Welcome to FY17!

Hello SWEsters!

Welcome to another wonderful year with SWE Region A! As you may already know, our region covers a wide geographical range, including sections from Northern California and Nevada all the way to Hawaii. My name is Sarah Johnson, and this year I am serving as the Region A Collegiate Communications Editor (RCCE). As RCCE, my job is to keep all SWE members in the region up to date with SWE news and events throughout the year. Additionally, I work to facilitate communication between various sections and especially between collegiate and professional groups, and to share best practices and the successes of our sections. As such, I welcome any information that sections wish to share, whether it is about a significant event that is occurring, outreach best practices, or a networking or social opportunity. Please feel free to email me at rcce-a@swe.org. The Region A Facebook group also serves as an excellent way to keep in touch with region events, contact the leadership team, and to communicate with other SWE collegiate and professional members.

In the upcoming weeks, I’ll be posting brief profiles of the members of the Region Leadership Team, so you can get to know us and our roles this year. Please subscribe to the blog (and follow us on Facebook,  Twitter, Instagram, and Flickr), and enjoy all the amazing things happening in Region A this year!

Networking Webinar – Feb 6 at 9PM EST

Image result for networking

Does the very word “networking” send chills up and down your spine?  Did you struggle meeting new people and talking with recruiters at WE16? Then this is the webinar for you! And luckily, it’s before WeLocal San Jose!

Networking—the essential (and at times daunting) skill for advancing your career. This webinar will demystify what networking is and how you can use it. From tapping into social groups, introducing yourself during industry events, and tackling online platforms. The webinar will go over how to identify your current network and discuss strategies and tools for expanding it.
Register for the webinar here!

SWENext Northrop Grumman High School Community Award – San Jose

Are you a high school student interested in engineering? Then consider applying for the SWENext Northrop Grumman High School Community Award!! This award is meant to get the San Jose community involved in and excited about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). The award is open to junior and senior high school students who are SWENext Members in the greater San Jose area.

For this award, a poster and a video or essay must be submitted that examines a problem/question in your community and proposes a solution using STEM. The community question to address is: How would you use STEM to combat rising sea levels in and around San Jose?

Award recipients will be invited to attend the SWENext DesignLab event held during the WE Local San Jose Conference. Award recipients will have an opportunity to present their posters to middle school girls, parents, educators and professional engineers. They will also participate in the DesignLab activity, working with a professional engineer to facilitate the hands-on activities for the middle school students during SWENext DesignLab.

Community Award Recipients will receive the following:
• SWENext DesignLab High School Community Award Trophy
• Participation in Community Award poster presentations
• Participation in the SWENext DesignLab event as engineer’s assistant
• SWE Commemorative Shirt:” This is what a future engineer looks like” and some goodies
• Recognition for their accomplishments during the WE Local WE Achieve awards banquet
• Each recipient will also receive $100 Amazon gift card

SWENext DesignLab is an experience designed to encourage middle school girls to choose a career in engineering. DesignLab also has a track for parents and teachers to learn about engineering careers, scholarships, college admission and resources.

Note: all programming mentioned above will be held at the San Jose Marriott on Saturday, February 25th, 2017.

Applications will be open through February 7th, 2017.


Applicant must be a junior or senior high school student (grades 11-12)
Applicant must be a SWENext Member (Not yet a member? Sign up at http://societyofwomenengineers.swe.org/swenext, its free)
All application materials must be submitted on time to be considered:
1. Poster (size 22 X 28”) A hands-on component is highly encouraged. Please submit your poster in Powerpoint or PDF Format.
2. Video (2 min max) OR Essay (250-word count max)

Apply here! 

Hot Topic: How to Apply for a SWE Scholarship!

Still working on your application for a SWE scholarship (reminder, the deadline is February 15th)? Struggling with how to approach the process? Here are some guidelines on how to handle your application!

Confirm you are eligible to apply. SWE has a handy video on how to check your eligibility (which can be found here), but it essentially boils down to the following criteria:


  • Only women are eligible.
  • Undergraduates must be sophomores or above (the freshman scholarships are open at a later time)
  • Undergraduate applicants must be planning to study an ABET-accredited program in engineering, technology, or computing in the upcoming academic year.
  • Masters and PhD candidates must be enrolled or accepted at a school with ABET-accredited programs in engineering, computing, or technology.
  • You must be planning to attend full time (exceptions are made for reentry and non-traditional applicants).
  • You must not be fully funded for tuition, fees, and books and equivalent

Make sure you have a resume that is up to date! Have you boosted your GPA recently, won an award, or taken on a new leadership role? Make sure your resume shows it! You want to highlight all the awesome things you have done, so keep your resume updated with a list of all your work.

  • Consider keeping a master resume if it gets a little long, which you can then tailor to each application by eliminating less relevant points.
  • Also make sure you have a version of your resume in plain text format (it makes for easier copy and pasting when you don’t have to deal with fancy formatting)

Work on your (short) essay! All applications require an essay on why you want to be an engineer or computer scientist. The word limit is 350 words, so it’s more like a short answer problem.

  • Brainstorm first – was there a particular event in your life that directed you towards the field you are pursuing? Maybe you had someone particularly influential in your life that has helped develop your passion for your major.
  • Write, write, write! Then put it away for a bit. After a couple of days, take it out again and give it a thorough editing.
  • Have someone you trust look over it for you, a second pair of eyes is always good.

