WE14, the Society of Women Engineers Annual Conference in Los Angeles is coming up quickly on Oct. 23-25. WE14 is also welcoming members of the International Network of Women Engineers and Scientists (INWES) for ICWES16, making the conference a global collaboration between engineers and scientists. Over 7,000 members will be attending for A Global Exchange for Change. It’s not too late to register!
Here are some tips for making the most of your WE14 experience:
Attend the career fair, hospitality suites, and company-sponsored events. The 250 employers at WE14 are eager to meet and recruit SWE members. The career opportunities are huge compared to most college and regional career fairs! Don’t forget to dress for success and do your research to make the best impression. The opening ceremony for the Career Fair is when most interview slots are filled, so don’t miss it.
Meet new people. Conferences are a great chance to network to create professional and personal relationships.
Learn as much as you can. WE14 provides dozens of professional development workshops and Lightning Talks, not to mention the inspiring keynote speeches, Team Tech presentations, and outreach opportunities such as Invent It. Build It.
Leave some room in your suitcase. Speaking of corporate sponsors, there are many goodies up for grabs at the conference. A couple of my favorite finds have been an umbrella from Northrop Grumman and a blanket from Toyota. Volunteers also usually get a nice scarf to take home.
Have some free time? Explore Los Angeles! You can even register to tour local attractions and companies such as SpaceX and Northrop Grumman.
I hope to see you in Los Angeles next week! I’ll be tweeting highlights of WE14 as well, so follow us at @SWERegionH!
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is hosting a Women in STEM PanelDiscussion webinar geared towards current undergraduate women who wish to apply for a graduate degree in any STEM-related field.
The webinar will be a virtual panel discussion about graduate research and study for prospective SWE members. The panel will feature faculty and current graduate students in Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Chemical Engineering (CHEG), Biomedical Engineering (BMED), Chemistry (CHEM) and Biology (BIOL) departments. SWE members from throughout the country can participate.
Monday, October 6th from 2-3 pm EDT (Eastern Daylight Time)
Q&A with faculty and students in our Schools of Engineering and Science
Discussion topics will include: preparing for graduate study, deciding where to apply, finding the right advisor, and much more
As the school year begins, an important hot topic to discuss is Membership Recruitment and Retention. These are some tips to help SWE sections, especially collegiate sections, succeed at attracting new members and retaining current members.
Think of your recruitment process as a sales pitch. Why should someone join SWE? What makes SWE unique, setting it apart from other organizations? For many sections, topics to mention in this pitch can include:
Opportunities to meet new friends
Social events, professional development, community service, etc.
Mentoring from upperclassmen
Fun events, often with free food!
Be sure to mention the advantages of becoming a national (paid) member:
C2C cost savings
SWE online training webinars
SWE Career site
Reduced prices to attend SWE conferences
Ability to hold section/regional/society positions
Other benefits your section may offer
Besides a pitch, it’s important to make sure to have friendly one-on-one interactions between potential members and existing members. It may be useful to make a competitive game for SWE officers: how many new people can you meet, remembering names and majors? Some potential events for recruiting could be a booth at your campus’s Student Organization Fair, first meeting(s) of the semester (advertise heavily and order plenty of food), or a Back-to-School Cookout.
Later in the year, recruitment efforts can still continue. Try having a social event where SWE members are expected to bring a non-SWE friend. If your school has a Women or Minorities in Engineering program, perhaps there are activities that SWE members could support while interacting with female freshmen studying engineering.
The aspects that recruit freshmen do not always meet the needs of existing members. Think about the long-term goals that change for members as they progress, and what your SWE section can do to support them. Have members expressed a need for improvement? Here are some examples:
Officer positions and committee involvement
Workshops on career fairs/successful interviewing
Exposure to companies via events and résumébooks, job opportunities
How to negotiate job offers
Interaction with professors and undergrad research opportunities
Mentoring from professionals
Building technical & non-technical skills
Software skills, car maintenance, etc.
Effective communication, team leading
Team Tech competition
Transitioning to graduate school or to industry
SWE involvement after college is an excellent way to build a professional and personal network
SWE HQ offers electronic deposit that can simplify and expedite the rebate process. Collegiate sections are encouraged to sign up with SWE HQ.The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Headquarters Office has been moving from manual checks to electronic fund transfers (ACH or direct deposit). This distribution system not only is more efficient, but eliminates delays due to mailings and or lost checks. The check amount is deposited directly into your section’s checking account within a couple of days of an approved check request.
