Monday, October 31, 2011

Announcing SWE Scholarships 2011!

Announcing SWE Scholarships 2011
Two $1000 scholarships and two $500 scholarships!  Open to all SWE national members at MIT! 

Instructions: Answer one of the following questions using a maximum of 3 pages, double spaced.  Email your response and your resume to by *November 18 at 11:59 pm*  Applications will be judged by members of SWE Boston and MIT SWE Exec.

: 1st place $1000, 2nd place $500
How do you embody the values held by SWE?  Please give tangible examples.  (You can read about SWE's values at

: 1st place $1000, 2nd place $500
How have you contributed to SWE and how do you plan to contribute in the future?

Good luck!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Exciting news from MIT SWE - Awards and Section Counselor

Let's get excited about welcoming Katherine Culbert to our section!  Katherine was just elected as our FY12 Section Counselor.  Some members met her at our New Member Welcome event in mid-October, and for those who haven't met her yet, she will be at many of our events in the future and will be a great mentor and source of guidance for all of us.

Additionally, we are so honored to have won three awards that were announced at WE11!  Our awards were:
- Best Professional Development Event
- Boeing Multicultural Award
- 2nd Place Collegiate Website

The new awards are now on display in the trophy case in the SWE office, and we won $670 in associated prize money for our section!


Learning experiences at WE11

MIT SWE learned a lot from WE11 - hear what our members had to say!

One of our newest members joined us on the trip and had a great experience:

"Dinners out, seminars, workshops, interviews, and networking - a few of the many events and activities filling my weekend in Chicago. Attending WE11 was one of the best decisions I have made this semester. Not only did it bring me closer to the girls from MIT SWE, but it allowed me an opportunity to get excited about SWE and everything it has to offer. I learned more about how to network with companies, take control of my career, and reach out to the community in promoting science and engineering. I found that many of the workshops were applicable to my life, both now and in the future, giving me a better idea of how to achieve my goals. In addition to workshops, the career fair gave me good practice for when I will be looking for a full time position. Finally, I had so much fun getting to know some of the girls from MIT, making new friends, and exploring Chicago."

- Kristie, class of 2014

There was a lot of other learning that occurred too:

