I attended the SWE annual conference last week and wanted to share a few insights about the benefits of attending conferences.
Conferences are great ways to connect with others in your field. As a graduate student, you most likely have attended a conference and made a poster presentation or an oral presentation of your research. If you haven’t, I definitely recommend talking with your research advisor about submitting abstracts in an effort to be selected to present at a conference. This gives you an opportunity to not only build your CV but to practice concisely communicating your research to others, to network with others in your field which may open up future research collaboration opportunities or employment, and to learn current, in-progress research that may be relevant to your research.
SWE offers two types of conferences: the annual international “WE” conference held each year in early fall (over 14,000 attendees this year!) and the “WE Local” conferences held throughout the year around the United States, India and Europe. One of the main advantages of these conferences is the variety of events and sessions offered. Since SWE includes all engineering and science disciplines, the conferences are technically neutral, or should I say “all-inclusive”. Most of the sessions apply to all attendees and center around career success, professional development and work-life balance. There are presentations grouped under eleven different tracks (below) as well as a career fair with over 350 exhibitors (including universities and organizations).
Other elements of Conference include:
*keynote speakers*hospitality suites*K-12 outreach*local tours*poster competition*tech talks*
Pictures from WE18 Conference can be seen here.
As a member of leadership, conference was a great opportunity to meet in-person other members of leadership with whom I collaborate. I also connected with speakers after their talk, providing a way to get advice or more information in the future on a topic that is of interest and relevant to me.
You have a near-term opportunity to participate in an upcoming WE Local Conference and earning a $250 stipend if you make it as a finalist in the WE Local Collegiate Competition. Submit your abstract before the deadline of Friday, November 2, 2018.