What does it mean to you to be a woman engineer? SWE members from the University of Utah (U of U) share their thoughts.
“SWE has been a major reason I’ve remained in engineering. As a lady in engineering sometimes it is difficult to find support among my peers, it is great that SWE is there for me. They have great seminars on resume repair and classy business dress, which I just love and find so helpful. I am an outreach chair, and I love that SWE gives me the opportunity to go volunteer and inspire younger girls to be engineers too! One of my favorite outreach moments was at science power day, one of our coordinators gave a presentation on powerful women and pulled up the College of Engineering of a toy company (I forgot her name) and she brought up how there are no science toys designed specifically for girls; they’re just boy toys made out of pink plastic! I personally found that super inspiring. I am all for pink and being girly, but I also embrace the fact that we are different and have different interests but can still be crazy smart. And I try to encourage that during outreach events.” — Cassie Maguire –Outreach Co-Chair
“Joining the University of Utah’s Society of Women Engineers has helped me connect with my peers and has helped my leadership skills. Before I joined SWE, I often felt like I didn’t know where to look for help and wanted a place where I could find friends and mentors who understood what experiences I was going through as a student. After joining SWE, I became part of the Professional Development Committee where I met many fellow female engineering students. Through this involvement, I gained a close group of friends who help support me and who I can work with on a variety of projects. I enjoyed planning events with the committee and getting to know more about how SWE builds activities and events to include female engineering students from all engineering fields.
This year, I became involved with the Committee Chairs and am the current Fundraising Chair. It has been a rewarding experience getting to know the SWE Officers and planning events with them. I have gained a lot of useful information about applying to internships and jobs, and am looking forward to attending Regional Conference in March! SWE has given me support as a female student in engineering and has given me the opportunity to participate in and help plan events that are interesting to me. I have met a wide variety of people involved in SWE who are passionate about engineering and what other women to feel the same way.” — Lynn Gao – Fundraising Chair
“For me, SWE is a community that is filled with understanding. There are no others on campus that understand my college process like the other members of SWE. They understand trying to balance school and personal lives, are always open to questions, and want to help those younger and less experienced in anyway that they can. SWE provides so many opportunities, with internships, scholarships and just making connections in general. But I joined SWE because it provides a support system. When you move away from home for college, you can lose quite a few people who were there for you, face-to-face, on a daily basis, and that can be difficult. Engineering is tough, and there are days where you want to quit, but if you have a support system of strong intelligent women behind you, it makes every day a little easier.” — Caroline Biggs – Mechanical Engineering Department Representative
“As women in engineering we tend to set our sights high and often over-commit. While this is part of what makes us awesome, it also can lead to a great deal of stress. While procrastinating this week, I found this little article that has some great pointers. What I found most inspiring was the last couple of paragraphs where the author recommends taking chances, risks, and making mistakes. As engineers we can be hard on ourselves but I think it’s important to remember that the mistakes that we make can often be more enlightening than successes. You can’t conquer the world if you don’t put yourself out there! http://www.collegefashion.net/college-life/3-steps-to-achieving-balance-as-a-college-student/ ” — Anja Higgins, Social Chair
Thank you for your thoughts U of U! How do you feel about being a female engineer? Share your thoughts in the comment box below!