Kimberley Fok (MEng Electrical Electronic Engineering 2016) has worked on various projects for engineering company Bechtel including Crossrail. While at Imperial, she was part of the Taekwondo Club and Women in SET.
Why did you choose Imperial as the place to follow your interest in STEM subjects? Imperial is one of the best universities in the world to pursue STEM subjects. It has been on my “to-go” list ever since I wanted to be an engineer.
"Don’t give up despite the fact people might doubt your abilities! Believe and have faith in your capabilities. You might not know your limit. Don’t let others influence your ambition!"
How did you find life at Imperial as a woman? Though everyone might have thought that Imperial is a boys school, I was surprised that the number of female students and staff has been increasing every year, particularly in my department! Life at Imperial requires loads of hard work but I did enjoy the stresses and competitiveness I encountered as these have trained me well to cope with the working environment.
What is your fondest memory of your time here? My second-year student project. It was an interesting project where I had an idea to resolve a real-life issue and produced a prototype for it.
Please tell us a bit about the work you’re doing now. After I graduated, I joined Bechtel, an American family-owned engineering, procurement and construction company. I have worked on the Crossrail Project as an Electrical Field Engineer and then started a different role as a Programme Manager’s Assistant on the Gatwick Airport Pier 6 extension. My work typically involves producing programme dashboards and reports for senior management.
How has what you learnt in your department helped you in your career so far? Working in various lab works and group assignments designed by the Department has helped me to develop my interpersonal skills such as team work which is essential in my career as well as being more open minded- accepting different perspectives. Also I developed sound analytical skills and stress management. I am sure we had a tight schedule throughout our first two years at Imperial in which we could polish our time management skills to meet various deadlines.
What have been your career highlights and challenges? I think one of the key challenges I faced throughout my career is to adapt into the male dominated construction management world which involve a range of soft skills which I never learnt in school days. I was surprised that the industry takes gender equality very seriously and I never got treated differently. For instance, stakeholder management, quality control process, project controls etc. I overcome the challenges by seeking guidance from my managers and mentors. My only advice would be to take every opportunity to learn in your job. It can be training, offering assistance in a project or seeking guidance from managers politely.
What are your plans for the future? I would like to achieve chartership in 2020 then get involved in delivering different infrastructure projects around the world to improve the living standards of a community.
What advice would you give to girls who are thinking about studying STEM, particularly at Imperial? Don’t give up despite the fact people might doubt your abilities! Believe and have faith in your capabilities. You might not know your limit. Don’t let others influence your ambition!