FOR anyone considering a career in motorsport engineering, students Jasmine Stuart, Charlotte Bowen and Charlotte Hosick from Millisle and Dariene Adams from Portaferry are great examples of how young women are embracing the subject and pushing boundaries.
The girls are just a handful of young women across the Province pursuing a career in the male-dominated industry.
Jasmine, Charlotte Bowen and Dariene are in the second year of the Level 3 diploma in motorsport engineering course at South Eastern Regional College (SERC), which is the equivalent to three A levels, while Charlotte Hosick is in first year.
Twenty-year-old Jasmine said: “I dec-ided to study motorsports engineering because I love hands-on, practical learning – I find it much easier to remember. On completion of the course I want to progress to university to specialise in mechatronics or mechanical engineering and studying this course will help me get there.
“I don’t want to leave SERC as I love it. I have ADHD and dyslexia and at school I was made to feel like a child and there was a stigma around the condition. However, at SERC we are encouraged to ask questions. At school I was told I can’t do this and I can’t do that but at SERC I am not embarrassed to ask for help. I have learnt more at SERC than I ever did at school and I wish I came here sooner.”
Jasmine continued: “I’m only 5ft and people think I can’t do this type of job with the heavy workload but my advice to others is just go for what you want to do. There are three females in the class and I have made friends for life, we car-share and everyone in the class is like a family.
“If you are interested in engineering, give it a go. Visit the college open day, speak to the tutors and tour the workshops. It was the best decision I ever made. The facilities are amazing, and we get to work on the colleges very own Mitsubishi Evo and attend track days with Formula Ford.”
Seventeen-year-old student Charlotte Hosick said the course will help set her up for a career in the industry and prepare her for university, adding: “I wasn’t put off by being the only girl in the class.”
After completing her AS levels and not getting the grades, she needed to progress to university so Charlotte decided to enol to SERC to do something she was interested in.
Charlotte said: ‘My advice to others is to consider SERC. Visit the campus and speak to the tutors and see for yourself. There is no stereo-typical type of person that attends college. I am a former grammar pupil and my parents encouraged me to follow my passion. The facilities are great and the building is very modern. I wish I came to SERC after my GCSEs.”
College principal Ken Webb said: “I would encourage more females to study engineering subjects and pursue a career in this exciting industry. Parents play a vital role in influencing their children’s career choice – and they are a vital target audience if we want to inspire more young people to take up engineering-related subjects. I would encourage prospective students and their parents to visit our information day on 7 March from 2pm-8pm to see for themselves what the college has to offer.”