Society of Women Engineers Region E Blog

East Coast: we have the most!


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Networking at WE17

We are only 11 days away from the start of WE17, the world’s largest conference and career fair for women in engineering and technology!

Planning ahead? 

Check out the Conference Planner for the complete schedule of events at WE17. The planner can be used whether you’re logged in or not, however, it is recommended you log in with your confirmation registration ID to save your events. If you are interested in a particular type of event, check out the “tracks” under the Agenda section. Here, you can find Strategic Leadership specific events, Lightning Talks, and much more. Download the WE17 app (available on iPhone/Android) and pull up the full schedule and your saved events during the conference whenever you need!

Looking for guidance via webinars?

There are numerous webinars available for SWE members, but here are a few that can prepare you for WE17 in particular:

  • SWE Conference Networking for Newbies: Networking is one of the most critical skills to develop and maintain in order to have a successful career. Networking provides the most productive, most proficient and most enduring tactic to build relationships. It is identified as THE takeaway to have from internships, research, and first jobs. However, as an emerging young professional, the real question is where to start. How can you get involved and develop your network? How do you create diversity within your network that will promote your own career aspirations? To succeed you must continually connect with new people, cultivate emerging relationships and leverage your network.
  • Hot Trends in Networking Know-How for 2017: If you’re stuck in a rut or confused about next steps for getting ahead, sign up for this “Networking Make-Over.” Update your ideas – and your skills – about how face-to-face networking really works in the real world. Even if you think of yourself as shy, you’ll be surprised how easy it is when you have these tools for connecting and conversing at your command. You can learn  how to  adopt a robust and positive mindset about your ability to build relationships. You can learn how to make the most of workplace and social opportunities to ask good questions and make conversation flow. And we’ll  look at how to avoid asking for too much too soon… or too little too late as you build relationships, extend and diversify your network and explore new opportunities.

The WE16 Opening Keynote with Luann Pendy is also available online. Dr. Luann Pendy, Senior Vice President of Global Quality at Medtronic, was the opening keynote speaker at WE16, SWE’s annual conference. In this podcast brought to you by SWE Advance, Dr. Pendy talks about her education, career, and how she strives to encourage other women to pursue careers in STEM. Dr. Pendy is the executive sponsor of Medtronic’s Women’s Network, which is a resource group creating and promoting opportunities for women in the workforce. She is also a member of the Leadership Council on Advancing Women at the Conference Board. In 2015, she was named one of the Top 50 Women of Influence in Technology by the National Diversity Council.

Finally, please be reminded that the Region E Meeting will take place on Thursday, October 26 at 12:45PM. All are welcome to attend!

See you all at WE17!

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WE17: Always Connecting, Always Engineering

We are only 41 days from the start of WE17, the world’s largest conference and career fair for women in engineering and technology! WE16 had 308 exhibitors and a record number of 11,724 attendees gather in Philadelphia, PA – let’s break this record!

Registration

Early bird registration ends Sunday, September 24, 2017! Registration is broken down into the following categories: exhibitor, professional, collegiate and virtual. Professional and collegiate members- be sure your FY18 membership is renewed for additional savings on registration. The full breakdown of fees can be found HERE and the link for online registration can be found HERE.

Travel and Housing

This year’s WE Conference will be held in Austin, TX. Check out the provided travel information and housing affiliated with WE17. There are plenty of hotels in the downtown Austin area that provide shuttle service to the Austin Convention Center as well as Uber and Lyft services.

Career Fair, Exhibitors and Events

This year, the career fair will be open longer than ever before. The full list of exhibitors can be found HERE and the schedule is as follows:

Thursday, Oct 26:

  • 1:00 – 6:00 p.m.
  • 6:00 – 8:00 p.m (Opening Reception + Career Fair)

Friday, Oct 27:

  • 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. (Professionals Only)
  • 10:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Open to both Collegiates and Professionals)

Hospitality suites will take place after 8PM on Thursday and are hosted by companies such as Accenture, Dell and Boeing! All events (including workshops and talks) can be found on the conference planner online; a mobile app is also available for iPhone and Android and logging in with your Registration ID can allow synchronization of events (and their times/locations) you save online.

