This winter SWE@UCR hosted a Facebook University program information session with our favorite recruiter Anthony Rodari. The Facebook University program is a Facebook internship program specifically for first and second year engineering students to help them sharped their programming skills with university like courses in mobile development while receiving mentorship from current Facebook employees, all while getting all the perks and benefits of full time Facebook engineers. Anthony was kind enough to spend some time walking us through the application process, and speak a bit about what recruiters are specifically looking for in an engineering application that doesn’t require any code or technical interviews. He also spent some time with us discussing the difficulties that Facebook has had increasing representation, and some of the new initiatives that they are creating to try and combat this problem. The event ended with Facebook internship alum Kyle Minshall discussing the campus and atmosphere that students could expect while working at Facebook. Overall this event was a great reminder that even new engineers have a lot to contribute to the field.
I believe that Research Networking Night is a great event because it allows undergraduates the opportunity to learn about unique research from the professors and get involved with these groundbreaking projects and ideas early on. Being exposed to the research environment as undergraduates allow us to apply classroom knowledge to look at things in innovative and different ways. This event also allows professors and graduate students to promote their cutting-edge research and share it with undergraduates. It takes both women and men to promote women in engineering, that’s why I feel like what SWE does here is so important. Specifically about my research, I got involved with research my sophomore year in Dr. Jassby’s lab. It was the first time that I had been exposed to solving real world problems and I learned to see beyond the scope of a microscope. It generated my curiosity for higher education and allowed me to think more critically about material that I learned in the classroom.
There were 15 different laboratories represented amongst all the engineering disciplines. Professors and students were able to interact outside the classroom, getting advice on research and college experiences in general. In the middle of the event, we had a panel of 6 professors who shared their knowledge and experiences with all of the participants. It was a great connecting moment for all the parties and I felt as though it brought everyone together. The networking sessions had amazing turnouts and there were huddles around each professor and graduate student. I feel as though students were able to learn more about the topic of research in general and the applications and requirements for specific professors to search of a perfect match.
One of the most attractive aspects of engineering is the fact that students of any
major can collaborate to create anything imaginable; NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena is one of the best examples of this. The Society of Women Engineers paired with IEEE to tour the facilities. The tour began with an overview of the numerous satellites built, including Galileo (a satellite dedicated to study Jupiter and its moons) and Ulysses (a decommissioned probe meant to study the Sun). Then after a light tour of Mission Control and a cordial introduction to the Mars rover Curiosity, we were shown the facilities that determined and tested landing gear (fully equipped with seismic simulation and artificial terrain), as well as entire buildings dedicated to assembling the spacecraft in immense, temperature-controlled rooms. Along for the ride came the new SWE mascot, Queen B! Overall, the tour encompassed an evocative thesis on their mission: engineering as a whole is developing and expanding, and with every new project, new minds and perspectives are necessary. It was an incredible opportunity to tour such an esteemed organization, as well as a reminder to shoot for the stars and beyond!
Our fourth general meeting invited two government agencies with a lot of opportunities for engineers — NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center and the Peace Corps! We welcomed a speaker from each of these two agencies to talk about internships, the application process, and advice about their respective fields. They discussed the benefits that come along with working for each of their organizations. Both options are very rewarding and exciting paths — but the application process can be rough in both cases! The two women panelists gave their honest advice on how to stick out among the many, many applicants they receive and gave a run-down on the steps to take in order to apply. Afterwards, they both had set-up booths for people to approach them with questions and further information. People huddled around the two tables, eager to ask questions and take home some goodies. Overall, it was an excellent experience and one that really helped attendees be best prepared for applications and interviews. I know many of the young women engineers in the room, myself included, left that evening with a bit more confidence than they did before they entered that room. These positions are not as far-fetched as they may seem — but we must put ourselves out there in order to be offered these opportunities.
The SWE Regional Conference introduced me to a community of successful and talented female engineers outside my chapter at UCR. I heard talks from incredible women who are so ahead of the game, they are leading forces in academia, engineering, science, and business combined. Listening to these powerhouses reminds us that incredible women exist (the fact sometimes is lost on us in the academic environment of school). However, it also reminds us that their success is contingent on three main factors: tenacity, sacrifice, and family support. These women worked hard during their time in school and in their careers. They had family that was supportive of their roles in society as contributors of science and engineering and supported them in parenting their children. And now these women are back to encourage young women that it is possible to maintain a successful career and family life. It is now my goal to emulate them and talk at a SWE conference later in my career to pass the torch.
It’s the midst of week 5, right in the middle of midterm season and intensity fills the room. Diligent SWE members sit in rows, their notebooks and laptops strewn across the tables. Some have their headphones on, working quietly by themselves, scribbling down notes and taking practice exams. Others are collaborating together, explaining different concepts and steps to solving problems. This process is only interrupted occasionally by the need for snacks or a small break, after which the student delves right back into their work with renewed spirit. After the hour is done, everyone packs up, satisfied with their productivity and ready to take on their exams.
SWE-UCR brought in Winter quarter by hosting a professional etiquette workshop! This event was meant to inform and prepare students for Evening With Industry. After announcements were given by their respective officers we heard a word from the career center. The speaker shared proper career fair etiquette in preparation for the UCR career center, conventionally a day before EWI. Next, officers talked about the different companies attending EWI and what kind of candidates they are looking for. Our next speaker captured the audience with a fun demonstration of what proper eating etiquette is all about. Two pairs of student showed the good and bad ways which included their outfits, using their utensils and conversations. The event ended with an elevator pitch competition which had five students give their best elevator pitch, the winner won a SWE t-shirt!