25 Jan 2015
How is the group organized? i.e. how many core people are typically involved, do you have officers, how do you fit within the collegiate section, where do you get your budget (if you have one)?
We have 2 co-chairs who lead the committee. Under the two co-chairs are the remaining four officers: the Membership Coordinator in charge of PR and keeping track of membership, the Mentorship Coordinator in charge of various membership programs, and two Professional Development/Social Co-Coordinators responsible for our biweekly Coffee and Cookie Conversations (C^3) events and other professional development and social events. We operate under the umbrella of the existing SWE section, but independently from and in parallel to them. We often report to the President on how the committee is fairing. Funding or budget is allocated to us by the Treasurer on the executive team and depends on what sponsorship they have at the time.
What type of events do you host? How often do you host them? How many people tend to come to these events?
We host biweekly informal Coffee and Cookie Conversations (C^3) where grad students de-stress and share experiences, ideas, and tips about success in grad school. Some topics in the past have been “How to Train Your Advisor”, “Funding in Grad School”, and “Work-Life Balance.” Occasionally we have companies visit and sponsor Lunch ‘n Learns. We also have a mentorship program between grads and undergrads, grads and grads, and currently working with the Women in Engineering program to setup an industry mentorship network. Social events include holiday parties and informal Friday night hangouts.
What is the one event or program of which you are most proud?
Our biweekly C^3 discussions. We get a lot of positive feedback from it.
What tips do you have for a newly-started grad group?
Be patient, ask other groups and learn from them. Also make sure you have strong, consistent PR to reach the most people possible. Once people start hearing about what your group is doing on a regular basis, they will become more interested in joining.