Life Transitions

As another year of classes and SWE activities wrap up May is the time of transitions.  Whether you are transitioning into your first SWE leadership position, or out of your last collegiate SWE position, from living in the dorms to back home with your parents after your first year of college, or from your college apartment to your first apartment alone and with a full time job, there are transitions happening for everyone.  As I transition from being a college student to a college graduate, I have received a lot of advice (solicited and unsolicited).  Here is some more unsolicited advice. Transition logo 2

  • Stay involved.  Renew your SWE membership.  If you are still a collegiate student for at least a little longer, SWE provides you the opportunity to grow both as an individual and professionally.  If you are a graduating collegiate, becoming a professional member will allow you to maintain your network of ambitious female (and male) engineers and other professionals beyond those at the company you will soon be employed by.  Consider being a leader within your current, or new section.
    • REMINDER: Even if you have a C2C (Collegiate to Career) membership you still must renew each year for a cost of $0. transition
  • Reflect. Take the time to remember all of the things you have accomplished over the past year and all of the things you are working to improve.  Write them down.  Whether it is updating your resume or keeping a scrapbook, you have accomplished things personally, academically, and professionally over the past year.  Keep track.
  • Keep in touch.  LinkedIn and Facebook are fantastic ways to keep up with those people that you have grown to know, but will be seeing less of as you transition out of this academic year.
  • Be flexible and optimistic.  Things might not be what you expected.  If you are transitioning into a leadership position within your section, or into your first job of your career, there are going to be some unexpected turns.  Roll with it.

Those are just a few pieces of advice I have picked up from others over the past few months.  No matter what stage you are currently in, I personally think commencement speeches and convocation speeches both have things to offer.  Here are links to a few speeches at convocation and commencement ceremonies.

Be a geek and a nerd: Jim Kakalios at UMN Convocation 2009

UMN CSE Commencement Speech 2013: Steve Blank

Ellen DeGeneres at Tulane’s 2006 Commencement

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