The Region E Meeting will be taking place on Thursday, Oct. 26 from 12:45-1:45PM in the Convention Center, Room 16A. Please join us as we will be discussing region governance updates!

In addition, there are many on site services available for conference attendees, such as child care and the resource center.

Volunteer

There are a number of volunteer opportunities available at WE17 to help with logistics, the career fair, registration and more! Spots are limited and are done on a first come, first serve basis. Volunteers may receive 50% off registration fees. For more details, click HERE.

Still have questions?

Check out the frequently asked questions and these SWE webinars for making the best out of your WE experience:

Hope to see you all in Austin!


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Welcome FY18 Leaders!

Congratulations and welcome to all FY18 Leaders and members! We are excited to kick off another SWE Fiscal Year and pleased to announce our Region Officers, Committee Chairs and Collegiate Leadership Team:

Amanda Weissman, Governor
Cassandra Zook, Lt. Governor
Cathleen Saunders, Secretary
Susan Best, Treasurer

Gail Dyer & Alexis Wasserman, Professional Senators
Susan Best & Sandra Hyland, Bylaws
Beth Mellott, Nominating
Andrea Stenberg, Society Nominating Comm Rep
Sue Parsons, LCC Region Leader

Dhanu Thiyagarajan, Collegiate Senator
Madelyn Langin & Maissoun Ksara, Region Collegiate Representatives
Emily Ng, Collegiate Communications Editor
Emily Bautista, Sophia Blanc & Kristine Loh, SWE Future Leaders

Please feel free to reach out to members of this team for any questions or concerns you may have via email. In addition, be sure to utilize these resources from swe.org to get started on the upcoming year:

  • Not sure where to start in your section or career? Check out the resources available online HERE where you will find free podcasts, diversity & inclusion resources and the career center!
  • Interested in becoming a member and joining the SWE community? Collegiate membership starts at just $20/year and offers various opportunities in webinars, scholarships and development. Graduate and professional memberships are also available! Find out more by clicking HERE!
  • Learn more about Region E and the different collegiate and professional sections by clicking HERE. Get involved with your local section!

Again, welcome to FY18 and have a great start to the year!


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April Hot Topic: Writing SWE Award Applications

With spring in full swing, it’s time to start applying for SWE Awards! Your section has accomplished a tremendous amount during FY14 and it’s time for you to be recognized for all your achievements!

Keep the following in mind when filling out your applications:

  • Have all your event information on hand when you are filling out the form
  • Remember to obtain SWE membership information from SWE HQ
  • Don’t forget supporting documents, pictures, and links on the applications
  • If you have questions, please contact the award coordinator or your Region Collegiate Team

Society Collegiate Awards

  • Outstanding Collegiate Section/Outstanding New Collegiate Section: Awards presented to Collegiate Sections with the most outstanding overall program for the year. Due 5/31.
  • Collegiate Technical Poster Competition: Emphasizes the ability to deliver outstanding visual presentations. Due 6/15.
  • Team Tech Competition (Sponsored by Boeing): Emphasizes the importance of teamwork and interface with industry in the engineering educational process. Due 1/15.
  • SME Bowl (Sponsored by Exxon Mobile Corporation): The Subject Matter Expert (SME) Bowl is a competition that challenges collegiate members in the areas of science, math, physics, engineering, and technology, and also challenges them in their knowledge of SWE history and policies. Due 10/15.

Click here to read more about the awards and to download application packets.

Society Section Awards

  • Communication Awards
  • Membership Awards: Collegiate Transition, Collegiate to Career, Region Membership, Membership Retention Program and Membership Recruitment Program
  • Multicultural Awards: Motorola Foundation Multicultural Award (Professional Sections and MALs); Boeing Company Multicultural Award (Collegiate Sections)
  • Outreach Awards: Event/Series Program, Outreach MOU Partnership, Outreach Parent and Educator Program
  • Professional Awards

Click here to read more about the awards and to download application packets. These award submissions are due 7/1 to awards@swe.org. General questions can be directed to awards-chair@swe.org.


