• Question: what is the hardest obstacle you had to overcome and how did you do it?

    Asked by here1sky on 19 Mar 2024. This question was also asked by gets1sewn.
    • Photo: Viviene Dela Cruz

      Viviene Dela Cruz answered on 19 Mar 2024:


      It was my belief that I am not cut for science and engineering. I was told by lots of people I’m not meant for engineering and I started to believe them. I studying engineering anyway and got a scientist job and I’m slowly replacing the faulty belief that I’m not cut for STEM by doing work that is cool and looking for other cool projects. I also try to be kind to myself and my family and friends are the best support I could get, which helped me get over that obstacle! 🙂

    • Photo: Mark Ridgill

      Mark Ridgill answered on 27 Mar 2024:


      I didn’t do well at A level , which made my journey into science harder. I got a job as a science technician and studied part time.

    • Photo: Mahmud Juned

      Mahmud Juned answered on 26 Apr 2024:


      I’ve been permanently kicked out of school before, and studied a masters in chemical engineering, but I still think one of the hardest things I’ve had to overcome is people. There are so many different people you will will come across, throughout school, university, work. Some will help you along the way and some you might not get along with. Some may have a good influence on your work and some may want to be a bad influence.

      The advice for something like this, is to go out your way to talk to people from an early age, to practice networking. Having some customer service and sales skills are such a vital skill to maneuver your way around the work place. Sometimes, it’s not about the work you do but the people around it that can determine whether you enjoy what you do for a living. Having the skills to be able to deal with people will help you be able to successfully enjoy doing what you love!

    • Photo: Sarah-Jane Potts

      Sarah-Jane Potts answered on 22 May 2024:


      I have faced a few in life. I used to struggle with maths and science when I was younger, but due to a fantastic tacher at GCSE, was able to find my passion for them and worked to get my grades up. During my undergraduate degree, I was the only woman on my course and didn’t feel like I belonged there at first, but by the end I had made some amazing friends and graduated the top of my course.

      My hardest one to date was my doctorate project, which I really struggled with for the first year or so. However, with the support and guidence of my course mates, supervisors and other colleauges, I was able to not only finish my doctoal theses, but create a completely new technique which I designed, made and used to conduct my experiments. I still use this new piece of equipment in my current work on printable solar panels to improve their performance. The main thing I learnt was to not be afraid to ask for help, and to provide support to others in turn. I also learnt not be afraid of failure, as it can sometimes provide an opportunity to learn and do better in the future. It took multiple attempts to design my final experiments, but I learnt something valuable on evey one of them.

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