Join Region A on Nov 11 at Apple Hill in Placerville, CA!

Region A and the Region Collegiate Team (RCT) are hosting their Fall Social Event in Placerville, California. Join us on Saturday, November 11 at 12pm for a day of family-friendly fun! Feel free to bring friends and family.  Register here: https://www.facebook.com/events/161339951124694/ (RSVP requested)

Tractor Hayride + Lunch for SWE Members, Friends, & Family!
Meet at the Tractor Hayride area first. Attendees to pay costs for attractions and lunch onsite directly at the ranch.

High Hill Ranch is located in Placerville and offers unique outdoor activities for kids and adults. They have a variety of apples, craft booths, restaurants, pony rides, fishing, fudge factory, suns and shade areas, drinks, face painting, music, pumpkins, parking…etc.

Tractor Hayrides cost $5 for adults and $3 for kids. We’ll ride a 1960’s Farm Cub Tractor on a guided tour through the apple orchard. Will learn about the apple process from picking, storage, to baking.

After the hayride, we can socialize over a leisurely lunch then have the rest of the afternoon to enjoy the other attractions.

From Sacramento take HWY 50 towards Placerville take the Carson Rd Exit and turn left we are less than a 1/2 mile down Carson Rd turn RT at High Hill Rd.

Learn more about the ranch: https://www.highhillranch1.net/

High Hill Ranch
2901 High Hill Rd
Placerville, CA 95667
Phone: 530-644-1973
Fax:530-644-5113
They do not ship any of their products.
Live weather click on the link below.
http://www.caminoweathercam.com/

Apple Hill

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#WE17 – The Final Checklist

WE17 is here! We have SWEsters from all across the country and the world flocking to Austin, Texas to enjoy a few days really teaching us what SWE is all about. As you finalize your packing tonight, if you haven’t already taken off, here’s a quick checklist that may be of help.

Logistics

  • Your plane ticket: make sure to finalize your departure and returning flights, and transportation to/from the airport. Be sure to check out any traffic or weather that may impact your travel.
  • Review of the Liquids Rule: depending on your airline, be sure that you are aware of what you are allowed to bring in your carry-on, or you may want to consider checking in luggage.
  • If your hotel offers a shuttle service, check out the schedule. Lyft also provides an option for you to schedule a pick-up; when using Lyft, there is an additional charge for them to pick you up from the airport.
  • It may also be easier for you to print out your resumes (recommended at least 20 if you plan to attend the career fair) ahead of time.
  • Ensure your hotel reservations are still good!
  • Double check your luggage sizes: backpack, duffle bags, carry-ons, suit cases, etc. and verify your airline’s policies. Some airlines also have weight-based policies.
  • Don’t forget your ID, passport, credit card, wallet, itinerary, insurance card, and emergency contact information.

What to Pack: 

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, makeup remover wipes (if necessary), face-wash, shampoo/conditioner, etc. Hotels provide small samples of them, so if they’re not enough, either pack travel-sized ones or you could stop by a convenience store in Austin. All-in-one shampoos and conditioners are great because of their many uses and you save space!
  • Any medication that may be necessary. If you have allergies or a medical condition, be sure to alert your fellow travel companions of an emergency situation and how best to respond.
  • Backpack or purse(s) to carry your stuff around with.
  • 2-3 pairs of shoes
  • 2-3 business casual outfits and at least 2 personal outfits depending on what you’re doing.
  • Hair ties, brush/combs, hair products, safety pins, or clips as needed.
  • Lotion, perfume, chapstick
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Cotton balls, Q-tips, facial tissues
  • Socks and other essentials
  • Glasses or contacts and contact fluids, if applicable.
  • Pens/pencils, paper, and some folder or portfolio with a hard surface to write on.
  • A light coat, if necessary
  • Sunglasses
  • Travel pillow and/or earbuds
  • Cell phone charger, adapter, headphones, laptop and laptop charger.
  • Reusable and empty water bottle (refill after going through TSA).
  • Optional: again, your hotel will provide towels and if they don’t provide fresh towels as needed, you may want to bring your own.
  • Tip: save space in  your luggage and WEAR some of those clothes to the airport. Or you could also pick up Spacebags from Target or Walmart; there’s a variety of bags, and the most travel-friendly Spacebag is the one where you can roll the air out of it.

Other Tips/Advice: 

  • Don’t forget that you’ll get to pick up free swag at the conference or souvenirs so account for that space in your luggage!
  • Be aware of your surroundings and travel smartly. Uber/Lyft drivers and other locals are great resources on knowing what to expect around Austin.
  • Take your time in packing, traveling, and getting to places. Make sure you double-check your hotel when leaving – it’d suck to return home and realize you left something there.

