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Corrie Anderson

Corrie is an 18-year-old school leaver from Columba College, Dunedin, who is starting her double major in Zoology and Ecology at the University of Otago.

Selfie of Corrie AndersonWhat do you do on an average work day?

I finished school last year and a typical week had school with every day having 6 periods and Wednesday contained 7.

After school I would do homework, exercise and complete my CREST project.

During my weekends I volunteered at the SPCA on Saturday afternoons and Sunday consisted of an 8-hour shift at my part-time work.

So the days did seem to get rather hectic and busy!

What did you study at school? And what about after high school?

I studied physics, biology, chemistry, English and statistics in my last year. With most of the subjects they will help me to do my double major in zoology and ecology this year at Otago University.

Was your study directly related to what you do now/what you want to do in the future?

Yeah I very certain of what I wanted to do at uni and researched the subjects I needed at high school for this. This lead to my passion of wanting to study zoology and ecology - thanks to chemistry and biology, which I loved.

What would you like to share with young women who are thinking about their career choices right now?

If you are sure of what you want to do then go for it! But make sure you are truely passionate and go into to your career choice with 100% certainty.

Corrie with dogWhat are some of your career highlights so far?

Well I haven't started uni yet, but my Gold CREST project  [investigating Horopito as a plant-based insecticide] really inspired me. It allowed me to do some study at the university by using the labs and speaking with the teacher and researchers, which got me really excited for uni as that is the environment I wanted to be working in.

CREST let me explore the opportunities given at the University of Otago which also made me apply for the uni because I loved the labs, the people and the experiences they offered.

Why do you believe engaging in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) is important to New Zealand?

Science, technology, engineering and maths in any form plays a massive part in the making of society helping those who are sick to those who look to create the next best home appliance.

In New Zealand I think we take it for granted of how fortunate we are that we have access to all the amazing and modern things in our country - and that it can be just as fascinating to explore how those things work through STEM as all four components contributes to everyone's life in one way or another.

Why is it important to have more women working in STEM?

I feel that when people think of scientist that its seen as male orientated which is changing and that an increase in females is occurring but I still think we need a push to get us into these industries.

For me, being a girl, I hear and see more girls wanting and going into science or technology, but when you feel like the minority in a workplace, like being a female, it can be hard to continue or want to work there.

A big factor I find is struggling to find role models that are of the same gender as me in these industries, which can have a massive influence on the future generations wanting to work/have a career in these industries.

Corrie with Elephant

Corrie is an 18-year-old school leaver from Columba College, Dunedin, who is starting her double major in Zoology and Ecology at the University of Otago.

This profile is part of our series of girls and women in STEM.

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