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Physicists have a stereotype and I’m trying to change that.

When I was growing up I was always interested in space and the stars and always had a keen interest in maths, so the two combined led me to physics. I have always been passionate about art, too, and I pursue this as often as I can.

I joined the IOP when I was in my first year at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB). We received a talk from the regional IOP officer, and she outlined the benefits of becoming a member. When you joined you got a free pen, which at the time was a massive incentive, now that I’ve hopefully grown up a bit, I realise the impressive and vast resources and opportunities that are available to me as a member of the IOP.

As President of the Physics and Maths Society (PAMSoc) at QUB, the IOP have been so supportive in helping us set up and run events. We affiliated to the IOP and received the £100 affiliation grant, which we put towards a CV session and free pizza. The IOP have given us everything from funding to sponsorship for our societies football team (PaMSoccer) – we amazed everyone when we won the league last year!

I’ve also been fortunate enough to be a campus ambassador for the IOP over the past couple of years, and the connections I’ve made and the opportunities I’ve gained as a result from networking through the IOP have been amazing. Just last year I attended the International Day of Light, in Paris, as an IOP representative, which has been one of my best experiences, to date.

As a member I also get Physics World magazine every month, and recently I was able to reference one of the articles from it in my degree project.

This year I've become the Northern Ireland representative providing insights and ideas to contribute to the IOP’s student engagement strategy. I wanted to share my experiences from my role as a student society president, IOP campus ambassador and from being active in the local community. I wanted to give something back to help the IOP and the student physics community in whatever way I could. Being involved in this is a great way to get our views across to actually make a difference and we know that our opinions are heard and are well respected within the IOP. I’m really looking forward to continuing to work with the rest of the student’s representatives from the UK and Ireland, throughout the year.

Joining the IOP allows you to connect with the massive community of physicists in an easy and accessible way.

There’s no reason not to join the IOP, especially if you’re a physics student. The unparalleled support and resources available to you are second to none, and can really help you find your feet when it comes to looking at placements and future career paths.