Now some of these things may be overkill, but simply recommendations for a comfortable time. Safe travels everyone!

#WE17 – Dress for Success

Hey SWEsters! We are OFFICIALLY less than a week away to WE17, and if you haven’t started packing, fear not – we are here to help you. From what to wear for the conference or personal exploration, for how to pack efficiently, or what to bring to the convention center itself, we got you covered.

Assuming most of you are staying Thursday-Sunday morning, that’s about 3 days filled with formal interactions, nightlife, and down-time. First, let’s explore appropriate conference attire. WE17 published the following webinar to help provide guidelines on what is appropriate for the conference; the webinar will help you learn what to wear/not wear at the WE17 Career Fair, networking sessions, and professional development workshops. You will learn how to carry yourself with confidence and dress in a way that will highlight you in a positive, professional light.

Shoes: 
We often face the struggle of sacrificing style for comfort and function. Flats have been an optional solution to this by providing all the aesthetics of a heeled shoe, but easier for your feet to wear all day. On the other hand, heels, for some people, provide a smart, polished, confident look. When packing for the conference, it is about your personal preferences, and your ability to be mobile. I often find myself being high-maintenance and have brought two pairs of shoes to the conference: my heels for during the career fair, and a pair of loafers or flats if my feet get tired. Boots are also a great alternative because it has the comfort of a flat, and the aesthetic of a heel (especially with the chance of rain this Saturday). You’re going to be walking quite a lot during the conference; so don’t feel disappointed if you can’t wear your cute new pair of shoes to the conference – save it for your personal time afterwards!

shoe1

These pair of Aldo Biacci flats (left) have a low-heel that still make you feel dressy, and the chic gold-toned heel on these ballet-style flats help keep you feeling modern, yet professional. They also save space in your luggage!

 

Alternatively, these leather ankle tie boots provide the perfect fall feel, has a heel that is just flattering enough, yet functional to     manage the weather and those anxious interactions. It also has a tasteful pop of bootie1.JPGcolor and texture.

 

 

 

 

loafer 1 When it doubt, black will always be a classic color. Loafers are now trending, and are professional enough; they are that sweet spot between a formal sneaker and a flat. These black, velvet cambrie loafers can go from the career fair, to networking, to grabbing lunch with other SWEsters.

Outfits: 

The weather forecast in Austin, TX is low-80s/low-50’s for Thursday, and the upper-60’s/low-40’s from Friday thru Sunday, and overall sunny and dry. So, for most of us from the Golden West, it’s perfect fall weather. I’ve had a few questions come in regarding humidity – which will be about 30% on average for the conference; to compare, for those of you in Northern California, this week had about 40-50% humidity.

You will need 2-3 business casual outfits, personal outfits, the “essentials”, and perhaps 2-3 pairs of shoes for the trip. Mind you, this is just a modest recommendation, so if you’re like me and you’re a bit high maintenance, feel free to vary as needed. The key to packing for outfits if you can’t make up your mind, or you don’t want to take up precious luggage space, is utilizing multi-functional clothing, or mix-n-matching outfits. For example, a good quality blazer can go a long way, and you can pair it with different blouses; the same goes with slacks or a skirt – just change the top and shoes! In general, by investing in a high-quality, professional wardrobe, it’ll pay off in the long-run because those pieces will go with everything, and last a long time.

Other pairings could include a dress and a blazer, skirt and a blouse, or even rock the power suit. Overall, your clothes should fit well (i.e. not too baggy or not too tight); studies show that when you put 26% more effort into your outfit, your professionalism and confidence increases significantly. What’s extra effort? Iron/steam your clothes in the morning (hang your delicates in the bathroom as you shower), using a lint roller, wearing a belt, using tasteful jewelry, just those small things that truly go a long way. My piece of advice is to dress in a way that speaks to your personality – make it shine.

suit1        bc1bc2        skirt1

bc3             bc4.JPG

bc5.JPG                                           bc6.JPG

Casual outfits could be made up of jeans, tees/graphic tees, a light cardigan or silk scarf, sundresses, sneakers, flats, flip flops, or boots! Based on your Austin activities, it’ll help determine how to dress. If you plan to be mobile and walk a lot – dress for comfort and maybe choose one article of clothing that is slightly stylish/dressy if you want your pics to feel more put together. Dressing for the night out? Pockets and small cross-body purses are your best friend to eliminate the need for a coat, and can also carry your essentials with you. Also, it’s Halloweekend! So, perhaps bringing your costume may not be a bad idea.

We’d love to see your outfits, so tag us on Instagram (@swe.regiona) or email us and show us how you handle #WE17 LIKE A BOSS.

