STEMAspire Interview

When my colleague in the Glasgow office met Vardah Malik, my mentee, he was keen to understand how the program had been working for her and asked some questions about how her journey had been so far and what the future held. This gave me an idea to create a blog around these questions and to publish the answers from both sides of the fence – being a mentee and being a mentor.

How have you found the journey so far?

Pam: The Mentor journey has been a learning experience and a a valuable process to go through. From the excitement and anticipation of meeting Vardah and the enthusiasm of those early meetings, getting to know each other and working out the goals and objectives to seeing the confidence build in this young woman and watching her interact with the network of folks I have introduced her to – it gives me immense pride and job satisfaction to be part of this journey

Vardah: The journey so far has been great. I have never imagined that I would be given this amazing opportunity to become a part of this programme. At first, I was quite nervous about how this will be like and how I will get on with my Mentor but I have been extremely lucky to have an amazing mentor like Pam.

Pam has always supported me in every way possible. She has always focused on my progress within education or my career. She always listens to me and understands me which has always helped me to believe in myself and work hard to achieve my goals.

Not only this has helped me built my confidence but also helped me a lot to communicate with new people easily without any hesitation. Through this programme, I have had the opportunity to get to know a lot of people working in the Dell’s office. It has now become a small family to me where I have a lot of people around me who support me and I know I can always look up to them if I needed help.

The STEM program is a life changing experience for me because if it wasn’t for this, I would not have been able to figure out what I want to do exactly after finishing my degree.


What has been the biggest achievement/success?

Pam: The best success to date was introducing Vardah to the wonderful life that is Dell. Spending time with Vardah to showcase the life of working for Dell is a proud moment. This really ties into the objectives of the STEMAspire program with Vardahs drive to work in the Technology industry. From the Site Expo to the STEM Aspire workshop and introducing her to some of my internal network and seeing how this sparked real enthusiasm was what success looked like to me.

Vardah: In my opinion, there were two big achievements after being in this program. First was when Pam helped me to write my personal statement for University and it helped me get a conditional offer for my dream course. Unfortunately, the circumstances changed and I was not able to go to university but still, if it wasn’t for Pam, I would have struggled to write such an amazing personal statement for the courses I applied for.

Second big achievement was recently when I asked Pam about an internal job vacancy for an entry level role and she did some research which resulted in me finding an amazing job opportunity within the Dell’s office. If I get successful at the interview stage then it will be a huge lifetime achievement for me as it will be a start of my career within IT.

What has been most challenging?

Pam: The most challenging part of this journey has been getting my head around the Social Media platforms, the internal process and the amplifying of blogs on our main DellEMC platforms. Now I have finally got my head and actions around this, I plan to create a Social Media guide for STEM Aspire year 2 to help support the next generation of Social Media Ambassadors.

Vardah: The most challenging part was to decide what exactly I wanted to do in the future because my course at college was IT which covers all the basics of different sectors of computing/software development. From those different units, I mostly enjoyed the project management and the web development/designing but finding jobs in that particular sector was not that convenient so then I had a talk with Pam and she suggested me to try the sales sector as it relates to my current job in retail which is challenging and customer based.

What does the future hold?

Pam: The benefits of being a mentor in an area I feel passionate about are unprecedented. The learnings and experience from STEMAspire Year 1 will be leveraged in Year 2 which I have signed up for – and very much looking forward to it!

Vardah: I personally believe that if a person has a positive mind set, then it can change a lot of things in their life. I try my best to stay optimistic in all situations and believe that if it is not working right then it might not be the best thing for me. So for now, I am hoping that this job opportunity I have been granted, if I am successful after the interview then it will help me progress in my career and learn more about myself.

Apart from that I hope that as a Brand Ambassador for the STEM Aspire Program, I can help bring other women in IT to join this program for next year. I hope I can inspire other women through my blogs and give them an insight of how amazing it is to be a part of this program/journey.

About the Author: Pam Lister

I am a Global Program Manager in the Global Sales Training Operations Org. My main responsibility is Vendor Training deployment as well as getting involved in other business projects through the Global Operations Project Management Office. I enjoy supporting Dell EMC culture code and community activities in the Glasgow office. I am a Mentor for Glasgow Dell EMC STEMAspire program. I also support the True Ability ERG and site activities such as Mindfulness sessions and World of Work days.