On October 21-24, 2015, five members of SMU SWE officer team went to Nashville, Tennessee for the SWE National Conference. Over 8,000 engineers from around the country came together for four days to discuss the theme of “Reaching out to Reach Up.” Keynote speakers shared their experiences of working in the world of engineering and gave advice about transitioning from college to professional life. Sessions were held on a wide range of topics, such as STEM educational outreach, work-life balance and professional development. The annual career fair gave attendees the chance to expand their network and look for new career opportunities. SWE volunteers interacted with local young girls for a fun day of engineering activities at the event “Invent It. Built It.” Our section was very excited because SMU SWE won the Outstanding Collegiate Section Award, Gold Level.
There is so much to learn from other collegiate and professional women. From tips and tricks for interviews to conversations with people who share your passions, there is something for everyone. If you are interested in applying for an officer position in the future, this is a great way to get involved. SWE is not just the SMU section: it is a national organization and there is a wealth of resources and information at your fingertips. It doesn’t take much to get connected.
Of course, no trip to Nashville would be complete without taking in the sights. We walked down the famous Broadway Street and sampled some great barbecue and enjoyed live music spilling out onto the street. We also went to the famous Jenni’s Splendid Ice Cream for a sweet treat. The convention center itself felt like a beautiful work of modern art with an interesting appreciation for sustainability. The facility has a four acre green roof, 854 solar panels and other sustainable technologies.
We had a great time at the National Conference this year and we hope that you will join us for the regional conference hosted by the University of Arkansas this spring. You will be sure to see more of our newly crocheted region C mascot, Shelly, a purple, yellow and gray crochet sea turtle made by our region webmaster.
Shelly and I hope to see you there!
-Allison Garcia, electrical engineering, SMU SWE conference chair.