Society of Women Engineers at Michigan Tech: Panel Discussion

I'm in Houghton, Michigan this week, for a meeting of the Michigan Technological University Presidential Council of Alumnae.  To kick off the meeting, we had a panel discussion, where student SWE members could ask questions. Turnout was good, higher than I had expected.  About 50 students showed up, nearly all of them women, from a wide range of fields.  Questions ranged from work/life balance questions (always interesting to me, since I'm still trying to figure those out), to questions about getting a job and how to build community after moving to a new town.  After the meeting, there was a "social hour" where the students could talk individually with the almunae.

Most of the panelists were from big companies.  Perhaps a few of them had worked for small companies at some point in their careers, but the vast majority were from big companies now … companies like Intel, Ford, FedEx.  I think that I was the only small business owner on the panel.  Unfortunately, I think that college recruiting tends to give students the opinions that most of the jobs ARE with big companies.  I'm happy to be here to provide information about small companies, and why students should consider them.

 Today, I'm doing a talk in the Computer Science department, for students. I'll be talking about Staying Current in Technology, both the why's and the how.  I'll blog my talk later, mainly because I don't want students to feel like they should take notes. Rather, I want this to be an interactive discussion.  Another alum will be joining me for the talk, one that I have never met.  She works for 3M and will be adding input about soft skills.  I hope that the students enjoy it.