*Snap!* Has it really already been three years? Am I really a senior already? It certainly doesn’t feel like it, but it’s true! Three years ago, I entered Purdue University as a freshman in First Year Engineering with the full intent to become a Biomedical Engineer and then pursue medical school. One semester of honors chemistry later, however, I realized that I wanted to look into my options a little more.
I had been paired with an upperclassman mentor from the Society of Women Engineers SWEetie Sidekick program, so I decided to get her opinion on the different opportunities at Purdue. She started my thinking on Industrial Engineering, and as I began attending more SWE events with her, I learned more about Mechanical, Electrical, and all other branches of engineering.
Throughout the year, I attended many more SWE events, and I started falling in love with the organization. There were pottery painting socials, intramural sports, community service events, and professional networking opportunities. I signed up to be an office assistant for one of the current SWE officers, and I got to work with her as she organized that semester’s Senior Sleepover (where high school seniors stay on campus for a weekend).
I even had the opportunity to attend the Regional SWE Conference at the University of Minnesota. At this conference, I realized how far a connection with SWE could take me. As an international organization, my involvement with SWE could extend into my engineering career. I spoke with women who had been involved with SWE for over thirty years, and I was able to learn more about their career paths and goals.
Through these resources, I realized that my choice in a major didn’t matter as much as my choice in a career. As someone who loves technology, I thought the idea of working with a large technology company sounded awesome. I started looking at which engineering majors would lead me to those careers. Finally, days before the deadline in March, I settled on Computer Engineering… a far leap from my original Biomedical intentions!
Three years later, as I reflect on my journey at Purdue, I’m grateful that I found my way with SWE. As a sophomore, I joined the SWE executive board as the All-Member Meeting chair, and as a junior, I moved up to be Programs Director. Now, as the organization’s Treasurer, I manage the money that our executive board (of 44 individuals!) spends to make our events amazing and impact students like me! SWE has helped me grow so much as an engineer. Although I can’t quite believe it’s almost that time, I’m excited to graduate as a Computer Engineer and continue my involvement with SWE in my engineering career.
Want to know more about SWE? Join us at our Ice Cream Social this Sunday, August 30th, in the Earhart West Lobby from 6:30-8:30. Interested in joining SWE? Come to one of our callouts, September 2nd and 3rd, in ME 1130 at 7:30p. We hope to see you there!If you have any questions about SWE, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org