Sunday, March 11, 2012

2012 Region F Conference

This past weekend, MIT SWE hosted the 2012 Region F Conference, which took place on MIT’s campus. The event was attended by nearly 500 collegiates, professionals, speakers, and corporate recruiters. The event kicked off Saturday morning in Lobby 10 under MIT’s Great Dome, where conference attendees could register and enjoy breakfast before heading to the Keynote Breakfast. This year’s keynote speech was delivered by Natalie Givans, Senior Vice President at Booz Allen Hamilton, and was followed by the “State of SWE” speech delivered by Alyse Stofer, SWE President-elect.

After the speeches, session 1 workshops took place, followed by an intersession. As with past Region F Conferences, workshops were offered in various ‘tracks,’ or areas of interest, including Collegiate Interest, Professional Interest, Personal Development, SWE/Finance, Global, and Technical.  

This year’s Region F Conference featured an extended 3-hour career fair and luncheon along with an optional intersession workshop.

The conference continued with three more blocks of sessions, including a workshop on Work/Life Balance by MIT Professor Sangeeta Bhatia and a Panel on the benefits of SWE, after which attendees had a short break to get ready for dinner. This year, the customary Keynote Dinner was replaced with a Cocktail Hour and Networking Reception at the MIT Museum, where collegiates and professionals could chat while enjoying MIT museum exhibits featuring the Institute’s unique contributions to science and technology. The reception concluded with a Region F awards ceremony and was followed by a delicious 3-course dinner catered by the MIT Faculty Club.

Another new addition to this year’s conference was a Collegiate Sleepover, where collegiate attendees could enjoy snacks and a movie while participating in various activities including nail painting and board games.

On Sunday, the customary Collegiate and Professional Business meetings took place at the MIT Media Lab, but a new addition to Sunday’s program this year was a Girl Scout Outreach Event held at the same venue. This year, more than 30 girl scouts between the ages of arrived at the Media Lab to take place in a variety of STEM activities, from strawberry DNA extraction to liquid nitrogen ice cream tasting, with conference attendees.

Overall, planning this year’s conference was a blast, and we look forward to attending the 2013 Region F Conference at UConn!