Recommendations – you need two. One from a professor (preferably from a technical field) and one personal reference (someone outside of the family who has known you for at least two years).

  • Approach your recommendation letter writers EARLY. Give them plenty of time to work on it. This is especially true for busy professors who can sometimes procrastinate (they’re just like us!).
  • Ask and make sure they are willing to do this before you submit their contact information!
  • REMIND your recommenders when the letter is due BEFORE the last minute!

For Need-Based Scholarships, you will need to submit your expected family contribution and the contact information for the school’s financial representative, so you might want to track down that info for the student aid office.

For more useful information and a step by step guide through the application process, check out this link for a useful video made by SWE. Good luck!



Collegiate Region Leadership Nominations due Feb 1st!

Don’t forget Region Leadership nominations are due to Jennie Montanomontanojennie@gmail.com – by Feb 1st for collegiates

Available Positions

  • Region Collegiate Representative (RCR) – 1 year term
  • Region Collegiate Communications Editor (RCCE) – 1 year term
  • Region Collegiate Senator (RCS) – 1 year term

Submissions must contain the following information:

  • Name of nominee
  • Position(s) of interest
  • Contact information (day/evening phone number and email address)
  • Section
  • List of previous positions held (if any)
  • A 200-word maximum candidate statement to be published if candidate is placed on the ballot. Generally this includes why the candidate wishes to serve in the position and what s/he hopes to accomplish.
  • A 150-word maximum candidate history (qualifications and previous SWE leadership experience).
  • Photo

SWENext DesignLab at WELocal San Jose!

Do you love doing outreach, or know a middle school girl who loves engineering? Consider volunteering for (or recommending someone attend) the SWENext DesignLab!


SWENext DesignLab San Jose 2017

When: Saturday, February 25, 2017
Where: San Jose Marriott; San Jose, CA
Time: 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Check-in opens at 1:30)

The DesignLab is a 3 hour long, hands on engineering experience designed to encourage girls in the 6th-8th grades to choose a career in engineering. Attendees will get to participate in creative activities, meet new friends, and learn about the careers of real engineers! And of course, the girls get a SWE t-shirt, bag and lots of other goodies, and are eligible to win raffle prizes! SWE t-shirt, bag and lots of other goodies

There is also a parent and educator track (PEP)! Attendees will learn about engineering careers, all the scholarships available, and college admission resources. Parents and teachers will also network with SWE members, participate in a panel discussion, and rejoin the girls at the end of the day for show and tell!

The cost for the middle school event is $7, while the PEP program is $5. Financial assistance is available upon request. Learn more here and for questions please contact designlab@swe.org.


SWE Scholarship Applications Are Open!

Looking for a way to trim down on your student loans? Are you proud of what you have accomplished so far in your academic career? Do you really just enjoy writing essays and filling out online forms? Apply now for Society of Women Engineers scholarships for the 2017-2018 academic year. Collegiates who will be sophomores through Ph.D. candidates can apply online from December 1, 2016 through February 15, 2017.
The SWE Scholarship Program provides financial assistance to women studying baccalaureate or graduate programs, in preparation for careers in engineering, engineering technology and computer science. In 2016, SWE disbursed more than 230 new and renewed scholarships valued at over $750,000.
See all of the many, many scholarships available here: http://societyofwomenengineers.swe.org/index.php/scholarships

Work-Life Balance Webinar – Jan 23 at 7PM EST

From GradSWE: “This workshop on Work Life Balance is meant to help analyze how you currently distribute your time and determine if you use it effectively to work toward your main goals.

We want to enable you to identify the imbalances in your life, and learn some techniques to reorganize and maximize your time to achieve your goals.

The session will begin by having the participants write down their 3 main goals such as family, career, fitness, travel etc. Then we will ask them to quickly map out their current time expenditures to determine if where they spend their time truly matches their goals.

The session will then discuss some tactics for building a more balanced life and ways to help achieve goals. The tactics that will be covered are:

  1. Set specific goals with reminders to stay focused.
  2. Organize your work and personal life in one place: plan ahead, keep important notes in a visible place.
  3. Build in downtime and personal time.
  4. Learn how to say no and establish boundaries for yourself: Most women in SWE tend to be the “Superwoman” type and even we need to be able to say no.
  5. Communication is key: be upfront with your boss on your needs.
  6. Don’t overwork and overstress yourself, sometimes the overtime isn’t worth it.”

Register for the webinar here!


Postdoc Funding Opportunity: L’Oreal for Women in Science Fellowship – Deadline in 2 Weeks!

The L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science program recognizes and rewards the contributions women make in STEM fields and identifies exceptional women researchers committed to serving as role models for younger generations.  More than 2,250 women scientists in over 110 countries have been recognized since the program began in 1998.

In the US, the L’Oréal USA For Women In Science fellowship program awards five post‐doctoral women scientists annually with grants of $60,000 each. Applicants are selected from a variety of fields, including the life and physical/material sciences, technology (including computer science), engineering, and mathematics.

L’Oréal USA partners with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to manage the program’s application and peer-review process. Each year, the program attracts talented applicants from diverse STEM fields, representing some of the nation’s leading academic institutions and laboratories.

Applications will open on November 28, 2016 and are due by February 3, 2017.

The application and more information about the L’Oréal USA For Women in Science program can be found here.