Participants respond to their experiences with WE16, the world’s largest conference and career fair for women in engineering and technology. The event took place October 27-20, 2016, in Philadelphia. Learn more about Michigan Tech’s involvement in the conference.
Mechanical Engineering Major
The conference was a great way for me to experience what it is truly like to be a woman in engineering. Some of the sessions I went to really spoke to me in a way I hadn’t thought they were going to, but am very glad they did. It was neat to see that there are so many women out there who have the same drive and passion as I do. Overall I couldn’t be more appreciative of the experience I was given.
The greatest take away I got from conference was that I don’t have to have everything figured out now. Sure, I should have a loose idea of what I would like to accomplish in life, but I have no idea the opportunities that will be thrown my way years from now that will shape me and my choices. This conference reinforced my conviction to be open to new experiences in my professional and collegiate development.
National conference is a wonderful experience that helps to not only inspire its attendees, but motivates them to change the world. Attendees get to meet women who have taken the world by storm, promoting women in engineering and women’s rights. This conference allowed me to not only meet my new role models, but also learn more about myself and my fellow Huskies who attended conference. I look forward to sharing the knowledge and skills gained from conference with our local section and attending WE17 in Austin, Texas next year.
There was one session that really stuck out to me..it was called something along the lines of ‘Women in Comics’ and it focused on how women’s roles in the comic industry are changing from eye candy to the hero, as well as more involvement and actual drawing of the comics in the offices/real-world side of things. One speaker was a mid-30s aged woman who originally got her degree in accounting and felt lost when she got to an age where she thought it was time to “enter the real world” and give up her comics. To adjust to this, she opened up her own comic store which doubles as a hang out spot for people to read the comics. The store features comic books with women in leading roles and also comics made by women. Her comic shop is also the meeting location for different groups (knitting, ukalele, etc.) in order to make it more laid back and seem like home to various types of people. The take away from her speech was that a lot of time, people (especially women in engineering) might feel uncomfortable trying to assume a role/career that might make them feel different than themselves. If you ever find yourself not fitting in or feeling uncomfortable, create that space for yourself where you DO fit in. Not everyone is going to fit into this cookie-cutter world of adult professionals and that’s okay, just find a place where you do “fit in” and can be yourself, like her comic shop, and also don’t lose who you are along the way of finding that comfortable place.
Collegiate Leadership Institute Participant
I really liked the variety of topics that were covered which ranged from networking to managing money. As somebody who is looking for a full-time job, I feel like I was able to obtain a lot of great advice that will help me to both land a job and build meaningful professional relationships.