December 2017- Leadership Coaching Committee

The Leadership Coaching Committee is a network of trained SWE leaders available to advise sections on best practices in a wide range of topics. LCC’s role will be even more important in the next fiscal year: with the dissolution of regions, the LCC will be the the main point of contact on SWE development resources.

How does leadership coaching occur?
LCC coaches can meet with section leadership either virtually, or in person—FREE of charge. A significant amount of content can may be accessed by SWE members 24/7 through the SWE Advance Learning Center webinars. Check out the following video for instructions on how to access the center:

What types of training modules are available?
The LCC provides three types of modules: Joint (topics relevant to both collegiate and professional sections), Collegiate, and Professional .

What are a few examples of modules?

  • “Hitting the Ground Running” for collegiate members entering the workforce
  • “SWE Succession and Career Planning” for professionals
  • “Building Membership” for both professional and collegiate sections.
    Read more details about these and other modules on the LCC Blog.

How do consultations work?
Sections identify topics of need of improvement and LCC coaches help brainstorm or provide examples of what has worked in other sections.

Who do I contact to set up an LCC presentation at my section?
1. Email the LCC Region A Team Lead at The LCC Blog has a full list of contacts at the society level.
2. Fill out the LCC coaching request form available here or by copy-pasting the following address:


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!



October Hot Topic – Making the Most of Annual Conference

It’s hard to believe, but WE16 in Philadelphia is only two weeks away! To ensure you get the most out of conference, here are a few things to put on your checklist.

1) Are you registered? 

If so, good for you! Make sure you have your registration information available when you check in at conference, it will make the process go much quicker. If you haven’t yet registered, there is still time! Go to and register today! Don’t forget to get your Celebrate SWE tickets!

2) Have you checked out the agenda?

Sometimes annual conference can get really overwhelming, especially for a first timer – there are just so many interesting things to see and do! Checking out the agenda and different presentation tracks ahead of time can help you plan how to make the most of your conference experience. The full agenda for the conference can be found here.

3) Did you download the conference app?

Speaking of checking out the agenda, the conference app is the best way to do it. The app lets you select the talks that you are interested in and create your own personalized schedule for the conference! Definitely easier than using a paper agenda to try to plan three crazy days. The iOS app can be found here and the Android version is here.

4) Have you watched the WE16 webinars?

If you missed the useful webinars that SWE hosted in September, never fear! The WE16 orientation and What Not to Wear – Conference Edition webinars can be watched anytime online at Brush up on how the regional meetings work and learn about appropriate dress for the career fair! These webinars can be useful for even a seasoned conference attendee.

5) Are you EXCITED? 

If not, then get excited!! Whether you are new to this experience or already have plans to catch up with old conference friends, the annual gathering of SWE members from across the globe is always an amazing time. Get pumped Philly, we’re only two weeks away!


October Hot Topic: SWE Career Center Resource

Whether you are seeking a job or an employee, SWE can help you out with their Career Center resource. The Career Center is a useful tool for both job-seekers and employers. It is a virtual destination that that allows individuals with different levels of experience to explore the job market.

Job-seekers can utilize the SWE Career Center to help simplify the process of finding a job. The Career Center allows job-seekers to search for jobs that fit their best interest. Individuals can also setup job alerts, manage their resumes, and gain access to resources that are complementary to professional growth, such as career coaches and articles on career advice*.

Employers can use the SWE Career Center to post current job openings and connect with potential candidates. The Career Center further assists companies with the search for qualified and prospective employees by helping manage job postings, clients, resumes, and candidates.

The SWE Career Center is a beneficial resource than can help you land your next job or find your next top employee. It is open to everyone; just visit the website and take the first step of creating an account as a job-seeker or an employer. The Career Center can easily be accessed through the home page of the societal SWE website:

career center tab

Don’t hesitate and go check it out!

* Note: The “Content Library” in the job-seeker resources can be accessed without creating an account. ENJOY!

Welcome to FY16 , Region A!

Hello fellow SWEsters,

My name is Amanda Lagasca, and as the new Region A Collegiate Communications Editor (RCCE) for Northern California, Hawaii, and Nevada, I want to welcome you all to the FY16 Region A blog. Through this blog, I hope to inform, encourage, and connect all Region A collegiate and professional sections.  I am also open to any questions, concerns, or requests; I can be contacted at So please subscribe today to stay tuned for upcoming events within the society and for information about other sections within the region. Also, remember to follow Region A’s group on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you and have a SWEet day!

May Hot Topic: Transition to Professional SWE Membership

Transitioning from a C2C to Professional SWE membership is an exhilarating stepping stone to know that you have completed your collegiate years and are about to start your career in the STEM field. Here are a few things to keep in mind when developing your professional network and staying involved in SWE wherever your career may take you.


The map of the professional sections in Region A is shown above and is based on the area where you currently reside and/or work. This is very helpful if you are moving about Region A and are looking for the correct professional section to participate in. Here are the link to these professional section websites:

Sierra Foothills Section
Golden Gate Section
Mt. Diablo Section
Sacramento Valley Section
Santa Clara Valley Section
San Joaquin Valley Section
Hawaiian Island Section
Sierra Nevada Section

It is encouraged to do some research on these sections to look for upcoming events and opportunities for involvement. Reach out to the leadership to find out if there are open positions as the sections are actively looking to find committee chairs, committee members, and volunteers at the start of the fiscal year. To stay in tune with the professional section updates, please subscribe to their mailing list, like them on Facebook, and don’t be shy to reach out to their leadership!

