Inspiration to innovation
For the real story of Stephen’s path into STEM you need to go back to his childhood in Southern Africa when, as a young boy, he turned on the TV and became inspired by what he saw.
“I recall watching a TV discussion where one of the participants was a Chartered Engineer (CEng). The other participants kept referring to him as “Engineer” and gave him so much respect. It was at that point that I decided to become a CEng one day.”
It was this experience alongside his fascination with solving problems and a desire to make a difference that kickstarted his STEM journey.
Stephen’s career began when he trained as a Computer Engineer and spent his early years writing code and administering systems for larger organisations. However, this was just the start of a journey that would take him from a trainee to a top talent.
“After my training I moved into management consulting and focused more on helping companies to define and implement technology strategies that gave them a competitive advantage. This is the stage of my career where I developed my passion for working with business to solve problems.”
Over the last 15 years Stephen has moved into data science within the financial services sector, continuing his strong belief that technology and data will transform our lives inside and outside of work in the near future.
One goal complete, now for the next…
Stephen achieved his long-term goal of becoming Professionally Registered in November 2022 but it was a recommendation from the assessors on his CEng application that would inspire what he wanted to achieve next.
“I requested a copy of the assessor's feedback and recommendation and noticed their final comments said, “The panel concludes that the ‘exceptional candidate’ box should be ticked and that Fellowship may well be appropriate”. It was the encouragement from this that I then decided to apply for Fellowship.”
With his mind set on the next objective, Stephen set to work on his Fellowship application and started to realise that this could be the perfect avenue for him to gain the respect and recognition that he deserved.
“FIET is a prestigious and highly respected professional membership grade that recognises an individual's achievements and contributions to the engineering and technology profession. I wanted this in order to enhance my professional credibility and reputation.”
Going through the fellowship application process was rigorous and challenging but also very rewarding for Stephen as it provided him an opportunity to reflect on his professional achievements and take stock of what he had done in his career to date.
Feeling the benefit
After completing and submitting his application Stephen was told he was successful and would become a Fellow of the IET. This moment proved poignant as Stephen realised, he had reached the same level as the man he saw on his TV as a young boy.
“Fellowship means the world and I feel a sense of prestige and demonstratable achievement among my peers. Being awarded FIET has strengthened my professional credibility and reputation at work and across the industry.”
Always learning from every experience Stephen provided some insight and advice for others who wish to become a Fellow of the IET and how they can make sure they maximise their application.
“Achieving IET Fellowship requires a combination of education, experience, networking, ongoing professional development, and persistence. I would advise potential applicants to build a strong foundation through significant achievements and contributions to the engineering and technology profession over a sustained period, set clear goals, seek feedback and mentorship, and stay focused on their objectives.”
Now with his main goals complete, Stephen has turned his attention to how his Fellowship can benefit not only himself but also those around him, in particular the next generation of engineers and technicians.
“I am starting to work with young people at stages before they choose university courses and hopefully, I can influence some to pursue a career in engineering and technology.” He enthuses.
Stephen is also using his fellowship to build a partnership with the IET with the goal of attracting engineers to his organisation, and network with other IET Fellows through the exclusive IET Fellowship LinkedIn group. When asked what he believes the lasting effect of his new status would mean, Stephen replied…
“I am now recognised more than before, and this recognition helps me to stand out in a competitive job market and gain respect from colleagues, clients, and stakeholders.”