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Why choose STEM? Because I'm an AM not an IN

Matt Browell-Hook | 06 Nov 2014 | Comments

My name is Matt and I am a mechanical engineer working in Oil & Gas. My boss is Neil and he’s a civil engineer. The boss of my company is Uwe Krueger and he’s a physicist…

These descriptions are accurate but don’t describe what we do on a daily basis. My name is Matt and I’m a project manager and team lead, my boss is Neil and he’s an operations director. The boss of my company is the Chief Executive Officer of an 18,000 person company.

And therein lies the power of a STEM education. We do not define ourselves by our current roles but by the principles and attitudes we learnt in our formative education, be that at college, university or during an apprenticeship. In a recent meet and greet with our new Oil and Gas European QHSE manager we were all asked to introduce ourselves and give a bit of background. Interestingly both I and my new colleague started with “I’m a mechanical engineer”. Our current roles do not rely on this background but are indelibly informed and improved because of it. A STEM education forms a challenging, inquisitive mind which rather than define them into a single discipline and job type opens the full range of possibilities to them. Even engineering firms are businesses and businesses need lots of skills and roles to thrive.

I best describe this as “I am an AM not an IN”. My friends who work in many varied fields often describe themselves as being IN their field i.e. I am IN marketing, I am IN sales, I am IN finance, etc. I have never been IN engineering, but I AM an engineer. Being an AM means I can be anything I want.