Seven members of West Virginia University’s Society of Women Engineers attended WE12, an annual conference hosted by the national division of SWE in Houston. The attendees enjoyed three days filled with seminars, workshops, a career fair and numerous networking opportunities.

The conference boasted more than 5,000 women engineers, and more than 200 companies, government agencies and universities were represented at the career fair. Attendees had the opportunity to speak to representatives of Boeing, Ford, Wal-Mart, NASA, 3M, Intel, Disney and many more. Recruiters from WVU, Columbia University, Penn State, Virginia Tech and more were also available for those interested in graduate school and research opportunities.

Amanda Thorp, a senior majoring in chemical engineering, received a job offer from BP after attending the conference.

“I got to interview with BP, and as a result of that, I got the opportunity to do a follow-up interview and ultimately received a job offer, which I have accepted,” said Thorp. “If I wouldn’t have been able to attend the conference, I wouldn’t have landed my dream job doing health and safety for them.”

In addition to the career fair, participants had a variety of workshops and seminars to attend, which offered tips on how to land a job in 10 days, how to ask for a raise, navigating motherhood and academia and more.

Attendees were also able to network with one another through banquets and various events, including an event Chrysler hosted for mechanical and electrical engineers.

“Chrysler invited us to a movie theater to show us a movie that hadn’t been released yet,” said Ruth Williams, a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering. “Then they had a networking event where we could talk with different engineers that work at the company. It was such a unique opportunity.”

This is the first time in several years that SWE members from WVU were able to represent their school at a national conference. Along with generous donations from various donors, such as the West Virginia Space Grant Consortium, SWE’s fundraising efforts helped send the seven women to Houston.

The 2013 SWE conference is set to take place Oct. 24-26, in Baltimore.



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CONTACT: Mary C. Dillon