I joined the Society of Women Engineers at USC my first semester of college, and I would not be where I am today without the support and community from it.

 

As a freshman sitting in a dark, cold basement over a thousand miles away from campus, I initially felt very disconnected from my peers. I felt particularly alienated in my STEM classes — everyone was so intelligent and imposter syndrome was sinking in.  

 

Joining SWE gave me a support system of other women in engineering — I learned I was far from alone in my experiences and struggles. There were hundreds of other girls at USC who wanted the same community and were interested in the same things. I felt encouraged and connected — something very difficult over a computer screen. I built a network of friends from events and programs that made the transition to campus so much easier. Now it is rare that I do NOT know someone in one of my engineering classes. 

 

SWE at USC is a club that does it all: game nights, baking, mock interviews, formals, high school mentorship, community service….you name it and there’s a good chance SWE has done it!

 

Some of my favorite events over the past year include virtual game nights. I feel comfortable being myself and cracking jokes around the other members. Engineering gets a reputation as a super serious, demanding major, but that does not mean engineers are always serious. It is relaxing and relieving to share in both difficult course loads and fun activities. 

 

Another impactful series of events were the Fall and Spring Evenings with Industry. USC SWE brought in a ton of companies for members to network with recruiters, form connections, and get hired! Yes, hired. SO many of the members received their internship offers as a result of these nights. Upperclassmen spoke about even more internships coming from the national conference (coming up this Fall 2021!). SWE is a national organization, so many companies are very engaged with it and recruit from collegiate organizations of SWE. 

 

My introductory experience in SWE inspired me to pursue leadership roles within the organization. I started as an ambassador which is a leadership development opportunity for freshmen and sophomores with shadowing opportunities. After my time in that program, I am now working as an officer for the Operations Council as the head of social media for the club. 

 

I could honestly go on forever about this club and my experiences, but I’ll leave that for another blog post. 

 

SWE has and continues to be a huge part of my community at USC, and I cannot wait to step into more leadership roles in the future. 

 

Fight on!

Maya Neuenschwander

Maya Neuenschwander

MAJOR: Industrial and Systems Engineering YEAR: Class of 2024 HOMETOWN: Hudson, Wisconsin PRONOUNS: she/her/hers INSTA: @schwanders I'm involved in interdisciplinary research investigating public health inequities along with being an officer for the Society of Women Engineers and a member of Engineers without Borders. Outside of school, I have my own photography business.

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