15 April, 2024

Lift As We Rise | Notes on Next Generation Success

Seugne Bosch is our lead female volunteer at F1 in Schools South Africa and a former World Finals competitor. Today, Seugne works as a cyber privacy consultant, representing a specialist, future-focussed profession. She is a role model to young females who aspire to enter and succeed in STEM industries.


How our female lead volunteer got on track with F1 in Schools.

During high school, I was always very interested in the sciences but never had the courage to explore STEM fields - it was very male dominated and representation for women was lacking. I first heard about F1 in Schools when I was 15 years old. Being a Formula One fan from a young age, I was excited to get involved in the challenge but doubted myself.

I attended an international school in China and joined a diverse team, representing South Africa. My teammates represented their countries, being Singapore, Taiwan and Canada. It took quite a lot of courage from my side to apply because it was an all-boys team. However once I got started, I soon found out that I did actually have the required IQ and confidence to play my part. This realisation opened up to an entirely new and exciting world for me which has shaped my professional journey.

My role in the team was sponsorship management and the project management of the car design.

Highlights from her journey.

My team, Team Qi, competed at the 2010 World Finals in Singapore. Interestingly, there was a girls team from South Africa that competed in the same year and they won an award for perseverance. We won the award for best website.

I have a ton of core memories from the experience. Two core memories that stand out for me. The one is meeting the Formula 1 drivers and Tony Fernandez, entrepreneur and founder of the Caterham Formula 1 team. The other is the hands-on experience with designing a competitive car and then presenting our design portfolio to the F1 in Schools World Finals judging panel.

Some challenges and her the team overcome them.

Most of my challenges were internal because representation was severely lacking for girls/women. It took a lot of courage for me to explore the depth of my own skills and to excel.

There are still a lot of stereotypes surrounding gender where girls are always made to believe that they are not good enough, strong enough or versatile enough from a very young age. The biggest challenge for any girl to face is to ignore all that criticism and believe that she is capable of whatever she sets her mind to achieve. I want girls to have that confidence and to contribute their perspectives and insights. Mostly, never to fear failure or feel guilty if they don’t succeed on first attempt.

The ROI delivered to the school and to sponsors.

F1 in Schools gives learners the opportunity to explore a diverse world of career opportunities. It helps build self-confidence and presents an opportunity to showcase one’s skills. When a young person’s talent is recognised, it motivates one to excel, to innovate and this supports the team’s success. The sponsors benefited from our culturally diverse team which offered them multi-country representation, one being China and the other being our home countries.

Key learnings that she continues to apply today.

I learned a lot from F1 in Schools - it is the reason why I have the courage today to take on opportunities, even when I think I cannot do it.

You do not need to be Einstein to be able to excel in STEM fields. What matters most is passion to explore and learn new things daily. Another key message is to never be afraid to be innovative. If you have a fresh idea or a different perspective, explore it.

What participation can offer to young STEM talent in SA

Participation doesn’t just teach students the basic skills of STEM. It shows you a world of opportunities, possibilities and, most importantly, allows students to think laterally. We need more “out of the box” thinkers in this world. Remember that diversity is key to making STEM fields thrive.  

Our lead volunteer’s “Impossible” goal for F1 in Schools ZA.

An “impossible” goal would be to secure enough funding to help our South African F1 in Schools teams and participants reach their goals and dreams.

Advice to young South Africans who want to achieve extraordinary success.

Learning does not end when you complete high school or university. Never stop learning and never give up.

My motto to every girl out there is: “Take up the opportunity even if you think can’t do it”.

Article written by FTP Media - Purpose driven Passion