UCSB engineers had a SWEet time in Seattle exploring Pike’s Market, eating more food than can be reasonably justified, and learning and networking with a host of female engineers at the SWE ABJ Regional Conference this past February! Our section was able to learn about resume building, elevator pitches, verbal gender bias and a host of other new things at the Breakout Sessions. Additionally, our section was able to network with companies like Boeing, Honeywell, JPL and many more, allowing our members to practice their networking skills with not only professionals from those companies, but also with other collegiate SWE members. Both our freshman and senior SWE members alike say that going to the Regional Conference opened up their eyes to the scope of what SWE is and what it represents.
“It was so empowering and moving to realize that when we walked into breakfast for the first time, that I was standing in a room completely filled with incredibly accomplished female engineers,” said one of our members who attended her first ever SWE conference. It is for realizations like this, along with the other learning and networking experiences that conferences provide, that our section made a push to get many of our younger members to take a trip to Seattle with us. And, luckily, we were able to make that goal, convincing 10 women to leave the sunny beaches of Santa Barbara for rainy Seattle! And, among these 10 women were 6 underclassmen! This year was a grey milestone in our sections’s attendance of the SWE Regional Conference, and we hope to only continue to increase the numbers of underclassmen conference attendees in years to come! Knowing how wonderful conferences are and how important they can be in encouraging female engineers to pursue their goals in both life and in engineering, UCSB’s SWE section can’t wait for the National Conference in Philadelphia!