My In2scienceUK Adventure: The path doesn’t always have to be linear

This October, as our In2science summer programme drew to a close, we invited our enthusiastic In2science Digital Ambassadors to reflect on their transformative journey, share their plans for further education, and inspire others on their STEM pathways.

In our most recent blog post, our ambassadors opened up about the influential figures, life-changing moments, or memorable experiences that ignited their initial passion for STEM. In this upcoming post, we are excited to introduce you to Fiyin, one of our exceptional participants and Digital Ambassadors. Fiyin will share her journey of how the In2science programme has played a pivotal role in cultivating her skills and nurturing her passion for STEM. She will also give us a glimpse of her future aspirations and professional development plans within the field of neuroscience.

“This summer programme has truly made me more passionate about going into STEM for higher education and pursuing a career in my chosen field. This was partly thanks to the hands-on experience I was able to gain, which showed me that STEM is really something I can imagine spending the rest of my life doing.

The connections I have forged throughout this programme are extremely important to both me and my higher education. I have developed many skills that I feel would accurately assist me in my eventual transition into being a researcher. Through this programme, I learned new skills, such as data processing and workplace communication. I have also learnt that the path towards being a researcher doesn’t always have to be linear. It takes time for many people to develop their personal lives first or just do things they enjoy (i.e. majoring in a degree they’re passionate about, which has nothing to do with their research).

The In2science programme has given me the ability to grow as I learned more about not only psychology but also the human brain. Many of the things I was able to learn are things that were not on my specification in Biology or Chemistry at school and so I have never been taught about them. However, through the In2science programme, I have gained more knowledge of a wider range of subjects and therefore I feel as if it has enhanced my passion for STEM-based subjects.

Although I believe the future is always open to change and if something does not go my way, I know not to be disheartened or upset. I also believe that setting a plan or a broad idea of what I want my life to be in the future should set me up for success. So, my broad plan for the future would be to complete a Master’s in either Neuroscience or Psychology and then advance to higher education and become a PhD student. Although I am quite unsure of how my path is going to look between becoming a PhD student and becoming a researcher of cognitive neuroscience, I know that thanks to my time on the In2science programme, I have got a higher level of confidence in my ability to achieve my goals.

Post-programme, I aim to pursue more STEM-based work experience and internships. Science is a subject that is constantly adapting and changing, and I believe that there is much more to learn by engaging in practical work and research, not only lecture-style learning. However, I think that both are equally important and should be taken in moderation of each other.

Overall, I would rate this programme a solid 9.5/10 – not only because it was full of immensely insightful and informative experiences, but it also reshaped my idea of the possibility of being a researcher. I have now realised that despite the way it may sound boring to an outsider, the job can be enjoyable and interactive. The next time I am able to gain work experience anywhere else, I will definitely apply the skills of determination and open-mindedness I learned whilst on this programme. I hope one day to fully experience this world for myself.”

Blog post by Fiyin, 2023 In2science Summer Programme Participant