Tag Archives: conferences

SWE Conference

Caroline Wilson

Caroline Wilson,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 6 November 2016

From October 26th to 29th, I had the privilege of attending WE16, the national conference for the Society of Women Engineers in Philadelphia, PA. We drove two vans to Philadelphia on Wednesday morning, and left early Saturday.

I had been to a SWE conference before—the regional conference in Cincinnati last spring—but this was a whole new ballgame. WE16 advertises itself as being the world’s largest conference and career fair for women in engineering and technology. It did not disappoint.

At the regional conference last spring, there were sessions to go to about LinkedIn, interviewing, and a few other topics. They were definitely interesting, but the sheer quantity of sessions at the national conference could not even be compared. There were sessions about anything you could possibly want to learn: in one day, I attended a panel about working while raising a family, a talk about presenting research as women in science; a presentation about advocating for diversity; and a session about unconscious bias.

The SWE conference is the kind of event that young women entering engineering dream of: thousands of poised, accomplished, determined women all gather in one place to celebrate each other’s accomplishments and help other women reach the same heights.

On the second day of the conference, I tried my hand at the SWE career fair. The breadth of companies which were represented was impressive—everyone from Google to Honeywell to Merck was in attendance. I was actually selected for interviews by two companies that morning: IBA Proton Therapy and Boston Scientific. Both went really well, and I was so grateful to have been able to speak with companies from the biomedical engineering field.

After the interviews, I had the opportunity to present my research in the WE16 Rapid Fire Undergraduate event. The title of my presentation was, “Novel Small Molecule Inhibitors of Inflammation Prevent Saturated Free Fatty Acid-Induced Inflammation Associated with Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Human Hepatocytes.”

This particular event was unique because some of the presentations were based on research projects, and some were based on internship experiences. I liked the breadth of topics that were addressed because of this set up: young women presented about everything from Harley Davidson motorcycles to weather patterns across the United States and their impact on heating and cooling bills.

I was so honored to represent my university, and in particular the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, at a national level. The entire national conference was the most amazing experience, and I know that experiences like it can completely change careers for the young women (and men) who are lucky enough to attend it.

Retail’s Digital Summit

Mia Wilson

Mia Wilson,
Junior, Electrical Engineeering

Athens, OH 27 September 2016

This past weekend I attended Shop.org Retail’s Digital Summit in Dallas, Texas. They flew a few Ohio University students down there for free. The only thing I had to pay for was a ride to and from the airport, a lunch and a dinner.

I was informed about the event by our secretary here in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. I saw “free” written everywhere, and so I figured I would apply. After a day they emailed me and told me I had been accepted to go to the conference.

One important aspect of the trip was being able to network with large retail companies like GSN, Ebay, and PayPal. They attend this conference looking to network and team up with other companies to brainstorm new ideas for selling their products. They also were hoping to show off their recent marketing schemes.

One thing that I did learn was how to communicate on a professional level with people that aren’t just strictly engineering. I got to meet some students from other schools. I also got to meet some students from Ohio University’s Russ College who I hadn’t known before this event. I also learned that although the marketing industry treats their members very nicely, I don’t think it’s a field that interests me.

While I was in Dallas, I was able to do some sight-seeing and enjoy some good food. I got to see where John F Kennedy was shot with the help of an unofficial tour guide. He pulled us out into the street to get a picture near the “X” of his assassination. The skyline was beautiful and so was our hotel. I tried one of the best steaks I’ve ever had, with some amazing peach cobbler. We got delicious free food at the conference events. Although we tried to diversify our taste buds, to save some money we stopped by a Subway to get an Italian BMT.

Caroline wilson

Caroline Wilson,
Junior, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 18 April 2016

This past weekend I had the absolute privilege of attending the Association of American Physicians and American Society for Clinical Investigation Joint Meeting in Chicago, Illinois. The conference lasted from Friday to Sunday, and I sincerely enjoyed every minute of it.

The research project which I have been working on over the past couple of years is in collaboration with a DO/PhD student from the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine named Ashley Patton. Our project involves investigating the early development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, as well as analyzing the effect of a novel group of compounds on the progression of the disease.

Research Poster

Attending the AAP/ASCI meeting offered us the opportunity to share our work with leading researchers and emerging students in the biomedical field. I may very well have been the only undergraduate in the room for the whole weekend, but I would not have traded my experience for anything.

Ashley and I left on Thursday to allow us some time to see the sights before the conference began. We landed at 1:00 pm, and then proceeded to soak in everything that Chicago had to offer.

Chicago Bean

Over the course of our trip, we marveled at “the Bean,” sampled some famous popcorn, tried Chicago deep-dish pizza (TWICE!), trekked up and down the Magnificent Mile, traveled the Chicago River walk, ate squid ink pasta, basked in the sun in Millennium Park, and took in the incredible skyline from the tallest floor of the “Sears” (now known as the Willis) Tower.

Willis tower

It was the perfect mix of business and entertainment. The majority of our time was spent listening to presentations and panels with a group of talented speakers which included everyone from a Nobel Laureate to a former NASA astronaut.

Recently, I have struggled to identify what my path will be after graduation, but attending this conference really invigorated me because I realized that many of the most gifted minds in the world have no idea what they want to do: they follow their passions at any costs, and in this way, they succeed brilliantly in their endeavors.

I think the thing that struck me the most was a quote from a panelist on the last day. Despite being a super successful scholar and entrepreneur, he said, “I am no smarter than anyone else. The only reason that I am here is that I have been willing to fail over and over and over again.”

That was my biggest takeaway from the weekend, and I can only hope that in my life, regardless of my triumphs and trials, I can show the same strength to get back up each time I fall.

