May Hot Topic: Transition to Professional SWE Membership

It’s finally that time of year when school terms are ending and summer is arriving. Before you get too distracted by the nice weather and much-needed break, all SWE members should make sure to renew their membership! Even members with C2C (Collegiate to Career) memberships must login to swe.org to renew as “Collegiate to Career (continuing college)” if they will be students (undergraduate or graduate) next year.

Congratulations to all our collegiate members who are soon to graduate and enter the workforce! Have you been a C2C member? If so, remember that your first year of professional membership is already paid for! Simply renew as “Collegiate to Career – Professional Year 1” and specify what professional section you will be part of. I highly encourage you to stay involved in SWE as a professional for its many benefits, including networking opportunities, professional development, supportive community, outreach involvement, and free online webinars, to name a few. Don’t know what professional section will be in your area? Check out the Sections page on swe.org. Most of the regionx.swe.org websites for the specific regions also include a list and map of professional sections. If there is no professional section in your area, you can register as a MAL (Member at Large).

Source: lynnegolodner.com
Source: lynnegolodner.com

Thoughts on Transitioning

Once you join a professional section, then what? Get in contact with the section and get added to their mailing list. How does SWE as a professional differ from SWE as a collegiate? Here are some thoughts about the transition:

  • Just like collegiate sections, there are varying levels of activity and size for professional sections. If you’re eager to be active, don’t be afraid to jump in and start planning programs. You may be new to the section and how it operates, but you can be a valuable set of fresh eyes with previous SWE experiences under your belt.
  • Unless your employer happens to have a large number of SWE members at your workplace, getting your professional section together in person may occur less frequently. Some sections cover large geographical areas.
  • Free food is a great incentive for college students, but you may need to be more creative about getting attendance from professionals. Professionals often have busy work and personal lives, and they are interested in learning different skills and information than collegiates.
  • You can still be involved in SWE committees and/or leadership roles at the regional and society level! This may be especially useful for MALs without a nearby section to be involved in.
  • If your employer sends people to SWE conferences, ask if you can attend. Conferences are fantastic experiences both as a collegiate and as a professional. You may even apply to be a presenter, or attend workshops for continuing education credits.
  • SWE has a different set of individual awards and section awards for professionals than for collegiates. Be sure to apply so that your achievements can be recognized by SWE!
  • You have the opportunity to interact with collegiate sections in a mentoring or alumni relationship. Keep in touch with your college section. Your experiences as you start your career can be very beneficial to share. In the future you may even consider being a SWE counselor for a collegiate section.

 

I hope this helps with transitioning smoothly. Good luck to everyone!

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