16 May 2016
When did your group start?
We started getting graduate participation in SWE in the 2014-2015 academic year. Following this, we recruited to all the departments and became very active with a graduate-focused planning board in the 2015-2016 academic year.
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 two Graduate Coordinators and 21 board members to help with planning. Some board members have specific interests/tasks. We get our budget from the Dean’s Office and Engineering Departments at Stanford. We are currently part of the Collegiate SWE section, but we just received recognition from the university to be our own group starting next year, which will help with funding/accounting. We will remain connected to our collegiate SWE group to remain engaged in undergraduate mentorship and support.
What type of events do you host? How often do you host them? How many people tend to come to these events?
We host events aimed at creating a network of female graduate students, supporting our professional development, and mentoring the undergraduates in SWE. Our regularly occurring events include weekly lab tours for undergraduates, weekly brown bag lunches with all the women’s engineering groups across campus, and twice quarterly lunches with female faculty across campus. We host special interest events as board members are interested in hosting them, approximately 5-6 events per quarter, including networking events with a theme of art, wine and cheese, etc, special topic panels on topics like “what to wear to work”, movie nights, and recreational events like hiking.
What is the one event or program of which you are most proud?
The lab tours for undergraduates have been very popular and effective. We are passionate about mentoring, and these tours are a fun way to help undergraduates choose majors or learn about graduate school research opportunities and interests. The undergraduates have responded positively and given us good feedback on the tours.
What tips do you have for a newly-started grad group?
Recruit to departments by flyering and email to get representation from all the departments. Flyering in the women’s bathrooms was very effective for us. Try to determine what funding you will need and how you will get it as early as possible, so you don’t miss deadlines that are several months ahead of the upcoming school year. If you don’t know the in’s and out’s about how student organizations work in your university, try to seek help from someone who has experience.
How can someone contact your group if they’re interested in participating?