At the time, SWE was getting ready to head out to National Conference in Austin, TX. I had already missed the deadline for it and I knew I was not ready for conference, especially one that was as large as national. Knowing that a local conference would soon be coming up, I had made up my mind to attend that.
Fast forward two months, during winter break, registration for WeLocal Tulsa had already began but I had not signed up. I had the website bookmarked, I knew the cost and what I needed to do but my nerves and fear of not knowing what to expect kept me from signing up. I kept making excuses that I would miss too much of school and would not be able to catch up but in reality, going to conference meant I had to leave my comfort zone. After realizing that the worst that could happen was not actually that bad, I registered overnight, wrote my essay for SWE transportation and started preparing.
I printed over 50 resumes, and 500 business cards (YIKES!), just to be on the safe side.
Conference turned out to be pretty fun and informative with workshops and speeches from the former mayor of Tulsa, Kathryn Taylor and Kate Van Dellen, an aerospace engineer turned advocate for STEM education in schools. From informative workshops that detailed the hardships of women as engineers to fun worships where you made ice-cream, from liquid nitrogen, the conference turned out to be blast. As a first time attendee, it was the perfect size for me to get use to.
There was also a career fair there with a mix of companies, from Lockheed Martin to Spirit AeroSystems. It gave me an opportunity to pitch myself and also fine-tune what I wanted to say to recruiters. In all honesty, the career fair was not as grand as I expected it to be and did not have as many companies that I had expected but it was good practice for next time.
Overall, the conference was a great opportunity to me and I hope all you make the leap and attend at least one during undergrad. I will definitely be going to National SWE Conference in October!
Until next time!