The Society of Women Engineers at Tulane University is an organization of female college students pursuing degrees in engineering and engineering related fields. Our goal is to further the professional and academic careers of our members and aid in securing internships and jobs after graduation. A major way we fulfill this objective is by taking financial responsibility for sending twelve to sixteen girls to our national conference in varying cities. This year, the conference was held in Minneapolis, MN on October 17-20 and we guided twelve individual girls in attending. Most of us flew in on the evening of the 17th to attend the career fair on the 18th and 19th. Not only was attending this conference beneficial for our interpersonal relationships between group members, but it was especially advantageous professionally since some of us had never had the honor to go to a career fair before. It was personally valuable to me because most sophomore engineering students do not attend this event due to it being focused on getting jobs and internships. Although I did not leave the conference with a definite internship for the summer, I, now, have a head start when it comes to figuring out how to talk to recruiters. Walking into the gigantic room with each company set up, such as Stryker, Johnson & Johnson, Boston Scientific, and Medtronic, I was overwhelmed beyond belief. One of my senior friends was kind enough to let me follow her around for the first hour to see how one should act around recruiters, but I was terrified to speak to one on my own. After some time, I finally built up the courage, and I am very happy for that. I never stopped talking to recruiters after my first conversation and I realized that I didn’t have to be as scared as I was to put myself out there. I will be taking those skills back next year when the conference is held in Anaheim, CA. Additionally, one of the women, Angela Bui, that we sponsored to attend the event was offered a manufacturing engineering position at Johnson & Johnson and a position through Accenture. She expressed that she was already in contact with the Accenture recruiter before the conference, but actually being present at their booth aided her in securing the job. We are all very proud of her efforts and hope she continues to succeed in her future endeavors. The Dean’s Grant was one of the very reasons that we were able to go to this conference because each registration for the conference costed $100 per person. If we did not have the funding, we would not have been able to send our girls on this trip and we would not have had the experience to apply to different situations in our life. We are eternally grateful and thank you for your generosity.
Written by Katherine Mattingly, Dean’s Grant (group) recipient, 2018