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March Hot Topic II: Section Best Practices

Who better to learn best practices from than our region’s collegiate sections themselves? Read on for innovative event ideas, and methods to show appreciation for your members. [Ed. note: Responses are edited for clarity and length.]

Cornell: Leadership Workshop

Cornell: Leadership Workshop

Cornell: Chair of the Month Recognition

Cornell: Chair of the Month Recognition

Recognize Section Members and Build Your Leadership Pipeline 

  • Old Dominion University: Our best practice would be the time we spend at the end of each meeting. After going over the group announcements and upcoming events and featuring any speaker we may have, we talk to the members individually.  A large majority of our girls were very shy at the beginning and therefore wouldn’t speak out in a large crowd.  Our officers specifically have been encouraged to make a personal connection as they will be the ones coming to all the meetings generally. There will always be a friendly face.
  • Cornell University: We have leadership training workshops with the chairs, which help chairs get to know each other and participate in reflective activities. We also nominate a “chair of the month” to allow for more recognition within SWE. We have also accomplished more effective communication with our chairs and directors by holding meetings more regularly and increasing member feedback to evaluate how E-board is doing by using Qualtrics anonymous surveys.
  • Virginia Commonwealth University: We hosted an event called “Engineers Got Talent” for Engineering Week. After months of planning with a 100-150 person expected attendance, we successfully ran this showcase for engineers to show the school what they’ve got.
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University of Pennsylvania: Launching PennSustains, a sustainability solution competition

Develop Your Members Professionally

  • University of Pennsylvania: Penn SWE was proud to host PennSustains, the university’s first  sustainability solution competition. The competition had three objectives in mind: celebrate “the joy of building things,” make Penn and Philadelphia a more sustainable campus and city, and utilize engineering in any endeavors. In its inaugural year, 29 participants across nine teams vied for over $7,000 in prizes raised by the planning committee. The event not only united diverse ideas from planning committee members and student teams, but also stressed professional excellence (written and verbal) in participants as they crafted business plans and idea pitches from scratch.
  • Rowan University: We partnered with the “Why So Slow? The Progress of Women in STEM” Faculty Learning Community to host a TED Discussion.  SWE members, general collegiates, and faculty members attended and were inspired to empower themselves through the use of nonverbal behavior.  It was a huge hit and we plan on hosting more TED discussions in the future.

 

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Cooper Union: Building bridges for the Kids in Engineering program

Enhance Educational Outreach Activities

  • Cooper Union: This year, we increased the number of events that we hold at different schools in the New York area to promote engineering to students at a young age. For example, we recently expanded our Kids in Engineering outreach program. This November, SWE members hosted 28 Fifth Graders  at Cooper Union for a Kids in Engineering Day. We taught these elementary school students about all different types of engineering and particularly about bridges. Afterward, we worked with them as they built their own bridges in teams of two on a limited budget; the best bridge won a prize. While they enjoyed this activity, they also learned a lot about bridges and figured out how to work together most efficiently. We then enjoyed lunch together and gave the students a tour of our mechanical and civil engineering projects and labs. We hope to get kids, particularly young girls, excited about engineering by exposing them to ideas and encouraging them to think like engineers. We hope to give back to the community and expand our women in engineering initiatives in this manner.
  • Stony Brook University: NY Cares Day was a great community outreach event that SWE members attended in the fall. We went to a school in Brooklyn for at risk young adults. We painted inspirational murals and quote boards all through the halls and libraries. The main message was to find light even through dark situations. SBU SWE is a repeat participant in this event. We have a lot of love for it and hope to get even more people interested next year.
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute: One event in the fall that went really well was Brownie Day. Our SWE members received positive feedback, and a lot of the girls who volunteered for this event from SWE weren’t necessarily ones that attended the meetings. It was good to see that people want to be actively involved with SWE even if they can’t attend meetings. This event also went well because it was a way to outreach to the local community and expose young girls to aspects of science and engineering. One parent’s comments struck home: “Daisy Troop 888 (from Christiansburg) had a lovely morning at your Inventor event.  I (a mom and the leader) thought the activity level was perfectly appropriate for the younger girls.  SO many activities are ostensibly for ‘kids’ but not really… and the grownups end up doing/creating the item. I loved that the girls actually did their own work with the encouragement of enthusiastic young adults.  It was perfect.  Our daughters had a great time.  Thank you.”


