We asked one of our Inspiring volunteers, Samantha, to share why she got involved with Inspiring the Future and what she loves about inspiring young people through the program.
How long have you been an Inspiring the future volunteer?
I have been signed up as a volunteer since 2020, however due to COVID I have only been able to attend two events thus far (Soon to be three).
What made you want to sign up to volunteer with Inspiring the Future?
When I was growing up and at the stage in my life to choose my career path, I was really stumped as to what I wanted to do. I didn't have a good understanding of the possible jobs available and didn't understand what my options were. I have luckily found a career that I love, and that continues to reward me (Civil Engineering), however I think of the countless others who have not. I want to give young people the best understanding of all the opportunities available to them. I truly believe if more people knew the amazing careers available in engineering, more would choose it as a career.
When I came across Inspiring the Future I signed up to volunteer because I believe in their message and I think the best way to inspire young people is to show them the possibilities. You can't be what you can't see.
What is it about volunteering with Inspiring the Future that you really enjoy?
I enjoy talking directly to the students and hearing about how they want to change the world. The more intimate discussions where you can really explain to them what you do and how you contribute to society.
Has your career journey taken the path you imagined it would?
I don't think I really had a good picture of what I imagined my career to be when I first started out, though my career path has taken a few turns and changes. I spent my first year out of university working in transport planning, before moving into civil road design where I worked for 6 years on a wide variety of projects. I have since moved to a construction company doing design management, and am really enjoying the more practical application of my design knowledge. The key element for me has always been that I want to keep learning and challenging myself.
What is something about your career journey that has surprised you?
I think the most surprising thing about my career journey has been learning what I really enjoy doing, which is helping people. I got into engineering because it was maths and physics and I heard there were plenty of jobs in it, but the thing I’ve enjoyed the most is making a difference. Be it to the community through infrastructure we build, or helping colleagues find design solutions in my role.
What is one piece of advice that you would share with young people today?
Find something you enjoy about everything you do. It can be very easy to dislike menial tasks, or get frustrated when a task gets particularly difficult. It's good to keep a focus on the positive elements and what you can gain, be it experience, knowledge, or even just the joy of helping someone else.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Samantha has published a children's book "I Want To Be An Engineer".