Puja Hazlehurst - Activities Volunteer
What do you do?
I studied Aerospace Engineering at the University of Manchester before completing my Graduate scheme with Shell Oil as a Mechanical Engineer. I then moved to Rolls-Royce to work on jet engines where I currently work as a Turbines Design Integrator.
What motivated you to volunteer at The Big Bang Fair 2018?
I do not have much experience when it comes to working with young people and appreciate they are our future. Understanding them and supporting them is a key to our future success in science and engineering, and the Big Bang Fair offered a great opportunity to help me gain some of that experience.
What was your role at The Big Bang Fair 2018 and what sort of things did you do?
During my first day I was a STEM Inspirational Volunteer where I had the opportunity to speak to lots of young people about what I do and what they would like to do. This was a great way for young people to ask questions and a good challenge to make what you do sound interesting! For the second day I was an Activities Volunteer. This was quite a demanding role and I was completely out of my comfort zone on a biology related stand. This involved helping young people make their own herbal oils and explaining the science behind it, usually speaking to a group of 10 at a time. Both were great roles.
What did you enjoy most about volunteering?
I found the whole experience very rewarding and I learnt a lot. Seeing the faces of young people look surprised and genuinely interested was great, and I think this was because we were able to show them how science and engineering is applied in real life and how it changes the world. Personally, I feel I understand young people better and as a result am less afraid to speak to them!
Would you recommend volunteering at The Big Bang Fair?
I would highly recommend volunteering at The Big Bang Fair. The way in which the event is organised and the amount of support available to volunteers before and at the event is fantastic. Coming into contact with such a wide range of people who work in different industries helps you understand how much of an impact something like The Big Bang can have, and being part of that is a great feeling. Most importantly, speaking to a young person who is not sure about science and engineering and then watching them reconsider their opinion while you’re speaking to them is just awesome! It’s definitely a worthwhile and rewarding experience.