Summer Co-op Plans

Alexa Hoynacke

Alexa Hoynacke,
Junior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 24 March 2016

Its crazy to think about how there is only one more month left of my junior year. As the semester comes to a close I have been extremely busy with class, research, and work. As finals approach classes have been getting busier and busier.

Spring semester is always crazier than the fall because OU has so many great events when the weather gets better. A huge event coming up is the Student Expo, which is a university-wide research exposition. I have been working on my research project for almost 2 years now and in 2 weeks I will finally be presenting it in front of judges at the Student Expo.

Once my junior year comes to an end I will be moving back home (Cleveland area) for the summer to start my summer internship. I am extremely excited to be working with Eaton Corporation this summer.

Eaton Logo

Eaton is a multinational power-management company. I will be working as an Industrial Engineering Intern in the Operations Sector. I will be working in a team in my department and with one other intern.

I received this internship by going to the Society of Women Engineers National Conference in Nashville this past fall. I am so grateful that I was given the opportunity to go with the OU chapter of SWE to this conference. Working for Eaton has been a goal of mine for a while now so I am counting down the days till I can finally start my summer internship.

Society of Women Engineers Conference

Caroline wilson

Caroline Wilson,
Junior, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 7 February 2016

This weekend I had the privilege of attending the Region G Conference for the Society of Women Engineers at the University of Cincinnati. It was a weekend full of seminars, networking, and bonding with a group of amazing ladies.

SWE Conference

I joined SWE at the end of last semester—-pretty late in the game, considering I will be graduating next spring, but I am so glad that I finally took the plunge. This conference was the perfect way to kick start my involvement and passion for SWE, an organization which I am certain will remain a part of my life for many years to come.

SWE Conference

At my first SWE chapter meeting, we were asked to submit a statement on the prompt, “What SWE Means to Me.” I felt uncomfortable then because I hadn’t had any real experiences with the group, so the question bounced around, unanswered, in my head.

After this weekend, though, I am confident that I have an answer: for me, SWE is about empowering the women around me—-it is a platform from which we can shout our accomplishments and be recognized and celebrated for succeeding as a woman in a male-dominated field. It’s about telling little girls that yes, they too can become engineers, that they can see a problem in the world around them and imagine creative solutions to fix it. It’s not just for a select group of college women; it’s for women in the peak of their careers, girls in middle and high school that are discovering their passions, men who are supportive of women in engineering.

This weekend I attended seminars teaching me about LinkedIn and interviewing; had a professional headshot taken; asked questions about graduate school to women who were experiencing it; and had the opportunity to attend a career fair. For someone who was completely new to the organization, I realized very quickly exactly what SWE brings to the lives of thousands of women across the world, and I feel incredibly proud to be a part of it.

Tau Beta Pi National Convention

Leigh Ann Tumblin

Leigh Ann Tumblin,
Senior, Chemical and Biomolecular engineering

Athens, OH 4 November 2015

Last week, I was able to attend the Tau Beta Pi Convention in Providence, Rhode Island. Tau Beta Pi is a National Engineering Honor Society representing the entire engineering profession, and I am President of Ohio University’s chapter, Ohio Delta.

Tau Beta Pi is a great organization to be a part of because it is run by students from all 244 collegiate chapters across the United States! The purpose of the convention is to act as the governing body for the organization. We were separated into committees to focus on topics important to the organization. I was on the Resolutions committee, and one of our jobs was to make a skit for the end of convention to act as comedic relief. Who knew engineers could also act as playwrights!

One of the best parts of convention was meeting other engineering students and professors from all across the country and learning about their diverse experiences.

My second favorite part of convention was exploring the city of Providence. Providence is home to Brown University, and it is always a lot of fun to go and see a place unlike any you have been to before. I am thankful for the opportunity to network with other engineers and explore cities I may never have visited otherwise.

Providence, RI

On the Woonasquatucket River in Providence, RI.

Interviewing for an Internship

Natasha Norris

Natasha Norris,
Senior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 24 October 2015

Last week, I traveled to Nashville, TN for my third national Society of Women Engineers Conference and for the third year in a row, I was going to try to get an interview with the Boeing Company and hopefully, an internship.

I believe I was third in line to talk to Boeing when the career fair doors opened. It is such an intense feeling handing a recruiter your resume because you never know their personality and which cards you should play. I’ve had a few bad experiences and a few good ones, and this just time was one of the good ones.

The recruiter asked me a few questions about my resume and then concluded with “Why Boeing?” And I don’t believe I’ve ever given a more honest answer. I told her Boeing is on the top of my list, I’ve always wanted to work for Boeing. The first time I flew, I knew I wanted to work with planes and as I grew older, I knew it had to be Boeing. Your company is the number one supplier of planes to the world; you give people wings. Why not Boeing? It’s the best!

I don’t believe I’ve ever had a bigger smile on my face and fortunately, she had one too. I scored an interview.

They conducted a STAR interview. But, after the interview, they wanted to know my questions.

This is always a turning point in an interview; my advice is to always ask questions. It is an opportunity to show off your knowledge of the company and they can learn more of where you might fit through your concerns. I made sure I had a few questions lined up for the interview that were honest.

I must have impressed because 4 hours later my phone was receiving a call from Seattle, WA. I ran out of the restaurant and almost cried when the lady told me I had the internship! Dream come true! I had worked so hard to work for this opportunity all through my undergrad and it was finally paying off.

In conclusion, I just want anyone going to an interview to be completely honest with themselves and the recruiter: why do you want to work HERE? Why are we made for you and you for us?

Also, if you do not get the interview on the first try, like I did my first two SWE conferences, keep trying. Do not settle with a company you do not like, or if you do end up somewhere other than your desired company, still strive to make your dream company job happen. Yay Boeing!