Featured Questions: 

“I know everyone interprets business casual differently, but is it better to be overdressed or underdressed?” 

My personal policy is it’s better to be overdressed, just because you probably wouldn’t feel as embarrassed if you were underdressed. I like to think of business casual as this happy medium where you would feel comfortable talking to your potential future employer in it, or dressing professionally in such a way that any interaction could change your life. I know we all have really cute pieces in our closets that we want to flaunt, but use discretion that perhaps the conference itself may not be the best place.

“How short is TOO short for a dress/skirt [ for the conference]”

Again, this is subjective, but a common rule of “thumb” that I’ve been told is if you stand straight, and let your hands fall to the sides of your legs, your middle finger is the length you’d like to aim for. If you feel like it’s a bit risky, then trust your gut. Also keep in mind how the length of your dress/skirt changes considerably based on the fit/fabric when you sit down and it rides up.

“Do I have to dress business casual the whole time during the conference?”

Not quite! It depends on the manner of your interactions; if you’re attending the career fair, interviews, or professional events, then business casual is definitely your theme. However, if you’re just attending sessions all day, or even volunteering for the outreach events, you may want to opt for a more casual outfit. Don’t know whether something is too casual? A great tip is that if you have SWE-related gear, those, most of the time, will always work.

 

#WE17: Planning Your Itinerary

Congratulations! You’ve registered for WE17, booked your plane ticket, and reserved your hotel room. Wait, you haven’t? It’s still not too late to register for the national conference – visit we17.swe.org to register and learn more about it. But for those SWEsters that did, this week’s blog is intended to help you pack, plan your schedule(s), what to expect, and to provide suggestions on how to enable you to experience the most out of the conference weekend.

Sample Itinerary: the great thing about Austin, TX is that it’s in the Midwest, so it’s a shorter distance for those of us from the Golden West. If you are flying out on Thursday morning, and departing Sunday morning, here’s a sample schedule:

  • Arrive Thursday afternoon in Austin – be sure to coordinate ahead of time if you’re going to the hotel together with your fellow SWEsters by researching hotel shuttle buses (that are free!), taxi services, or the local Uber/Lyft policies.
  • After refreshing yourself and settling in your hotel, don’t relax for too long! You can check in at the convention center and pick up your name tag and conference materials (hint: checking in earlier means you get free conference swag!). Companies also host hospitality suites where you can interact with industry representatives and sign up for interviews that may be held as early as Friday. Feel free to also explore the conference center and familiarize yourself on where important areas are: where to check-in, where the career fair will be held, conference room layouts, and where the map is in case you forget.
  • Grab dinner and go out on the town! The wonderful thing about conferences is that it’s the perfect opportunity to reconnect with old friends who may live further or meet new ones. It’s also a great time to meet your fellow SWEsters within Region A.
  • Before you get your beauty sleep for Friday, ensure your conference materials are ready to go: resume, portfolio/binders, some paper/pens to take notes, and don’t forget water and a snack!
  • In your conference materials, there’s typically a schedule of all the different events happening. On Friday, one of the main events is the illustrious career fair. One tactic is to attend the career fair first, take a break and attend a few talks, or go to a session while waiting for an interview. Be sure to use the conference planner that can also create reminders for when certain sessions will begin! Some recommended sessions/areas include:
    • Mother’s break room, in case you’re traveling with your children and need a little more privacy and attention with your little ones.
    • LCC Drop-In Coaching: Perfect opportunity for collegiate section leaders to ask questions regarding their section performance. Questions could range from fundraising, conflict resolution, connection assistance, to just how to be a better leader as well! Don’t know who’s your LCC? Email us!
    • Hidden Opportunities: Non-Traditional Roles for Engineers at NASA
    • Lightning Talks: on Friday, there are a few exploring innovation in technology and digital life, as well as advocacy for change and human life. Lightning talks are quick sessions (about 15 min.) that concisely present a topic. They’re perfect for those awkward gaps you have in between sessions or waiting for an interview.
    • I Have a Job, Why am I Still Poor? Money Matters as You Transition from collegiate to professional life.
    • And much, much more! The sessions are split into different categories such as K-12 Outreach, SWE Leadership, Career Management, Women in Academia, Diversity and Inclusion, and more! If you’re more interested in a general theme, search by categories first.
  • As busy as WE17 may be, feel free to step out of the conference to grab coffee or lunch at nearby. Yelp recommends these places right next to Austin Convention Center:
    • Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill: Southern Food/Breakfast & Brunch
    • Stella San Jac: American/Sandwiches
    • Cafe Blue (downtown): Seafood/Steakhouses/Cocktails & Bars
    • Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken: fried chicken, enough said
    • Austin Taco Project: Tapas/Small Plates/Tacos/Bars

The conference is such a unique experience, and not one experience is the same; WE17 is designed to be customized to each person’s preference.

