Gbenga began volunteering while studying at the University of Sheffield and realized the brilliant roles volunteers play within an academic environment. As an alumnus, he currently acts an eMentor for undergraduates with the Department of Civil & Structural Engineering at the University of Sheffield.
Gbenga who works as a Principal Engineer at WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff says: "As a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) ambassador participating in career days with schools, it's been a surprise to me on how little civil engineering is known among school children and I have been able to dispel those misconceptions, one pupil at a time.
Describing my job to pre-19s, I drew on the impact bridges have on the economy and living environment of an area, enabling me to demonstrate the collaborative side of my profession.
While volunteering at career fairs, I have also met like-minded individuals who are passionate about their subject and, through them, I have widened my network.
I have been involved as an ICE STEM ambassador at the national and regional Big Bang fairs for a couple of years now. I recently developed an activity, using the computer game Minecraft, as a way of encouraging school children to consider a career in civil engineering. It demonstrates how the building and creation of different structures in the world of Minecraft has a parallel with infrastructure provision. It was launched at the regional Big Bang Fair in Coventry on 23 June 2016 and it attracted a lot of the school children who had a great time and also got to know about civil engineering.
If you have ever thought of volunteering, I would highly recommend you get involved. You'll be surprised by how rewarding it can be. There's never been a better time to passionately communicate to young people how rewarding a career in civil engineering is."
To find out more, contact Rebecca Martin at: firstname.lastname@example.org.