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March Hot Topic I: Region Conference

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Are YOU ready for conference?

SWE members from throughout the region will congregate at Virginia Tech during March 28-30 at this year’s Region E Conference. The theme is Engineer the Future; you will indeed have the opportunity to shape your own future and those of others by connecting with collegiate and professional attendees. More information about the conference is here: http://www.sweregioneconference.org/

Here’s what to get excited about!

  • Welcome Networking Reception: Hosted on Friday, March 28, from 6-9 pm in the Hillcrest Dining Room VT, get to meet collegiates and professionals from throughout the region. If you’re signed up for the Region Mentoring Program, you’ll also have the opportunity to meet your mentor(s)/mentee(s)!
  • Career Fair: Interested in finding an internship or a job? 21 company and graduate schools are scheduled to be in attendance. Update your resume and print at least 10 copies to distribute to recruiters. Don’t forget to practice your introduction/elevator pitch before talking with a recruiter.
  • Workshops: This year’s conference will feature six different tracks/themes: Collegiate, Professional Development, Personal Development, Beyond the Textbook, Technical, SWE. You’ll have four different opportunities throughout the main day of conference to explore, share ideas, and learn. Do some research here to choose which ones you’re interested in attending.
  • Collegiate Meeting: Mark your calendar for Saturday, March 29, from 3:15 to 4:15 pm; we’ll be meeting in Assembly Hall to discuss region news, share best practices, and hear from our FY15 Region Collegiate Leadership candidates.
  • Banquet: Celebrate the region’s accomplishments with conference attendees and network with members from other sections! Region awards will also be announced at the event. The special occasion will be from 6:30-9 pm in Latham AB.

Most importantly, enjoy your time at conference! This conference will help you grow in SWE and forge many relationships with our region’s members.

See you all at Virginia Tech in a couple weeks!


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January Hot Topic: Recruitment

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It’s the beginning of a new semester and you’re pumped to launch your section’s initiatives for the next few months! One caveat: you need people to attend the events. Here are some tips to recruit new members and keep your current members engaged:

  1. Know your value proposition: What makes SWE a unique organization? Why are you involved? What has SWE done for you? What are the membership benefits? How is SWE different from other engineering societies? If you can nail down the selling point of SWE and promote accordingly, new members will come flocking.
  2. Advertise: While this is a no-brainer, it is critical to keeping your SWE section relevant in the minds of people at your school. Along with the usual listserv emails/Facebook events/posters/flyers, share your SWE story with a classroom or at another club meeting. Blast SWE news through an email from department chairs or director of student life. Have members wear SWE-decorated t-shirts to promote your group. Think about what would make you excited to learn more about an organization and partake in its activities.
  3. Host a welcome back event: A social event at the beginning of the quarter/semester will get members pumped about your activities for the rest of the term. It will also give them an opportunity to meet-and-greet with other members–new and returning–and potentially build fast friendships and connections.
  4. Bring a friend: Encourage current members to bring at least one friend (the more, the merrier) to the next meeting or event so they can demonstrate their excitement for your club and share the experience with friends.
  5. Recognize new members: Spotlight new members in a newsletter email or at a club meeting. Make them feel welcome by introducing them to the group so others know who they are and encourage your officers to make them feel comfortable.
  6. Invite members to attend SWE Region and Annual Conferences: This is a phenomenal way to show your section that SWE has a network that expands beyond the college level and spans the globe. From a career fair to workshops to social gatherings, SWE conferences feature days jam-packed with activities. They are by far some of the best events I’ve attended during my entire college career. Region E’s conference happens March 28-30 this year (find more information and register here!), so be sure to promote that to your section.

Region B shared a great link featuring “100 Ways to Recruit New Members” if you’re looking for even more ways to engage your student body.

Comment below on how your section recruits members!