On the third day in Almaty, the TechWomen Delegation to Kazakhstan spent the day facilitating a career day event at IT International University. There they engaged with over 100 students, TechGirls, Technovation participants on their career prospects and the latest trends and opportunities in science technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Kazakh fellow Valeriya Tyo emcee’d Career Day, which commenced with a welcome address from TechWomen mentor Janice Campbell on the greatest takeaways from her career in STEM.
“The world changes rapidly & you have to change with it. You have to update and upgrade your skills all the time,” Janice accounted. “A mentor once told me, ‘As you set and reset your goals throughout your career, you should be sure to build on what you already have,’” she continued. “What I have relied on is self-study and what I call the Three Cs: Courses, Certifications and Conferences.”
Following the welcome address, the delegation moved into a panel discussion, “What’s Hot in Tech/Opportunities in STEM.” Mentors Cora Lam, Tina Shakour and Laurie Boke, who moderated, and fellows Darika Aldasheva and Ainura Sagyn lent their expertise in topics ranging from internet security to web 3 to marketing.
“Should marketing be the second M in STEM?” proposed fellow Darika Aldasheva. “Marketing careers probably aren’t the first to come to mind when you think of STEM jobs,” she continued, “but these professionals use skills like data analytics to develop creative means of improving customer experience. Softer skills like digital marketing, social media marketing and corporate communications are needed alongside harder skills like cloud computing, artificial intelligence and scientific computing. By incorporating Marketing into STEMM, we could make traditional STEM fields more approachable to women, serving as a catalyst to accelerate the closing of the gender gap.”
Following these events, the delegation ensured time for face-to-face interactions, questions and activities with the students by organizing two 45-minute breakout discussions that provided students the opportunity to select two of three different topics. Delegates came equipped with computer presentations, handouts, photos and other physical items to aid their discussions.
“STEM Career Talks” was facilitated by mentors Alexa Barnes, Janice Campbell, Nancy Hendrickson, Mimi Hills, Cora Lam, Shawne Van Deusen‐Jeffries and Debbie Whaley, and fellows Darika Aldasheva, Anzurat Kasimova, Ainura Sagyn and Valeriya Tyo. During this event, delegates discussed different STEM career opportunities, how they chose their career paths, and the challenge of bridging the gender gap in STEM.
“Entrepreneurial Skills” was facilitated by mentors Laurie Boke, Sandy Chen, Jayme Farrell Ranker, Meg Gordon and Tina Shakour, alongside fellows Bermet Dosmambetova, Dana Abdel Khalek, Natalya Klimenko, Ainur Kuanyshbayeva, Sevara Siradjeva and Assel Zhamaleddinova. During this breakout, delegates offered insights on the skills necessary for entrepreneurial careers and encouraged students to think about what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.
In the final breakout room, Kathy Giori led a hands-on Microblocks physical computing demonstration with fellows Gaukhar Alzhanova and Munira Begmuratova.
After a fruitful day of insightful and inspiring conversations, fellow Natalya Klimenko delivered closing remarks, offering her reflections on the day and encouraging the attendees to continue exploring careers in STEM.
Following heartfelt farewells, the delegation boarded their buses and headed directly for Almaty International Airport, where they would depart the snowcapped mountain views of Kazakhstan’s Big Apple and continue north to the ultra-modern capital city of Astana.