When renewing your SWE membership, double check that you are selecting the correct professional section. Be aware that there are also C2C transition and first year professional dues that will be asked when renewing. The professional membership has a vast range of benefits including professional development, leadership training and experience, networking, outreach, career management, and much more.

There are many opportunities to get involved with the SWE communities and you can leverage these opportunities to assist in your professional career and personal development. Start networking as early as possible, reach out to leadership, and find ways to get involved!

April Hot Topic: Tips to Transition Collegiate Section Leadership

It’s that time of year again when elections have completed and the roster for the incoming leadership is set. In a previous post we’ve announced the FY16 collegiate leader election results and we are proud to have a strong collegiate team to continue the legacy of Region A. To ensure we finish this fiscal year with a united front and transition to the FY16 leadership in a smooth manner, here are a few suggestions to follow.

  1. Update your Roster
    Update your section’s Leadership Roster by filling out the names and emails for next year’s leadership at This is important because the RCR will not have your sections contact info otherwise! This is also known as the Annual Report.
  2. Section Presidents Handbook
    This handbook is a detailed guide of everything you need to know about SWE leadership. From collegiate leadership responsibilities to reporting to societal awards, this handbook has useful information that is necessary to lead your section towards a successful year. Section presidents, please keep an eye out for it in your inboxes as it is an incredibly helpful document to assist the introduction of a new president elect into her position. Contact the RCR at to receive a copy.
  3. CLCC’s Tips for Officer Transitions
    Please refer to one of our CLCC coaches’ post about “Six Tips for Successful SWE Officer Transitions”. The article briefly covers elections, transition meetings, and the strategic planning module to start planning for the next year. For information about the information shared on this post, please contact Lindsay Krammeier at
  4. Modules by CLCC Coaches
    CLCC coaches are available for presentations to help assist this smooth transition among collegiate leadership. One of them includes Strategic and Tactical Planning, which is held over summer to get a head start on your SWE leadership responsibilities. If there is any topics that you would like to see our coaches present or need any further guidance, please let us know so we can get that prepared for the transition. Please contact your CLCC coach for any transition questions you may have.
  5. Leverage your Resources
    There are multiple points of resources that surround Region A. As a collegiate leader, your CLCC coaches, SWE professionals, RCT members, and past section leadership are there to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have. These transitional tips and upcoming meetings are here to help guide new leaders into their roles and it is to your advantage to leverage these experienced SWE professionals and past leaders to establish your place as part of SWE leadership. Start networking as soon as possible!

March Hot Topic: Networking

Networking is an important aspect of professional development. Starting early can help you find an appropriate mentor to guide you towards your overall goals and connect you to the right people that can push you further in your development. Looking for opportunities to network is beneficial in career development as you can learn about how broad the industry is and actually meet engineers in the field you plan on breaking through. Here are some essential pointers on how you can expand your network and its importance to your career:

Look for opportunities in your section. If your SWE section has great contacts with local engineering companies, try hosting a networking event, meet and greet, tech talk, or simply have them give a brief overview about their career development to your section. Having this connection with local companies can help leverage your section, build relationships, and advertise opportunities in the STEM field.

Break out of your shell at conference. Annual and regional conferences are also a great way to network as they have a larger demographic. You can speak to professionals outside of your local sections and learn more about career development from difference perspectives. Every professional has a different story on how they transitioned from a collegiate to professional, which has directly influenced their work ethic, career choice, and future development.

Be involved with other organizations. SWE is a wonderful society on its own, though you can build your resume by joining other organizations of interest. For example, it would be great to see involvement in both SWE and ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) on your resume, if that is the career path you plan on taking. It shows potential employers diversity and focus on your career goal since you are concentrating on the networks surrounding your degree.

Don’t be afraid to ask the simple questions. As we all know, people love to talk about themselves, so simply asking someone “What do you do?” is very appropriate and logical. The industry is very broad and not everyone may know the job description behind the title. It’s a great conversation starter as you get to learn about their role in the company and the journey to their career development. Don’t be shy to ask questions!

February Hot Topic: Region Collegiate Team Elections

This is a update from the Nominating Committee regarding the FY16 Region Collegiate Team. The members of the Nominating Committee are finalizing their decisions on the slate and will be announced very soon! Upon receiving the email blast, please review the most qualified candidates for our next fiscal years RCT and place your vote. This is a friendly reminder to be on the lookout for your upcoming leadership team.

January Hot Topic: Applying for Region A SWE Awards

It’s that time of year again to apply for Region awards! SWE offers many awards for collegiates and professionals that acknowledge their contributions to the SWE community as an individual or team effort. The individual region awards focus on leadership experience whose work contributes to the local and regional sections in the field of engineering. The event awards are geared towards those hosted by a particular section that recognizes the outstanding engineering, development, and diversity achievements. The company award acknowledges ongoing partnerships, participation of employees, and overall support in the SWE community. Lastly, the membership awards recognize the sections that have outstanding perticipation in membership, retention, and recruitment. The membership award is based from the membership database and no input is needed from the sections. Here is the complete list of awards:

 Individual Awards
Distinguished Leader Award
Emerging Leader
Outstanding Collegiate Leader
Future Collegiate Leader

Event Awards
Joint Professional-Collegiate Event
Outreach Event
Professional Development Event
Diversity & Inclusion Event

Company Award
Sustaining Benefactor

Membership Awards

These award submissions and nominations are due to the Governor by January 31, 2015 and winners are recognized at the Awards Banquet at Region A Conference on February 21, 2015.  See 2015 Region A SWE Awards for award qualifications. Please help spread the word!

Ashley Pietz, Region A Governor: