Meet Chelsea Abili, a Leeds University student, currently working with social enterprise, Startup Sherpas.
Startup Sherpas is helping young people innovate ideas and approaches that can help businesses in the UK move forward with their skills, diverse talent and STEM agendas.
Startup Sherpas are official partners of this year’s Samsung’s Solve for Tomorrow initiative.
Solve for Tomorrow is an award-winning initiative that empowers the next generation of visionaries through education, partnerships and technology and is aimed at 16-25-year-olds across the UK and Ireland who are invited to submit their ideas that address a problem within the area of Education, Sustainability, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, and Health & Wellbeing for the chance to take part in a series of workshops, receive invaluable mentorship from Samsung employees and industry experts, and win a coveted £10,000 top prize.
The opportunity empowers young adults by providing a platform to channel their ideas into meaningful solutions while contributing to positive change in key societal areas. Aspiring visionaries are encouraged to harness their creativity and passion to make a lasting impact on the world.
Chelsea joined the Startup Sherpas in February of 2023 and is currently a Junior Editor. Startup Sherpas works with thousands of young people annually through its paid work experience opportunities. It champions creative beliefs and wants to fuel the creation of a generation of innovators as it sees firsthand how hard it is for many young people to access new opportunities to grow.
She was inspired to join Startup Sherpas to learn how young people can enter the STEM sector to carve out a future career.
For young girls looking for opportunities to break into STEM careers, recent research from Samsung research pinpoints some misconceptions that could hold them back. According to the survey, half believe the technology sector can be ‘competitive’, and over a quarter think it’s only for people good at maths and science.
Well, that’s not the case and the industry is crying out for more fresh talent. If you look at the UK tech sector alone, there are 51,000 available IT roles, and entry-level jobs come with enticing salaries. Samsung research shows that 60% of young people believe AI has the potential to positively impact society, so the passion for technology and desire to succeed exists amongst this generation.
Nearly half (47%) of young people believe they can innovate or contribute ideas to problem-solving if they have the proper support around them. With better encouragement, networks and contacts, the younger generation is optimistic about the future and can thrive in such careers.
We sat down with Chelsea to delve into her top tips for young people starting out in the industry.
“Take risks, and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and go out of your comfort zone, as you have no idea where it may take you. I could have easily said no to opportunities in the past, but you don’t have unlimited chances in life, and not everything will come to you. You have to work for it.”
Jump on initiatives
“Young people aren’t always very well represented, and it can be easy not to feel relevant. I learned about Samsung’s Solve for Tomorrow competition through its partnership with Startup Sherpas, and I knew I had to apply immediately! It’s important to jump on initiatives like this because it gives young people a voice, which we don’t have regularly.”
One step at a time
“When facing a decision, don’t always look at the end goal; take it one step at a time. When I began working with Startup Sherpas, I didn’t look at the end goal at all, and when I decided to join the first Super Squad, I never thought it would have gotten me to where I am today.”
Create a LinkedIn profile
“Definitely start building a LinkedIn profile before you leave High School or as you are going into Higher Education if that’s what you choose to do. From there you can build excellent networking skills early on and network with people who could help you.”
Consider what you’re good at
“It’s important to think about your hobbies and what you enjoy doing, as what you’re naturally good at will play a massive role in your life as you get older. Many people tend not to take the time to assess themselves properly, and instead choose to go to college or University to study a subject that may not necessarily be the best fit for them. Consider what you are good at and ask the people around you to assess you. I didn’t realise what I was good at until people started pointing it out to me, so it’s important to get advice from your friends and family, to help get an idea about what you could excel at.”
“Be bold and try EVERYTHING! When you’re young, this is the time in your life to take risks. When you’re older, there will be many more responsibilities, and you may not have as much disposable income. Nothing is more valuable than the present time, so take advantage of it and use it to the best of your ability.”