Q&A: 

Should I pack for the whole day? If so, what should I pack and wear? 

If your hotel is close to the convention center, I’d recommend to pack for only the conference, and return to your hotel if you’d like to change for more personal exploring around Texas. For a conference-only packing, I’d recommend wearing stylish, professional, yet comfortable shoes; business casual for Friday, especially if you’re interacting with company representatives; resumes/portfolios (specifically, something hard to write on); pens/paper; water bottle; portable phone charger; hand sanitizing gel; breath mints; extra hair tie or safety pins or emergency sewing kit; and a tasteful purse or backpack or bag to put this all in. As we get closer to the conference, our blog will feature what kind of bags/outfits would work.

If your hotel is further and you want to avoid multiple trips, or planning to stay downtown all day, I’d recommend bringing a change of clothes and the above and leaving it at check-in.

Is the conference overwhelming? How will I know what to do first? 

Yes – it can definitely be overwhelming for a first-timer, or even a tenth-timer. I’d recommend just familiarizing yourself with the conference planner and starring which ones appeal to you the most. If you know that you definitely want a job or an internship, you might want to focus on the career fair and professional development sessions. If you’re trying to understand SWE at a higher-level and learn how to increase your involvement, the LCC Drop-In Coaching or organization-related sessions may be more appropriate. I’d also recommend arriving at the convention center at least an hour earlier to settle your nerves. Sometimes things seem more intimidating at face-value. And don’t stress if your perfect plan falls through – just wing it! Often, the best experiences or memories are the unplanned ones.

One tactic is to tag along with someone else who is interested in a session or company, or another tactic is to divide and conquer between yourself and conference attendees/friends/SWEsters if you can’t choose. Then, you can exchange notes!

Stay tuned – please keep submitting all your questions and best practices! We’ll be featuring topics like outfits, what to pack in your suitcase, what to do in Austin, and more as WE17 approaches!

#WE17: What You Need to Know and do This Week

It’s October, and while for other people they’re swimming in pumpkin spice, leaves, and cozy sweaters, SWEsters know that WE17 will be here soon! But what’s WE17 you might ask…

  • Each year, the Society of Women Engineers organizes our national conference held at a different city. This year, WE17 will be held in Austin, TX. This year’s theme is Always Connecting, Always Engineering.
  • WE17 consists of one of the world’s largest career fairs with over 300 companies, grad schools, and programs for which you can apply.
  • Talks from industry leaders, peers, and senior SWE members on a variety of topics including unconventional paths to success, life advice, panels, and more!
  • Sessions to help collegiate sections improve their development with SWE coaches.
  • Tours offered by SWE to explore Austin and nearby sites to see.
  • Poster competitions!
  • Community outreach events geared towards encouraging young men and women to pursue STEM careers.
  • Everyone is welcome to register and attend: women, men, collegiates, industry-level employees, professors, teachers, aka all SWEsters.

Here’s What You Need to Do Now!

  • Register for WE17 – hurry before it is closed/sold out. There are different prices for your type of membership, so that’s an incentive to renew your memberships.
  • Once you register, you gotta find a way to get to Austin (or the surrounding areas). SWE provides a housing option where you can book a hotel room near to the convention center. SWE typically books out plenty of rooms that are available for reduced prices. For section presidents, there is also the option for presidential housing.
    • Book a flight! One of the best times to book your flight is on a Tuesday at 3 am. Make sure you have the necessary materials to book a flight. Many collegiate sections can help offset these travel costs through grants, or even company sponsorships.
    • Book a hotel room! Don’t be afraid to double up in rooms!
  • Start advertising. It’s no fun to travel alone – spread the word to your friends, fellow members (a great way to get to know one another), and family!
  • Fix up your resume. It’s much easier to gain access to those resources now and to have iterations of improvement versus last-minute edits.

Stay tuned – each week we’ll continue to help provide tips on how to prep. Please leave a comment for any questions/suggestions you may have!

 

Back to School

Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year SWEsters! Whether you’re just starting off as a freshman, in the midst of your undergrad career, or even embarking towards a higher degree, hopefully this blog will get you on the right foot.

Resources:

-SWE Engagement Team: an online, interactive overview of SWE services. During this presentation, the SWE engagement team will briefly introduce programs and benefits available to our members to make the most of your membership based on your personal interests. If you’d like to participate, register here. Even if you can’t make the live webinar, you can still watch the recording at your convenience!

