Thanks for tuning into the first run of the “Getting to Know You” column! This monthly series will feature one of Region E’s FY14 leaders so you have a chance to “meet” her, hear about her SWE career path, and learn a fun fact or two by the end!
The first person you’ll hear from is yours truly! My name is Nicole and I am your Region Collegiate Communications Editor (RCCE). I am a senior at the University of Pennsylvania working towards B.S.E.s in Bioengineering and Management (Entrepreneurship and Innovation), as well as a M.S.E. in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics.
1) When did you begin your SWE career?
When I first joined the University of Pennsylvania’s collegiate section as a freshman, I was overwhelmed by all the amazing opportunities that SWE offers. I found my niche as an Educational Outreach committee member and things took off from there.
2) Explain a little bit about your current SWE position(s).
As Region E’s RCCE, I manage the region blog that you’re viewing now. My goal is to share all the phenomenal things that your sections are doing, whether it be events, best practices, or anything in between. I am also the President of the University of Pennsylvania collegiate section.
3) What does SWE mean to you?
I always think of SWE based on its acronym. However, it doesn’t only stand for “Society of Women Engineers.” Breaking the acronym down, “S” symbolizes “success,” “sincerity,” and “spirit.” I have met countless successful professionals and collegiates since I’ve been involved with SWE. They all possess plenty of experiences to share and valuable advice to give; their enthusiasm for SWE is truly unparalleled and I aspire to emulate their energy on a daily basis. Additionally, every person I have met through SWE has been so kind and helpful. They truly embody the encouraging, spirited character of the Society.
“W” not only represents “women” and the Society’s mission to “empower women to succeed and advance in [engineering career] aspirations”, but also stands for the “widespread” scope of the organization. SWE continually builds a network of mentors and friends of all ages that I can rely on and go to at any time. The span of what SWE does is also wildly impressive. From challenging competitions to colossal conferences, supportive scholarships to collaborative committees, there are ways for everyone to get involved.
“E” characterizes the “emerging” new talents that further the “established” organization’s mission and goals. Both the old and new members sustain SWE and make the Society what it is today. I am proud to be a SWE member and will continue to be one for many years to come!
4) What advice would you give to people just starting their SWE careers?
Don’t be afraid to jump in headfirst and get involved with something you’re passionate about, whether it’s related to professional development, educational outreach, or social events. The best way to learn is by participating yourself and getting that hands-on experience helps you understand the inner workings of SWE. As you learn about your local section, it will also provide insight into how SWE functions as a region and as a society.
5) What is the first thing you notice about a person?
The energy they bring to a conversation. You can tell when someone really wants to get to know you and cares enough to take time out of their busy schedule to share their experiences and learn in return. Many SWE members bring this enthusiasm to the table and it’s always a pleasure meeting and getting to know them!
6) If money was no object, what would you be doing right now?
I would be finishing my goal to visit all 50 states (and eating my way through them– I’m a huge foodie!).
~ Nicole Woon, Region E Collegiate Communications Editor and University of Pennsylvania SWE President