- I learned about navigating the fine line between being too feminine and too "man-ly" in the workplace.  I also learned about the importance of networking and some of the networking that took place between women while establishing women's rights.  Finally I learned more about my fellow board members!  This was a great chance to bond with other MIT SWE members and make new friends :)
- How individuals can participate in SWE's public policy efforts
- How to utilize SWE's parternship with FIRST to benefit both organizations
- How to better connect with professional sections and other collegiate sections in our area
- How to work effectively in a multicultural and multigenerational environment
- How human factors influence engineering
- There is no such thing as balance in family + career + personal life: Rather, the goal is to seek an equilibrium -- It shifts depending on the circumstances.
-  I learned about the experience in a variety of different fields that all use my skill sets after attending the Career Fair, with companies all geared toward hiring engineers.
- I became closer to the inspiring women and alumni in MIT SWE and learned from their distinct backgrounds. I was also able to interact with women from other schools and learned about engineering education across the nation through events such as the Celebrate SWE Banquet.
- How to ask if your rights and the rights of your partner will be respected in the workplace (workshop aimed at members of the LGBT community)
- Interview skills (got to practice in interviews)
- How to approach recruiters
- Nationals includes so many more people than I originally realized. It was great to see the professional members involved since I am so used to SWE being about collegiate members.
Women in engineering are a great networking resource available to us throughout our whole life.
I am proud to be a woman engineer at MIT
- Its important to be yourself when talking to companies – they want to see who you really are.
- You can have it all if you want – career, family, success.  It just requires dedication to your goals and willingness to bend the norms to fit your needs.
- Having a career as an engineer can easily mesh with my other life goals.
- table manners. Proper way to eat bread, cut and eat food, etc
- how to balance work and personal life in the future
- the proper ways to work through a career fair and to stand out.
- I learned about helpful experiences of women in the workforce, just how large and far-reaching SWE's organization is, and some really good tips on public speaking.
- "Tell me about yourself" = elevator speech! Very important to know!
-  If you're interested in a particular company, try speaking with as many of the reps present as possible. You want to leave them with a lasting impression of how eager you are for their company.
- It was amazing to meet other girls from other schools and see how the world of engineering has really become as diverse as any other field.
- At the Global Opportunities for Graduate and Post-Graduate Students session on Friday, I learned that there are many opportunities to continue studies abroad; programs of all sorts exist to help you go places anywhere in the world.
- SWE members should definitely do SME Bowl next year!
- MITSWE has awesome alums, and we should do more events with them.
-The women that seem to have it all together and "the life" are actually struggling just as much as the rest of us.
-There is absolutely no shortcut to motivation or loyalty, and loyalty holds a team together.
-Women at other schools constantly struggle with being the minority, a fact that is not so apparent at MIT.
- Because there is a gender balance at MIT, I’ve never felt out of place in any of the classes or groups I’ve been involved in.  From “Too pushy, Too soft,” I came away with a greater understanding of subtle gender dynamics in the engineering world outside of MIT.  Awareness of such interactions will certainly aid me in future interactions with outside organizations.  This session also introduced a novel concept – serving not just as a mentor, but as a sponsor.  The latter entails actively introducing individuals to the right people, programs and opportunities and it’s something I can readily do with girls in my outreach program who show an especial interest in STEM. 
- The family engineering outreach session introduced an interesting way to get entire families excited/involved in the conversation about engineering.  The speaker described the ways in which she had implemented family engineering nights at elementary schools, including effective stations/experiments and potential pitfalls.  I would be very interested in seeing MIT SWE developing an outreach program in this vein.  
- Frequently, girls who attend MIT SWE’s outreach programs inquire about other opportunities in the area.  Usually, this leaves me perusing various university/tech company websites.  At WE11, I learned of the National Girls Collaborative Project, an organization which has created and is constantly expanding a list of all of the STEM outreach opportunities for girls across the US. 
- That there is still a huge discrepancy between how women and men are perceived in the work place at the subconscious level, but--
- This does not mean you cannot be an effective leader. You just need to find the right role models, realize these differences and use them to your advantage.
- A lot of great things about the NSF GRFP application, such as what are important things to include in which essays, etc.
- I learned about the application process for grad schools.
- I learned about how to apply for fellowships and grants for grad school.
- I learned about several biotech companies I hadn't heard of before.
-mentoring program within some collegiates and professional sections (great idea!)
-how to assert oneself in workforce and negotiation strategies
-the difference between girl power versus great accomplishments done by women
- Most of what I learned at WE11 was about other SWE sections' successes and failures with graduate student programming and K-12 outreach. Learning about external organizations that frequently partner with SWE in outreach efforts was also useful.
- During a grad school-related session on Friday, a mathematics professor spoke about how her grad student lunchtime seminar series has fared. She maintains an extremely useful website detailing the different seminar topics that have been covered. Subjects range from leadership styles to negotiation methods. One notable presentation is entitled "Women Don't Ask," a series about the lack of female assertion in academia and in industry. Although her seminars are typically well-attended, she mentioned that having better funding (and food) would prove helpful.
- A later session on effective K-12 outreach highlighted opportunities related to the National Girls Collaborative Project, an organization seeking to expand girls' involvement in STEM fields. They provide mini-grants funding regional projects.
- I attended a talk on grant proposal writing. It was extremely useful in that it exposed the extent to which proposal requirements vary among different funding agencies. Overall, the WE11 conference provided a great update on what is currently going on in the SWE outreach and grad communities and outlined some effective strategies for increasing section participation.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

WE11: Chicago Oct. 13-15

This past weekend, 16 MITSWE members, along with 5800 others, attended the National SWE Conference hosted in Chicago, IL, the headquarters of the national organization. During these three days, people attended hospitality suites hosted by top sponsors, a career fair with top engineering companies, fun and interesting sessions and workshops, and explored the "Windy City."

Check out some of the pictures below to see how fun everyone had!

The Career Fair was held on Friday from 10:30-4pm and many companies gave out interviews throughout the day to several students. Good luck to everyone in search for an internship! 

Friday night we all headed out to the Berghoff, a well known and treasured Chicago restaurant with great German food. We were also joined by some of our most beloved alumni.

Family love: Tina > Ellen > Leslie & Anika > Sarah
On Saturday, people had the opportunity to go out into the city after attending another session. Here, we can see the glorious beauty of the infamous Chicago Deep Dish Stuffed Pizza, yum Giordano's.

That night, we all attended the final Celebrate SWE banquet. As a part of Region F, our theme was Fall Foliage and all the professional and collegiate members were crowned with a wreath of leaves, looking festive and classy.

Congrats to the two attending seniors, Ellen and Joy, for dedicating so much time to SWE!

If you're interested in getting involved and having a chance to attend WE12, next year the National Conference will be hosted in Houston, TX from November 8-10. Mark your calendars and get excited!