Shamia Sanjania

Mathematics student, University of Leicester
Undergraduate STEM Lead in Mathematics, Founder of Women in Maths

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Take every opportunity you get.

What do you do?

Once I began to develop in the understanding of maths, the course now seems to me as a puzzle, a challenge to solve at every stage. Being a student, I am actively engaged in attending lectures and seminars similar to other students but I also wanted to make a difference and share all the information and experience I have acquired. For this reason I took up the role of Undergraduate STEM Lead in Mathematics at my university and became the founder of the platform Women in Maths. Here, I aim to provide the students socialising and networking opportunities and encourage younger women of the wider community to pursue routes into STEM fields. From simple coffee and cake sessions to holding more larger panels of inspirational females in maths, I aim to share my passion and provide support in sharing knowledge and opening doors to the endless routes of mathematical fields and application.

Why did you choose this field?

I’ve never thought about maths being a degree course I would study, but I have always been very passionate to break stereotypes and pursue a career in a STEM field as a women.

I wanted to do something different, learn the skills to create something new and solve problems.

Since, several small moments during my academic journey impacted my view on maths to eventually develop into my passion. I remember achieving best in school for the Intermediate Mathematics Challenge was something very unexpected and being a Maths Mentor during college allowed me to further develop a passion for maths as I began to understand further concepts. It was only after beginning my degree course, studying maths at university, that I began to be amazed and understand the very many routes of mathematical applications and fields you could enter - being the perfect field for me.

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

Becoming the founder of Women in Maths at my university. I always had a passion for volunteering and actively taking part in any type of event but never knew I would be able to begin a platform of my own. If you have a passion, a stance you greatly wish to stand for, raise awareness or support, you CAN make that dream a reality.

Why do you love working in STEM?

I love working in the STEM field as it gives me the feel of achieving anything possible. I wake up looking forward to a new day, a new challenge, a new creation. There is so much to learn and even more so to apply as mathematical skills can be structured into any application. From analysis of data to artificial intelligence to codes and communication, you never know what you could shape you skills into. This amazes me and the more I discover, the more I feel engaged and amazed in STEM field roles. Who knows, I may be the next person to develop the code to allow cars to fly!

Best advice for next generation?

Take every opportunity you get, explore the different fields and don't be afraid to try something new. There are many roles out there that go unnoticed, many roles for you to create yourself, so never think you are restricted as the possibilities are endless. Continue to move forward headstrong and believe in yourself, it is ok to be confused, because eventually you will find your way!

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

“She believed she could, so she did.” - R.S Grey

NOMINATE a woman in STEM

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