SWE National Conference

Emily Blaha

Emily Blaha,
Junior, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 27 November 2012 – The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is one of the student organizations I am involved with on campus. SWE’s mission is to stimulate women to achieve full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, expand the image of the engineering profession as a positive force in improving the quality of life, and demonstrate the value of diversity. I got involved with SWE my freshman year because it was a way to meet upperclassmen and feel connected to the engineering college, since the majority of my classes were non-engineering classes like math and science.

SWE is also a great organization because it is open to everyone–all Russ College students are welcome to join! We put on a wide range of events throughout the year that help our members and that benefit the community. Each year we have a Girl Scouts Day where we introduce area girl scouts to engineering and do small science experiments with them, and we also plan the Dean’s Picnic for the Russ College. For professional development we have speakers who come and talk about their career and life experiences, and we also go to regional and annual SWE conferences, which are great for networking and job hunting.

The SWE Annual Conference, WE12, was held at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas this year. Our Ohio University section sent 14 students to the conference from November 7-10 with generous funding from the Russ College. It was such a great experience!

SWE Conference Attendees

At the conference there are presentations about professional development, K-12 outreach, new technology, graduate school, and much more. The most important aspect of the trip for me was the career fair. There were around 250 companies and universities recruiting for full-time, co-op, internship, and grad school positions. I am currently looking for a co-op or internship for this summer, and had the opportunity to interview with a company that day. I was able to speak with many different companies, especially ones that do not attend the OU or regional career fairs.

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