If I had any advice to give to current NYSF'ers it would be to cherish the friendships you make throughout your career journey and surround yourself with people that inspire you
STEM experience is hard to come across in rural towns, but fortunately, Emily Banks applied for the NYSF 2014 Year 12 Program and suddenly found herself in the big city of Perth where she saw the real-world applications of STEM, all while surrounded by people that soon became her great friends.
"Growing up in rural NSW, my family spent a lot of time outdoors and some of my favourite memories are of beach trips and bush walks together. For me, it was important that humans protect and nurture our environment, and throughout high school, I knew that I wanted to do something to help mitigate the devastating effects that climate change was having on our natural world.
I had some incredible teachers at my school who helped open my eyes to the worlds of science and environmental economics, but my options for getting first-hand insights into a career path in these disciplines were pretty limited in our little town. And that's where NYSF came in!
I was super lucky to be selected for the Perth session in 2014, where I got to see what a huge range of real-world jobs in STEM actually looked like and develop my problem solving and communication skills. Most importantly though, I met heaps of other students who were keen to make a difference in the world using STEM and made some great friends that I would later catch up with at university!
When it came to choosing my university options, I was inspired by the people I'd met at NYSF to couple my passion for science and maths with my love for the environment. I was offered a rural engineering scholarship to study Solar Energy Engineering at UNSW and was lucky enough to travel to Cambodia in my third year with Engineers Without Borders on their design summit experience.
I am now working as a consultant for a renewable energy and emissions advisory firm called EnergyLink Services in Sydney. As a consultant, I get to work on and manage a wide variety of projects, including modelling solar installations, advising corporates on how best to manage their emissions and assessing business cases for carbon offset projects. I also use my engineering skills to help compile emissions calculations as a volunteer for Pollinate Group, an incredible social enterprise who equip women in India and Nepal with the necessary entrepreneurial skills to distribute household products such as solar lanterns and clean cookstoves.
If I had any advice to give to current NYSF'ers it would be to cherish the friendships you make throughout your career journey and surround yourself with people that inspire you, as it's these people that will help you find your passions and try new things."