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The Future Ready Student Program Focuses on Connecting Women in STEM to the Professional Industry

By Amaya McDonald

The Future Ready Student program has been designed to help first-generation college students, specifically women, with their professional development in the world of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM.) Catering to students that identify as women, the Future Ready program prepares students to take on leadership roles and gain experience through clinical research as they pursue careers in the STEM field. 

In the past year, 30 students have participated in the Future Ready Student program. For the first time ever, students are earning one EXP+ credit during the spring semester as they take on industry projects. 

The career readiness developed in the program’s weekly workshops along with the paraprofessional experiences acquired through industry projects, various internships and research opportunities lead students to become competitive applicants for jobs and internships in their postgraduate career. 


By the end of the Fall 2020 semester, 23 of 28 participants in the Future Ready Student program reported that their knowledge of available resources and industry connections to secure experiential opportunities increased.

“Through many exercises, I was able to understand what skills I have that employers look for and how to discuss this in an interview,” one student said.  “I was mentored and given more opportunities to know about sites Stony Brook has that I did not know about before … I really enjoyed the discussions in class so I could learn more from others and share my thoughts.”

As members of the program, students are encouraged to use their skills, resources and connections to pursue experiential opportunities in various career communities including healthcare, IT and engineering, and applied science and research. About 18 of 28 participants in Fall 2020 reported success in securing experiences through internships, research opportunities, leadership positions and more.

The Future Ready Student program is a great resource for those who identify as women with interest in the STEM field. The program provides first-generation college students with great support for those looking to gain hands-on experience and enhance their professionalism.

“I think my favorite part of the program is the enthusiasm that the program coordinators have for the Future Ready Students,” a participant said. “They are always lending a helping hand and going out of their way to find opportunities for their students. Their enthusiasm and efforts to help the Future Ready Students made me feel valued career-wise and for personal development.”

The Future Ready Student Program is accepting applications for the 2021-2022 academic year until April 15. For more information, contact Urszula Zalewski or Katie Seitz. 

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