Eight CSULB SWE members flew from LAX to Austin-Bregstrom International Airport to attend this year’s WE17 Conference. It was the first SWE conference for many of our attendees. Some members arrived as early as Wednesday and others arrived Thursday and even Friday morning. Our section rented an apartment in the heart of downtown Austin which was approximately a three-minute walk to the convention center.
For most of us, the main event was WE17’s Career Fair. We had fun and learned a lot (and collectively obtained several bagfuls of company freebies!). Many of our members were selected for multiple interviews and several received internship and full-time job offers. From attending the workshops to the corporate hospitality suites, our members are very grateful for the successful networking opportunity!
On that Saturday, we volunteered for SWE’s outreach event, Invent It. Build It. There we were the “Role Models” for both high school and middle school attendees. We would demonstrate our field of study with videos, games, or models to better explain what we do as engineers. It was a fun filled day with a lot of laughter and learning. We hope we inspired the girls to pursue engineering in the future.
We also enjoyed exploring Austin! Between the eight of us, we visited the Graffiti Park at Castle Hill, attended a parade, toured the capitol, shopped around Sixth Street, and ate tons of Texan barbeque.
WE17 was an incredible learning and bonding experience for organization. We can’t wait to make it to WE18 in Minneapolis, Minnesota next year!
SWE CSULB hosted our annual Women Engineers @ The Beach Day (WE@BD) on Friday, October 20! This year, about two hundred high-school students arrived on campus for a day packed full of STEM activities. Our keynote speaker was Ms. Chandni Mehta, an Engineer II from Southern California Edison. Ms. Medta’s inspirational speech described her journey from India to the United States to further her education in engineering and she encouraged the students to take career risks. Ms. Mehta is pictured below with our chapter President and our Outreach Chair.
After the introductory speeches, the high school students were separated into groups and attended two out of the eight different workshops hosted by various CSULB Engineering faculty. Dr. Yu Yang from the Chemical Engineering department taught the students to build batteries from various fruits, wires, a nail, and a penny. Students then used the battery to power an LED light, which demonstrated the conversion from chemical energy to electrical energy. Dr. Alvaro Monge from the Computer Science department taught students to program an animation. Dr. Yan Li from Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering demonstrated how the use of polymers allowed students to pierce a balloon with a wooden skewer without popping it.
After the workshops, SWE CSULB hosted lunch. During lunch, the students were welcome to visit the various booths hosted by other CSULB engineering organizations. Each organization presented different STEM-related activities that were both entertaining and informative. ACM taught the students to make binary search trees from marshmallows and toothpicks, IEEE made homopolar motors with wire and batteries, and SWE hosted a catapult-making booth. Long Beach Maker Society’s ice cream activity was one of the most popular. Students shook bags of rock salt, milk, ice, and flavored syrup to make their own ice cream and demonstrate colligative properties and freezing point depression. NSBE, AIAA, and HKN were also present.
It was another WE@BD for the books! Special thanks to our officers, volunteers, workshop leaders, and the engineering organizations for helping us put on another successful outreach event. We look forward to hosting Engineering Girls @ The Beach Day, our outreach event for middle school students, in the Spring!
As the adage goes knowledge is power, so it must be the first step to our success. We learned an immense amount of knowledge about success, leadership, empowerment, networking, budgeting, and more. Society of Women Engineers Conference, held from October 26th through 29th, offered the Loyola Marymount SWE chapter many opportunities. We attended a variety of events including Lightning Talks, keynote speakers, brunches, and hospitality suites. The career fair gave our members opportunities to interview and network with companies, and some received internship and full time offers!
We prepared for conference with elevator speech practice in addition a resume workshop. Members who attended previous SWE conferences prepared first-time attendees for the career fair and how to make an impactful first impression. Besides our professional experience, we had fun!
We loved exploring Austin! Line dancing and barbeque were favorites. We enjoyed Austin’s very own Torchy’s Tacos as well as Amy’s ice cream. Like any tourist, we had to check out the unique murals.
The attendees presented what they learned at conference last week with the rest of the chapter. The other members appreciated all the advice. We’re looking forward to our next meeting, an internship panel. Our team will utilize this knowledge to conquer the rest of the school life and our early careers. Until next year!
Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Society of Women Engineers (CPSWE) strives to provide a gateway between the collegiate and corporate worlds by arranging multiple networking events throughout the year. This year, CPSWE held its third annual Networking Showcase on September 27, 2017. This event gives Cal Poly students the opportunity to talk with company representatives during the week of the university Fall Career Fair. Some of the 16 companies that attended this year’s showcase included PepsiCo, Edwards Lifesciences, Texas Instruments, Applied Materials, Eaton, Micron Technology, Orbital ATK, JPL, Northrop Grumman, Palo Alto Networks, Phillips 66, Rockwell Automation, Southern California Edison, Syserco, ViaSat, and Western Digital.
During the evening, over 85 Cal Poly students seeking employment and internships were able to meet and converse with industry representatives. CPSWE provided refreshments and appetizers for all attendees in order to create a relaxed atmosphere, conducive for strengthening professional relationships. Companies in attendance received flash drives with resumes supplied by interested students. Overall, Networking Showcase was hugely successful in connecting students with prospective employers. By offering an additional alternative setting to discuss career options, the Networking Showcase aligns with the goals of SWE by stimulating “women to achieve full potential in careers as engineers and leaders” (swe.org).
Cal Poly SWE’s collegiate section was able to take 31 officers and members to the SWE National Conference in Austin, TX from October 25-28th, 2017. Out of this group, 11 people were first time National Conference attendees!
We started planning this trip during spring quarter by inviting our officers to submit applications and express why they were interested in attending the conference. Several of our executive officers then reviewed those applications and were so impressed with the passionate and enthusiastic responses that we decided to accept all those who applied! All attendees were required to sign a contract agreeing to attend certain events while at conference and to represent Cal Poly SWE honorably. Travel arrangements were made during the last few weeks of the 2016-17 school year including booking flights and reserving hotel rooms, and remaining logistics such as organizing carpools and getting students excused from classes was dealt with at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year.
At conference, our officers had the opportunity to meet and connect with many other SWE members on both collegiate and professional levels. Conference events included several keynote speakers, a career fair with several hundred companies in attendance, breakout sessions and lightning talks on topics ranging from professional development and leadership to communication skills and self-discovery. There were also several engineering competitions and outreach events happening throughout the conference. In between all this, our group still found time to explore the exciting sights, sounds, and tastes of Austin!
At the annual awards dinner called Celebrate SWE!, Cal Poly SWE’s collegiate section won six awards including the Boeing Multicultural Award, the SWE Mission Awards for Public Policy and Leadership Development and Mentoring, and the SWE Mission Award Gold for Collegiate section. Cal Poly’s Team Tech placed third with their project of a Solar Powered Water Ozonation Device. Additionally, recent Cal Poly SWE alumni, Kristen Reynier, won second place in the Collegiate Technical Poster Competition with her poster detailing the use of a transtibial prosthetic for walking, running, and swimming.
Overall, this conference was very successful in inspiring our officers and members to keep connecting and engineering! It was the perfect opportunity for our members to get to know one another better. We are looking forward to attending future SWE conferences, including WE Local Phoenix in February 2018!
The Girl Scout Cybersecurity Day event for – Staying Secure in a Cyber World – was a huge success on November 4th, 2017! Sixty-Four Girl Scouts from Monterey to Ventura participated in the event and learned about cybersecurity, digital forensics and internet safety. Cal Poly SLO Society of Women Engineers members volunteered to assist Girl Scouts of grades K-12 in cyber-related activities and encourage the young girls to follow their engineering and technology passions.
Girl Scouts learned about cyber through hands-on activities such as internet safety mini-games, encryption cipher decoder wheels, computer forensics with recovering deleted files, and the [d0x3d] network security board game. The event also gave Cal Poly SWE the opportunity to connect with clubs across Cal Poly by volunteering with individuals representing Cal Poly’s White Hat, Women In Business, and Child Development club.
On Sunday, October 22 over 35 SWE members involved in the SWE Big/Little program spent their morning at Avila Valley Barn for the second social of the year. Members were able to enjoy a day filled with baked goods, apple cider, pumpkins, mazes, hayrides, and more. Big’s and Little’s were able to grow their relationships and interact not just with one another, but with other members present. Events like this helps submerge Little’s into the community by allowing them to see and experience locations off campus. Little’s are then meeting new people, in addition to, exploring everything San Luis Obispo has to offer.