goals, it’s also okay to not know what you want to do with your career, especially when you’re in college and that you should try as many options as you like.
In this STEM Chat, we hear from Bhavesh Bhanushali, a Technical Program Manager from Google who spoke about his experience as a POC Immigrant working in STEM. Bhanushali discussed how he was able to overcome cultural obstacles and imposter syndrome to help him succeed in his career. He also stressed that it is important to continue learning throughout your entire life and to make sure to do your best to keep up with the ever changing technological advancements.
In his STEM Bite, Max Berezin and his colleague from Rapid 7 gave a presentation about how the internet works. Berezin explained the basics behind the way that the internet works, from the fact that computers are essentially fancy calculators to the way websites work. He also went into how people try to exploit the security holes in the internet through hacking and how we can protect ourselves online.
Hungry for More Bites and Chats?
We would like to thank Soufiane, Benny, Alicia, Bhavesh, and Max along with all of our other fantastic volunteers for offering their valuable time to help provide career stories and advice to our STEM interested students. It is our hope that hearing from these volunteer STEM professionals will help answer any questions students have about their future or to inspire them to pursue a career in STEM.
In celebration of National Volunteer Week and the work of these five volunteers, the BoSTEM team sent a special STEM-themed cocktail kit to each volunteer. If you register for STEMcation Week you are automatically entered into a raffle to win one of these awesome kits!
If you’re interested in seeing some of our STEM Chats and Bites, feel free to check out this playlist to see our full offering of programming. These potentially career-defining opportunities are not possible without our volunteers graciously offering their time. If you or someone at your company is interested in hosting a STEM Chat or Bite, please click here! Also, join us for STEMcation week all this week to show support for BoSTEM.