SWE Regional Conference in San Diego!

natalie Social & Diversity, Viterbi Orgs, Women In Engineering 0 Comments

Hi everyone! Last weekend I went on my last SWE conference as an undergrad, the Region B Regional Conference. Like the National conference, the Regional Conference rotates location each year. Last year we went to Salt Lake City for a weekend of workshops, networking, and skiing, and this year we headed down to San Diego!

Like I said this was my last SWE conference with SWE USC – I have been fortunate to attend the last 3 National Conferences in Chicago, Houston, and Baltimore, and last year’s Regional Conference. I loved the opportunity to go to a SWE Conference at home in San Diego and show my SWEsters what a wonderful city San Diego is! Unfortunately the weather didn’t cooperate and it rained practically all weekend. Once we all arrived late Friday night though we were able to go to dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant in San Diego, Casa de Pico.

Regional Conferences are on a smaller scale than the National Conference, with the workshops, keynote address and closing ceremony all taking place on the same day. We were able to take 11 girls to the Regional Conference from our Eboard, Officer Council, and Ambassador Program. Our conference day on Saturday started off early in the morning with the keynote address at 7:30 am! We were in a for a full day ahead of us.

SWE USC at the Regional Conference

SWE USC at the Regional Conference

There were six workshop tracks offered at the conference:  collegiate, collegiate/graduate, professional, technical, SWE leadership, and professional/work life integration. I was able to attend four workshops at the conference, from the professional, technical, professional/work life integration and collegiate/graduate tracks. These workshops included “Does Your Thinking Limit your Success?” which taught us to be aware of our subconscious thinking and how this may eliminate opportunities, a technical workshop on energy savings in building management, “Strategic Relationship Building for Career Success” which was led by the breakfast keynote speaker Jovita Jenkins, and my favorite workshop, “Rising Above the Glass Ceiling” by Sam McBirney. Sam is actually a Ph.D. student at USC working with Dr. Armani! It was great to hear her speak about why there are so few women in STEM fields and what we need to do to combat the issue of women leaving science fields. We discussed how girls need more female role models and mentors in STEM to provide support and combat the stereotypes that men are better suited for careers in STEM. We all watched and bonded over the  GoldieBlox commercials (watch it here if you didn’t see it during the Super Bowl), and how they are helping to foster a interest in science and engineering in girls from a young age.

SWE girls with Sam McBirney saying Fight On!

SWE girls with Sam McBirney saying Fight On!

 

There was also a great career fair at the conference for networking with recruiters and picking up free swag! I was able to speak with representatives from Accenture since I am interested in potentially going into consulting. I also ran into VSA Alum Stas which was a fun surprise 🙂

Check out the SWE USC website for more of the lessons we learned from the conference!

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