In January 2010, the Spring semester of my sophomore year had just begun and I decided to get more involved with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), beyond being a regular member. So I applied for the Regional Conference Scholarship — which would take a group of about ten female engineers to Phoenix, Arizona, to meet with SWE members from across the west coast region (SWE-USC falls under a region called “Sonora Region B”). Luckily, I was chosen to attend the prestigious event, generously funded by USC and SWE!

And so we were off on our six-hour drive to Phoenix… One speeding ticket and several food stops later, we arrived at the Sheraton Hotel, next door to Arizona State University at the heart of downtown Phoenix.

At a diner on the way to Phoenix

The view from our hotel room!

After touring the downtown Phoenix area (an intimate industrial spot), I headed to a nice welcome dinner with my fellow SWE-USC representatives.

The girls of SWE-USC

The weekend was filled with networking opportunities and wonderful workshops hosted by successful women engineers from a diverse technical background. The entire event was empowering — giving women an uplifting sense of support and camaraderie from the SWE family to inspire us to be successful in our field.

SWE-USC was the 1st runner up in the paper bridge-building competition!

The Regional Conference was a great chance for me to meet influential female engineers and leaders in SWE all throughout the west coast. After a great time and motivational experience at the Regional Conference, I ran for office at SWE-USC. I am now a Corporate Affairs Committee Officer for SWE and hope to continue my involvement way into the future. This coming November, I will be off to Orlando, Florida for the SWE National Conference. This time I’ll get to interact with SWE leaders and pioneers from across the country. Our goal is to learn from each other’s experiences, build relationships, and give advice on how to improve our own SWE chapters in our respective universities. I can’t wait! Watch out for my upcoming blog about the National Conference.

Fight on, SWE!