The first 3 days of break I had the opportunity to travel on behalf of the WPI chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) to the national conference in Chicago! The conference hosted 5000 women from engineering disciplines from all over the US. I traveled with a graduate student from WPI, and we had lots of opportunities to meet women from SWE chapters and get some great ideas to bring back to WPI. There was a career fair during the last 2 days of the conference and it was incredible to see so many incredible women recruiting for their companies, and to see such a great respect for what we do at WPI.
One of the moments that really stands out in my mind is a chance we had to meet with women from other schools at the “Defining Women of the Future” Luncheon. We were seated with women from different schools to discuss how our individual engineering programs have prepared us for careers after graduation. Everyone I spoke with about WPI was so interested in hearing about my trip to Thailand (for my IQP) and my Major Project. Now, I might be a little bias..but I have to say that what we get here is really cool. I loved hearing about how other schools bring women into engineering disciplines, and how they involve their communities in their education and I can’t wait to implement these programs with our SWE chapter. So cool!!
There were also sessions about how to inspire young women to take interest in the fields of math, science, and engineering. There was a girl scout event that we could volunteer at while we were there! 500 girls from middle schools from all over the Chicago area came to the conference to earn their engineering badges.
We had a great time, had LOTS of great food and met some great women!!