Inspirational Interviews – Vibhusha Raval

Hi! This week it is time for another installment of our ‘Inspirational Interviews’ series!

Today we are sharing Vibhusha Raval’s story, she works for BT as a Graduate Automation Delivery Manager.

She joined BT last September and has already got involved with, learnt and delivered so much!

Read on to find out more about Vibhusha and her journey so far!

Tell us about your current job
I’m Vibhusha Raval, and I’m a Graduate Automation Delivery Manager at BT working in the IT division. I work with teams across BT such as Wholesale, Finance and Networks to identify, design and deliver automation solutions. The role involves liaising with a broad range of stakeholders to understand the processes that are mundane and repetitive. These processes are best suited for automation and can deliver benefits to the business and free up the time for employees to do creative and complex decision-making work that requires emotional intelligence. I enjoy interacting with various stakeholders and learning about different parts of BT to broaden my horizons.

What/Who inspired you to pursue a career in STEM?
I studied a BSc (hons) in Computer Science and a MSc in Information Systems at Kingston University. I didn’t really have any family or friends who had done Computing, so it was solely my intrigue and enthusiasm to try something different and to see how I’d find it. I am one of those people who start liking what they do. I learnt about many aspects of Computing, such as databases, networks, security, design and programming. I also learnt about the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) and really enjoyed managing projects at Uni.

How did you get to where you are today?
I truly believe that if you want to achieve something you will find ways to make it work. Just like when you’re not committed to something then you’ll find excuses to not make it work! I studied up until my A Levels in India and came to UK when I was 18. I worked part time (3 days a week at a minimum and through the holidays) throughout my bachelor’s to fund my degree, which was very difficult but a necessity. I have full support from my family and that was a great plus point. Many challenges were thrown my way which not many 18-year-olds would usually have to deal with, but I kept a positive outlook and dealt with challenges one by one. The journey was anything but easy, but when you aim higher, the obstacles become opportunities. Prior to joining BT, I worked at a restaurant for nearly 5 years, so I didn’t really have any industry experience. What I had was even more valuable, the experience of approaching people with ease and a smile, which definitely helps me in my current role when I face any challenges.

What does your typical day look like?
Every day is unique and brings different opportunities which is what I enjoy the most about my role. I am a Certified Scrum Master (CSM) and have done a course on Agile Project Management. These two courses have been very useful to me as Technology products and service deliveries are swiftly moving towards the Agile framework. In the pre-pandemic world, I would meet the SME (Subject Matter Expert) in person to identify the requirements and update them on the deliveries that I was working on. However it has been a bit different since I started working from home, the face-to-face meetings are replaced by video conference calls and coffee with colleagues has been replaced by virtual catch ups. I try and keep a few minutes gap between long meetings so I can get up and stretch as I like to work for longer hours sitting in one place to concentrate, but that isn’t too good for the body. I have become accustomed to working from home and have tried to make the necessary changes to keep it healthy. My day ends with writing a to-do list for the next day.

What are your career highlights so far?
I achieved a competitive scholarship to pursue my MSc degree based on my excellent academic results and my passion for Technology. I joined BT and I have been recognised for my volunteering work, which is dear to my heart. I got rewarded for delivering great results for my team, which was fantastic because I take pride in quick and successful delivery of services to our customers. I was also invited to BBC Radio Suffolk to speak about my experiences and it was very well received by the audience. These are some of the highlights from the past 10 months, in my current role. I definitely encourage young people to dream big and go beyond limits to achieve your goals!

What do you like to do outside of work?
I love playing badminton, going for long walks, reading books and learning new skills which can help me excel in my life. I am passionate about helping others, so in my free time every weekend, I mentor young people virtually and help them rise above their challenges and choose STEM as a career because it’s truly worth it!

Thank you very much to Vibhusha for taking the time to tell us her story!

2SistersInSTEM

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How We Became 2 Sisters Working In STEM

So how did we become 2 Sisters In STEM?

