Raising aspirations for women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Hi! I'm Kaouthar and I'm a MSc Electronic and Electrical Engineering student at the University of Portsmouth.

When I was a kid, I loved everything electronic! Growing up I would always grab an mp3 and try to play with it and loved video games. When I was in High School I wanted to do computer and software engineering but when I learned about electronics I realised that I could combine both things and just went for it!

I feel lucky to have parents who are supportive of my studies. If not, I wouldn't be here. From when I was little, my dad and mum were really strict about studying and always said to me 'I will give you my life, my kingdom – everything you want – just study. I don't want you to just get a job and get married. I want you to study and do research and do something with your life'. Even now when we talk on the phone, my dad is so, so supportive of me. No matter what I tell them, they say don't be afraid, you can do it!

After I finish my Masters my goal is to go on and complete my PhD. But, my ultimate goal is to help people. That is the real reason I want to complete my PhD so that I can help people in the Medical field by working with prosthetics. Seeing people struggle with missing limbs... I can't really understand the feeling but to be able to make their daily life a bit easier is worth everything to me – it's what you do for other people that matters. If I can have my friends and family around me and that I can improve their lives, that is it for me!

If there is anything that I would want young girls thinking about going into STEM to take away from my experience is that you have to follow what you want to do and not what others want. Even if there are no other girls around. If you love it, just do it!

This blog post was written by Kaouthar Stambouli, Algeria.