Some great messages at iWish 2017 and it was fantastic to be part of the opening day in Cork. The resounding message from iWish was that there are amazing opportunities out there in STEM at present more so than ever before.

The city hall was transformed into a hub of activity and it was great to be at the BPCI stand alongside industry professionals from Eli Lilly and Novartis. One of the LSC consultants joined us to speak to students about her love of science and her journey to becoming a biochemist. It was a great opportunity for students to interact and ask questions about what is like to work day to day in a global pharma company.

We met plenty of young girls who love science and maths but found it hard to imagine how this could relate to a career in the future. We were happy to be able to give them real life examples and open their eyes to the possibilities an education in STEM has to offer!

The talks from the key note speakers were delivered in a relatable way by inspirational women and really seemed to resonate with the students. Gillian Keating (co-founder of iWish) talked about what she would tell her 17 year old self. “Be consistently curious”. From apps that diagnose and send medical information to your GP to improving the quality of water by remote testing. She could never have imagined then that the technology that is out there today would be developed.

Kinsale’s Ciara Judge (Young Scientist and Entrepreneur) also spoke inspiringly on “How wild ideas are the ones that change the world”. Ciara spent hours “watching seeds” and is now co-founder of her first company having found a natural soil living bacteria to increase crop productivity by up to 74%. Our own operations director Annette Keane on the open panel identified the need for us to continuously educate ourselves to keep up the pace of technology change!

The world is changing and innovating quickly but we are the ones driving it! By choosing an education in STEM you will be equipped for this change and you can make a difference!

For more information on iWish visit www.iwish.ie

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