STEM Spotlight - Josh Minto
Can you briefly explain your background and how you got to work in STEM?
I left sixth form and went straight into a job with the Nissan Skills Foundation, where I spent almost 7 years delivering educational workshops to students at the Nissan site. As part of the skills foundation team, I delivered multiple sessions around the themes of engineering, manufacturing process, innovation and zero emissions technology, which included classroom sessions and factory and workshop tours. Initially, the plan was to go into teaching, but like many others in this sector, once you start to work within STEM, you catch the bug and it is now something that I am very passionate about because I believe the opportunities available to young people within STEM are really amazing!
What are the key responsibilities in your role?
As the Education Relationship Manager, I inform teachers of the offer that the North East STEM Hub provide for their schools. This includes the STEM Ambassador programme, CPD opportunities, STEM Clubs support and answering general queries from teachers. I produce a monthly newsletter that goes out to all North East teachers registered to the STEM Learning platform to inform them of opportunities in their area that they can get involved in. I also liaise with key network partners in our region, who are the Science Learning Partnerships and Computing Hubs to see where we can support each other, as well as sharing ideas of best practice.
Describe a typical day.
A typical day for me would include replying to emails from teachers and signposting them to opportunities of support to help get ambassadors into their school to enthuse and inspire their students. If their query requires more attention to detail, then I will meet with the teacher (normally virtually) to discuss details or inform them of the wider offer available. I will also send targeted promotions out to schools to inform them of opportunities, whether that is via direct email or through Adestra (our newsletter software).
What would you say are the most challenging aspects of your role?
One of the biggest challenges you can face is making sure the information you send out gets to the right person within the school for it to be actioned accordingly.
In some cases, it can be a real challenge to fill schools’ requests for ambassadors, especially in busy times of the year such as British Science Week or Space week as there is a large volume of activities advertised on the system.
Although slightly different from the other challenges, I would say it is a challenge to measure the impact of what we do. I would love to think I have been involved in organising an activity that inspired someone to pursue a career in STEM but due to GDPR, it is close to impossible to find that information.
What do you enjoy most, or what are you most proud of in your job?
In my first year with RTC, I have been lucky enough to meet some really interesting people and work on programmes and events that I am really passionate about. I enjoy the unique challenges that every day can bring and I am proud to work in the North East of England and to see the efforts from industry and schools in what has been a really challenging time for everyone.
What is one truth that would surprise your colleagues about you?
I play bowls, where I have 30 caps for England across a range of age groups from under 25’s to senior level.