For Freshmen:

Fall quarter can be an overwhelming time when trying to balance a new lifestyle, classes, and getting involved on campus. Find your local SWE section – anyone can be a SWEster regardless of gender or major!

For New Officers:

Congrats on taking on an exciting new challenge with SWE! Here are some tips for starting off your new terms:

  • Write down all your goals, both personally and professionally for your new roles. Trust me, it’ll help down the road as a reminder of why you started this position. In addition, it’s a great exercise to brainstorm new events and ideas.
  • Work with your leadership to help identify your best working style. Diversity and inclusion also means knowing how to integrate our various working methodologies and personalities towards a viable product. By realizing how each person works, we can best collaborate on common ground.
  • Update your LinkedIn! For those of you looking for internships or jobs, your title can help bring your profile up when recruiters go to look for candidates.
  • Get on top of your training – and continue it! We have many resources, webinars, and your fabulous Regional officers to help guide you (while we can).

 

Upcoming Events:

 

  • WE17: Austin, Texas. Early-bird registration is still in effect so be sure to buy your conference tickets ASAP. Check back in the coming weeks on how you can prep for the Annual Conference.
  • SWE San Jose State University 3rd Annual Conference for Engineering Diversity: Sat. 9/16/17. Register here.

Have a happy first day of schools, recruiting weeks, and enjoy the beginning of school for you Semester SWEsters! Check out our Back to School Part II blog for the Quarter SWEsters. 😉

Happy Women’s Equality Day!

 

Women's Equality Day v1

For many of us, these national holidays are usually recognized in the moment, be it remembered because of social media or it becomes the hot topic of the day. With many of the current affairs happening today, it’s because of these conversations that help us reflect on why Women’s Equality Day is relevant to our lives as SWEsters.

This national holiday celebrates the passage of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote on August 26, 1920. It was figures like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, and Frederick Douglass that used their courage and voice to power their activism. However, with the equality that many of our role models have fought for, there comes an increased amount of responsibility. There is a sense of duty to sustain the rewards that we earned; in order to respect the right to vote achieved by women and people of color, we must continue to vote and represent our best interests. Never take your voice for granted – vote, speak out, and take action.

In addition, part of gaining equality means gaining equity. Equity is giving everyone what they need to be successful. Equality is treating everyone the same. The purpose of striving for equality is to create a level playing field, but this only works if everyone starts at the same place. Those who were historically disadvantaged are staring at different barriers to achieve the same goals. Although women and POC are granted equality in the right to vote, the right to run for leadership positions, or pursue their dreams, that does not necessarily ensure that their paths are any easier. The beauty of SWE is one that provides the tools and resources to those who need access to it in order to achieve their dreams.

At the end of the day, we want to make the biggest impact we can to increase equity for ALL, and the most impactful place to do that is no longer just starting a conversation, it’s starting an action plan. We must be more intentional, more critical, and more invested.

Our featured quote is by Star Trek’s Nichelle Nichols; this quote is not to be interpreted as for readers to ignore race, gender, sexuality, etc. The quote is to empower us to look past these characteristics, celebrate our diversity, and use our qualities to build a brighter future!

Welcome the Region A Team – RCR!

Hey SWEsters! As we prep to launch for the 2017-2018 SWE-year, we’ll be introducing you to your regional officers…starting with Rachel Lucas!

Rachel Lucas is a senior honors undergraduate at the University of Nevada, Reno seeking a degree in electrical engineering with an emphasis in renewable energy. She has been involved with Society of Women Engineers since she came to the University of Nevada; serving as Vice President, President, and currently involved as the section’s Secretary. Rachel is passionate about being involved on campus and is currently involved in multiple clubs and organizations. When she’s not on campus, she loves watching reruns of Friends, being active outdoors, and going on new hikes. Some of her professional goals this year include: -Engaging in RCT meetings and serve as a collegiate voice for Region A -Actively reach out to collegiate section presidents at least quarterly -Serve as an open resource to all collegiates in Region A and reach out to support them from a regional level. Her main personal goal is to improve networking: at WE17 and helping to connect fellow SWEsters at UNR to other sections.

11209649_10204478969393545_2121977709303862799_nPlease welcome Rachel!

Welcome to FY18!

Hey SWEsters!

Welcome to another wonderful year with SWE Region A! As you may already know, our region includes sections from Northern California and Nevada all the way to Hawaii.

As your new Regional Collegiate Communications Editor (RCCE), my goal is to best represent our members at not only the local level, but at the national level.

This blog facilitates communication between collegiate and professional various sections to share best practices, section successes, relevant information to support your development, and more! We 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 members.