Society of Women Engineers Region E Blog

East Coast: we have the most!

WE12: One SWEet Trip

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Our “electrifying” Region E members!

5,000+ attendees from 400+ collegiate and professional sections. 250+ Career Fair exhibitors. 120+ professional development sessions. 3 days of energy in Houston, TX. 1 annual conference: this was WE12, the Society of Women Engineers’ 2012 Annual Conference!

Your Region E RCRs, Jessica and Nicole (middle-left and middle-right), with the RCR/RCCE Coordinators Jasmine (left) and Melinda (right)!

SWE sections from across the globe jetted over to Houston to experience WE12 during November 8-10, 2012. The sheer number of people you meet and interact with at conference is absolutely mind-blowing. Bringing together so many brilliant minds under one roof is an incredible opportunity to learn from each other’s diverse experiences. Starting conversations with other conference attendees is effortless and a fantastic way to expand your network, no matter what geographical region you hail from or where your interests lie. Whether you’re talking with a recruiter from a West Coast company or conversing with a fellow SWE member from Turkey, there are vast amounts of knowledge that you can share and gain.

The product of exceptional mind-mapping

We were absolutely thrilled getting to meet Region E members in person; it was great putting faces to names! The collegiate presentations were perfect for introducing the people who coordinate region activities throughout the year and updating everyone on the latest information. We found the “best practices” sharing session to be incredibly valuable for everyone attending; just check out that mind-mapping on the easel picture above! These gatherings also gave everyone a taste of how getting involved with the Society beyond the collegiate level is incredibly rewarding.

Conference attendees network with each other at Northrop Grumman’s “Women Defining the Future Luncheon”

The most insightful parts of the conference for me were the professional development sessions. These workshops and discussions spanned seven different categories, from “Career and Life Transitions” and “Innovation in Technology and Business.” Attendees were able to learn about up-and-coming developments in engineering fields as well as self-reflect and set goals for the future. I particularly enjoyed sessions within the “Management and Strategy” division; for instance, “Leadership Techniques for Multiplying the Intelligence and Capability of the Team” analyzed two types of leaders. The speakers explored how Multiplier leaders amplify the intelligence and capability of those around them, while Diminisher leaders focus on their personal approaches and stifle an organization’s capabilities. Hearing what the speakers had to say and talking with other workshop participants was eye opening, helping me plan personal future benchmarks.

Penn SWE members enjoying Vietnamese fare

Amidst all the conferencing, us SWE members made sure to get a taste of Houston for ourselves! Penn SWE, for instance, explored the “tunnels,” an underground labyrinth of interconnected channels beneath the entire city. We leisurely wandered the streets, basking in the sun and enjoying the unseasonably warm 800 weather (unseasonable for chilly Philly, that is!). Houston is known for its excellent barbecue and Vietnamese cuisine, so we also made sure to feast on brisket, pulled pork, and pho while in town.

All in all, the trip was a blast. Be sure to mark your calendars for the next SWE conference in Baltimore next year! (:

~ Nicole, FY13 RCR

Check out the full WE12 gallery here:

WE12- November 2012

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