This Region C conference was my second ever SWE conference to attend. After attending National Conference this past October, I would have to say that my favorite part of this conference was that it was much smaller and more intimate than National Conference. At Nationals, there were so many people that it was almost harder to talk to and network with the other attendees. However, at Region Conference, I was able to meet many other SWE members from different sections, and I was actually able to learn a lot about them. It was so much fun to see my fellow engineers from different schools that had similar aspirations and career goals. Most importantly, though, I must mention how blessed I am to have such caring friends, family, and my fellow UNT SWE-sters because I would not have been able to attend this conference without their help or support!
My favorite part of the conference was going to the workshops that were held by women who are leaders in engineering. Dr. D'Souza's workshop [UNT SWE Faculty Advisor] gave me a new perspective and strategies to tackle cultural issues that I wasn't even aware happened around me. The internship round table, led by students from the University of Arkansas with great internship experiences, gave everyone advice on how to obtain an internship and impress employers. Overall, the workshops encouraged those who attended to seize opportunity and do as much as we can for our community through engineering.
Networking and socializing are two of any engineers favorite things to do, and the Region C Conference allowed me to do just that. At the conference I was able to get my name out into the business world through the career fair, and learn about how to become a better leader. The best part was connecting with my fellow SWE-sters. Through regions, I made bonds I don't think can ever be broken.
The Conference was an amazing experience! I attended workshops about creating an effective elevator pitch and about how to communicate in a more positive attitude. These workshops showed me how to redirect my thought process from finding the benefit of ideas and how to begin enacting them, as well as properly translating my skills and successes into a proper introduction. I was able to network with many professional engineers and hear inspirational speeches from speakers. Then at the end of the Conference UNT SWE won 2 awards! This conference has inspired me put my best foot forward and pursue my goals.
My name is Mandana Hendrickson, I am a PhD student in Material Science and Engineering at University of North Texas. I am a member of Society of Women Engineers (SWE) since June 2014, and I attended the 2016 SWE Region C conference.
During the conference, I was able to go to several social events to meet new collegiate and professionals. This conference was a very good opportunity for me to meet current/future engineers and successful women in industries. I practiced networking and got valuable suggestions and tips from senior members. For instance, the Friday Night Networking Event was fun to attend since we could play trivia game in teams and I could learn many new and interesting things which I did not know before about science and technology. Also, I had the chance to talk to an ABB test manager and learn more about the company and their opportunities. The following day, there were informative speeches by ABB and Walmart companies. Two successful women in their businesses shared their knowledge with us and talked about their experiences throughout their professional careers. In addition, I could meet many SWE leaders, SWE professional members and SWE regional officers, and I have got the chance to learn more about the SWE goals and activities. Specifically, as a graduate student, I could meet new graduate SWE members and by attending Graduate students in SWE seminar, I learned more about SWE graduate section and the benefits. Moreover, I could check out the local career fair and talked to different companies to enhance my networks and learn about my future career path. Personally, I enjoyed the talk about the negotiation skills and realized the importance of gaining professional skills in job searching process. At the end, our UNT SWE won two awards in this conference which have made all of us proud of our school and members. All in all, the regional SWE conference provided me professional networking opportunities, and by attending several speeches and workshops, I have learned good tips on how to develop my academic skills and apply them in professional environments.
Finally, I would like to take the time to thank UNT SWE and UNT college of engineering for providing us the opportunity to attend this conference and for supporting women in engineering to get more involved in professional activities.
I received an interview with Boston Scientific on the spot at the Career Fair, and during that interview, I had plenty of experience to reflect on. That is purely an effect of the hard work UNT College of Engineering puts into their students. The curriculum of the Materials Science Department along with the available equipment for student’s to use has also been a major component of my resume and technical skills.
The most influential moment for me was sitting at the Awards Banquet table and watching such inspirational women and men receive awards for the amazing things they've done to pay it forward and help women succeed in the STEM field! It's just amazing that those people were once like me, a simple student, struggling to make their way. I feel inspired to be like them one day! The theme of this conference was Reach Out to Reach Up, and those are words to live by.
-At the career fair I learned about so many opportunities for a materials engineer in the work place. Even compared to the last National Conference there was a significant increase in material science positions. That made me so excited, and I spoke with many recruiters and applied for so many positions.
-Networking with other colligates and professionals was the best part of the conference. Just the fact that a professional well into her career could attend the same conference as a colligate trying to get into her career is relatable. It shrinks the distance I feel between a professional and a colligate. Plus I got so many career tips and advice from the professionals and tips from colligates about running a successful SWE section.
-UNT has been amazing preparing me for this conference. The school sponsored my conference ticket and travel through the USPDF and professors would give me tips on a successful conference.
This conference was amazing and I am thankful for all those that helped make this amazing especially UNT.
I had an amazing experience at the SWE national conference this year. The first thing I went to was the region C meeting which was really coolbecause I got to learn more about SWE on a regional and national level. The next day was the career fair which was so big I had to use a map to navigate my way through it. I got the opportunity to network with tons of employers and even had 3 interviews for intern/ co-op positions! I feel that I owe part of my success to UNT SWE, college of engineering and career relations for preparing me professionally from revising my resuume to awarding me a grant to travel to Nashville. Lastly, amongst all of the networking, I also formed bonds with other collegiate members which will hopefully flourish into lifelong sisterhood.
What was the most influential moment of the WE15 Conference?
The most influential moment of the WE15 Conference for me was the session: Portraying Courage and Confidence (Even when you are Neither). It was enlightening to learn about how courage and confidence are perceived by others. We also went over how to appear confident and some tricks and tips to help calm the body's reaction to stressful situations.
What successes did you have at the available Career Fair?
I had many successes throughout the WE15 Career Fair. My most notable one is the interview I had with Alcoa. The material scientist I was speaking to at Alcoa's booth had an interest in my senior design project and invited me to interview with the company. I believe the interview went well and I am looking forward to having more interaction with Alcoa. I also spent time talking to the grad school representatives from many schools. Some schools have peaked my interest and have been added to my list of possible grad schools to attend.
What successes did you gain through networking with other collegiates and professionals?
Through networking with the professionals of our region, I have begun aiding in the making of our region's mascot.
How did UNT help prepare you for this conference? (including sponsorship, career prep workshops, etc)
Jodie Foster of the Career Center has helped me a great deal with the preparation of my resume.