What paths did we take to get where we are today?

We thought a good way to kick off our blog would be to do a proper introduction and tell you a bit about ourselves. The journeys we have followed from school, through A Levels, to further study, working in industry and ultimately starting this blog! Hope you enjoy!

Lily

Hi! I’m Lily the slightly older and less ginger sister, I am 23 and live in the East of England. I am currently working in STEM as a Technology Graduate at BT, I joined BT in September 2019 and am absolutely loving it so far.

I have always been curious and liked solving problems, my poor mum bore the brunt of this when I was little and gave me puzzle books to keep me busy! And I’m so glad she did, as my love for puzzles helped me through years of school maths and science. All leading to me deciding to study Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Further Maths at A Level.

As I worked through my A Levels, spending more time studying fewer subjects I came to realise the majority of my interest and passion was for physics. I was really intrigued by all the questions that physicists still don’t have the answers for and the vastness of what I could learn about, from black holes to sub atomic particles.

I decided to apply to do a degree in Physics at University and I secured a place at the University of Bristol. I had a brilliant 3 years, there were times when I loved it and there were times when it was extremely difficult. But I learnt so much and loved living in Bristol a new, big, exciting city and it offered me lots of opportunities to see what I might like to do after I graduated.

After uni I did a lot of job hunting and a fair bit of soul searching and secured a job as a Science and Maths Facilitator at an EdTech (education technology) company. It allowed me to explore two of my biggest passions STEM communication and problem solving. I helped create innovative educational resources and worked on all stages of the product development process. From thinking up new ideas to testing them out in schools with young people and then fine tuning till we had a brilliant product. It was really rewarding and I learnt a lot!

I loved working on innovative solutions to problems and I decided I wanted to work in industry to explore and expand my skill set. So I set about applying for jobs in the technology sector and was lucky enough to be offered one at BT on the Technology Graduate scheme. I am currently on my first of 3 rotations and am really enjoying it so far! I have already learnt so much about the telecommunications industry and developed lots of technical skills and knowledge and I cannot wait for whatever opportunities lie ahead!

Maisie

Hi I’m Maisie, the younger and more ginger sister! I am 21 and currently doing an internship at Boeing Defence UK and working as a Logistical Support Engineer with Chinooks – so lots of helicopter data!

When I was younger I always enjoyed problem solving and building things – the classic Lego cliche applies here! My dad always tells me of the time when I was very little and I beat him in a game of dominoes. I must have always liked numbers… or maybe I’ve just been super competitive since birth.

I think I knew I wanted to go into engineering from about the age of 14, a few people I knew had done the Arkwright Scholarship (an award that encourages young leaders into engineering) and my mum encouraged me to apply for it. Amazingly I got offered it and was sponsored by Rolls Royce! This meant I was able to do work experience at Rolls Royce and I found out all about the different engineering disciplines.

I always loved making things and getting hands on experience when learning. This led me to study Product Design at GCSE and onto A Level. I always looked forward to those lessons, being able to come up with an idea and make it with your own hands is an amazing feeling.

I chose to do Maths, Physics and Product Design for my A levels, as with these I knew I could go on to apply for many different engineering or technology degrees. However I decided on Aerospace Engineering as it was the type of engineering I was most interested in and aircraft have always intrigued me.

After my A Levels I got a place at The University of Sheffield to study a degree in Aerospace Engineering. I absolutely love Sheffield, it’s the perfect city for me and I get to work in the amazing engineering building called the Diamond!

I knew I wanted to gain hands on, industry experience and to see what life working as an engineer is really like. So I decided to apply for an industrial placement and after lots and lots of applications I was offered one! I was over the moon when I got the call from Boeing as I was really keen to experience working in the aerospace sector.

Now I am 10 months into my year long internship at Boeing Defence UK and I am absolutely loving it.

We are both really excited to start sharing more of our stories and the tips & tricks we’ve learnt along the way!

Lily & Maisie

2 Sisters In STEM

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