This year, the UCLA chapter decided to hold a panel of students who have had internships before to prepare underclassmen for our upcoming Evening with Industry (EWI). We had students from different majors, including chemical engineering, materials science, mechanical engineering, and computer science to answer questions about how they got their internship and what it was like. We first asked pre-determined questions that were given to the panelists ahead of time, and then followed it with questions from the audience. Topics such as internship recruitment, interviews, daily life, and the overall experience. The attendees seemed very engaged with the program, based on the large amount of questions that were asked by attending students. Overall, the event was a huge success, and something that SWE will continue to have in the future.
We additionally organized an Etiquette Dinner, hosted by Northrop Grumman, in to prepare members for the formal dinner portion of EWI. Since Northrop Grumman was unable to attend EWI this year, this was a great chance for participants to have a similar experience and more intimate networking opportunity than they would have had at EWI.
We brought in an “etiquette expert” from the UCLA Career Center and he was phenomenal. By the end of the presentation, every single attendee could give a long list of the important tidbits they learned. It was very nice that Northrop Grumman was hosting but not leading the event because it was a great dynamic to get to learn alongside the representatives instead of feeling pressure in the typical recruiter-student dynamic.
The presenter was hilarious, engaging, entertaining and beyond knowledgeable on the subject matter. This event and dinner could have easily been a dry and boring ordeal but he ensured it was anything but that. The night was also a great “dry run” for EWI since it was in the same location with the same catering staff, allowing all of us to feel comfortable and familiarized when we sat down at EWI the next week. When EWI finally rolled around, I felt like an etiquette pro noticing all the do’s and don’t’s I learned from the Etiquette Dinner. I was able to truly focus my thoughts and energy on the conversations of the evening instead of worrying about little things such as how to position my silverware when I’m done eating or how to appropriately butter my bread. I would definitely recommend holding this event next year and would not change a thing!