On August 16th, I hopped on a plane to Minneapolis for the SWE Collegiate Leadership Forum (CLF) as Region B’s SWE Future Leader. The experiences I had there were absolutely amazing! On the first night, we hit the ground running as we networked with SWE professional members and guests during the President’s Installation Reception. The evening ended with a SME Bowl Competition between the regions. Although Region B did not make it to the finals, we had a great time crafting questions to confound the two remaining regions with and cheering both sides on. The next two days started with a 7:30 AM breakfast with the Board of Directors, Region Governors, and other SWE leaders, where we were able to connect more closely with inner workings of the professional side of SWE, as well as laugh over everything from younger siblings to paper napkin collections.
CLF was packed with incredible training workshops. My favorite sessions involved groups of four collegiate members presenting their SWE goal-oriented skits. One of the groups, which included one of our Region Collegiate Representatives, Haleigh Auk, created a rap (to the beat of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song) about sustainability that they later performed by the special request for our Board of Directors during lunch. The SWE Future Leaders also attended a workshop about all the resources that the SWE website offered. There were so many none of us had even heard of! We were eager to carry this information back to our sections. On the last night, Region B offered the rest of CLF fierce competition in the Engineering-themed scavenger hunt in the Mall of America.
On August 19th, I flew back home with a game plan – I felt recharged and ready to steam head-on towards my goals which CLF had helped all the SWE Future Leaders build. Although the workshops had assisted me in this endeavor, the foundation for my success was meeting so many other collegiates and professionals who had the same passion and dreams for SWE, whether they were on the Board of Directors or a SWE Future Leader from Turkey. I had encountered a wide variety of issues and obstacles within my section that my fellow CLF attendees had conquered or molded productively. There was nowhere else I could have come up with the plans, back-up plans, and plans to my back-up plans within fifteen minutes of just speaking with other people. I came back home with strengthened goals and skills, but above all: new and incredible friendships.
Written by Amy Lin, FY 13 Region B SWEFL