Today (Saturday 23rd June 2018), we celebrate International Women in Engineering Day with a Workdays and Weekends featuring Jennifer Thompson-Young who is the Sector Development Director for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) at Perth College UHI.
Originally hailing from Saline, a little village outside of Dunfermline, Jennifer makes the daily commute to Perth for her work in the field of Engineering. Not only does Jennifer love working in this industry but she also gets to lead the way for students coming through in this field. When she isn’t at work or at home with her family, you can find Jennifer enjoying a delicious meal in Kisa’s or sampling some of the many gins in The Venue’s Gin Bar.
International Women in Engineering Day is an international awareness campaign with a goal of raising the profile of women in engineering and it focuses attention on the amazing career opportunities available to girls in this exciting industry. We could think of no better woman to help shine the light on this worthwhile campaign than Jennifer who celebrates a decorated career in the field.
We caught up with Jennifer this week to find out all the really important things like what’s on her bucket list and which day she’d live again if she had the choice.
Tell us the weirdest / funniest thing that has ever happened to you at work?
The world of Engineering is often weird and wonderful, especially when you add students to the mix, picking out just one moment would be much too difficult (a cop-out, I know).
What signals the start of your days off?
My partner’s alarm clock wakes me up and I start the day the same way as every other, with a nice big bowl of hot porridge with fresh blueberries and raspberries teamed with a hot cup of coffee. This fuels me nicely after my morning run which I enjoy with the puppy (a Patterdale Terrier Pug cross). I have 3 children living at home plus a step daughter who visits (ages: twins 5, 8 & 11) so weekends are strictly family time.
What might people be surprised to know about you?
I am an ex Territorial Army Captain as well as an ex Shooting Team Captain and an ex Scottish swimmer – It all seems like it was another life!
What is at the top of your bucket list?
I would absolutely love to visit Alaska. Breathtaking wildlife, scenery, the opportunity to see the Northern Lights, do some kayaking and river rafting - What's not to love?!
What is the worst job you’ve ever had?
The worst job I’ve had was definitely selling gas and electricity door-to-door when I first left University. There’s nothing quite like having doors slammed in your face to inspire you to change career!
Who or what inspires you?
At work my students and staff inspire me every day and make me want to do more and better.
At home, quite simply, it’s my family. I always want to do better for them.
In my swimming days, quite oddly, it was listening to “Eye of the Tiger” as it psyched me up for a race.
Tell us about the day you’d love to live again?
There isn’t one day, I have had so many days I would love to repeat including bringing each of my children home from hospital, meeting my partner, graduating, seeing my best friends marry but I enjoy life and variety too much to want to keep living it over and over.
What’s the best part about your job?
Again my students and staff are the best things about my job, every day I experience something different. I love to watch my students develop and learn over the period they are with us and hear about what they are doing once they leave us. I have an immense sense of pride in my students.
Complete this sentence; the best things in life are….
Without a doubt, family.
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