This past weekend several PSWE members boarded a bus headed for Platteville, Wisconsin to attend the 2016 Society of Women Engineers Region H Conference held at University of Wisconsin – Platteville. It was a fun-filled weekend including informative sessions, encouraging speakers, and time to hang out with SWEoples from around the Heartland region. Leann, our spring Membership Vitality Director, outlined her experience below:
“On Friday, we met up to start the journey to Platteville. In case you’re not too familiar with Wisconsin geography (like me), Platteville is on the southwest corner of the state and neighbors Illinois and Iowa. The bus ride to Platteville was about 5 and a half hours, and I think most of us used this time to catch up on sleep, homework, and maybe both. The activities on Friday were very relaxed, and it was an awesome chance to catch up with one another and prepare for the main part of the conference: Saturday!
Saturday morning was an early start with a lot going on! To start off the morning, we listened to Patricia Kampling, CEO of Alliant Energy Corporation. Her talk encompassed everything from encouragement to women in engineering to the time she used her engineering skills after getting stuck in an elevator with other CEOs and senators. After hearing about her career path and how she balanced a successful career with her family, we caught up on SWE business with the State of SWE Address, Region Membership Meeting, and the Collegiate Membership meeting. Getting glimpses of SWE at the regional and national level is always interesting to me, and it is exciting to hear how much SWE promotes STEM fields to young girls! During these presentations, we got to hear bids from University of Michigan, Michigan State, and Milwaukee School of Engineering and then vote on where we wanted to go to regionals next year. And the winner is…. University of Michigan (Keep an eye out next fall for information about regionals at U of M!).
That afternoon was focused on attending sessions, taking tours, and even attending the career fair. Some of us went to sessions about emotional intelligence, engines and emissions, and managing different generations. (Keep an eye out for notes from these sessions and more!). Some of us toured campus, breweries, labs, and Epic (a medical software development company). Overall, the afternoon was a fantastic learning opportunity to learn about so many different topics. I will definitely be mindful of some of these takeaways, like the importance of having confidence as I progress through my classes and my career.”
On Sunday, everyone boarded the bus to head back to Purdue, encouraged and motivated on each of their journeys. Remember to keep an eye out for information about the next regional conference!
-Erin, your editor.