Direct deposit set-up can be done in 5 easy steps:
1. Email Briana.Aviles@swe.org requesting to set up Direct Deposit. SWE-HQ will create an e-mail alias for the section (used in this e-mail to verify with the section treasurer).
2. The section treasurer replies to the e-mail indicating the alias is set up properly.
3. An invitation to set up the section account on Bill.com is sent to the section treasurer.
4. Respond to the invitation with required banking information within 72 hours.
a. Open the Bill.com link and register using the SWE alias provided. (Passwords need to be passed on to future treasurers.)
b. Enter the Section’s Account Name, Bank Name, Routing Number, and Account Number.
5. SWE’s accountants receive notification that you have completed the process. At this point, a debit and credit of less than $1.00 will appear on the section’s bank account to confirm the transaction operates.
You may not have heard about it, but there is a CLCC blog. It has a list of the modules as well as contact information. Check it out and pass the word on to your sections!
The Cedar Valley SWE section is hosting their 2nd annual Expanding Your Horizons conference on October 4th at the University of Northern Iowa. Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) is a day-long conference for middle school girls. The event includes hands-on STEM activities, as well as chances to meet STEM role models and learn more about careers in those fields. Example activities include Mag-nificent Breakfast Cereal, Metal Casting, Materials Testing, LEAN Manufacturing, Computer Science & Robots, Animal Workshop, and Toxic Popcorn. The ultimate goal is to motivate girls to become innovative and creative thinkers ready to meet 21st Century challenges. About 75 girls attended the inaugural event, and Cedar Valley SWE is very excited to be targeting about 150 girls this year!
Welcome to FY15! My name is Betty Leonhard, your Heartland Region Governor. I look forward to meeting many of you this year at various SWE conferences and events. I want to reach out with a quick hello and encourage you to keep up the good work in your local SWE sections, as you are the grassroots arms and legs of SWE that gets things done and helps SWE meet its goals and live up to its mission. I also wanted to let you know that one of my main goals in region H this year is to get many more collegiates involved in region committees, and I have encouraged your region collegiate team (RCT) to develop more roles to join them in supporting our many collegiate sections. The RCT is already discussing the roles and responsibilities they want to include on that team. As for some other general SWE roles, I’d like to specifically invite any of you to consider the joining one of the following:
Region H financial assessment committee – This committee checks the region’s financial records and makes recommendations on improved financial practices we should perform. This would be great for a young member who is or wants to be a section treasurer (or region or Society treasurer someday.) This committee is only active for a month or two in the winter, near or at region conference.
Region H nominating committee – This committee accepts, seeks out, and discusses potential candidates for region H elected positions. Such positions include region officers and the region collegiate team. It is a year long committee because we always need to watch for potential candidates but most of the work occurs January through March. Now that the region nominating committee also is charged with developing the collegiate slate of candidates, it is very important to have a collegiate member volunteer. The only caveat is that you wouldn’t be able to run for an elected region position for FY16 if you are on the committee in FY15.
Region H individual awards judging sub committee – This is a sub committee under the region awards umbrella and this person will help review and decide who should receive this year’s region-level awards. Those awards are collegiate emerging leader, professional emerging leader, and distinguished service. The time frame of this committee is still under debate.
Region H spirit & recognition committee – This committee will assist the RG in gathering the scavenger hunt photos and preparing for the region H slide show at Celebrate SWE banquet as well as purchase any spirit goodies to unify our region at that banquet. They will also develop a concept for continuing recognition that may include creating a region H SWE mascot. This committee will primarily be active in the Fall.
Region H procedures committee – This committee updates existing region policies, procedures, and forms as needed or as requested by the region council. You might help define a new procedure for the selection process of some new RCT roles.
Anyone in the region can fill these positions. We encourage involvement from others in your collegiate sections, professional sections, and the MALs. Most region positions are a fairly low time commitment compared to local or Society roles, so they are a great way for SWE members to keep up their engagement level. Contact Betty at email@example.com if interested in learning more.