SWE Grad Community Leadership Application Announcement!

Interested in joining the SWE Graduate Community Leadership Team? Now is the time to apply! Check out the application and be sure to apply by April 1!



The SWE Graduate Community Leadership Team is looking for motivated and passionate people to serve as new coordinators for FY20, with roles starting in July 2019. This is a great opportunity to contribute to the SWE Grad Community! Potential positions include:

  1. Graduate Member Coordinator-Elect (GMC-E): Assists the Graduate Member Coordinator in fostering strong community and a network for graduate students in SWE by facilitating communication between graduate students in SWE and SWE graduate students groups, and by representing the interests of graduate students to the Society.  Note: this position has a two-year commitment.
  2. Learning Content Coordinator (LCC): Hosts webinars for the graduate student community through the year. Also develops YouTube videos and other learning content.
  3. Social Media Coordinator (SMC): Ensures current and up-to-date communication and engagement through social media and other online outlets.
  4. Mentoring Coordinator (MC): Facilitates the GradSWE Mentoring Program along with the other MCs.
  5. WE Local Programming Liaison (LPL): Assists in facilitating a positive experience for graduate students at WE Local conferences.
  6. International Graduate Team Leader (IGTL): Leads a team to develop resources for international graduate students and the globalization of GradSWE.
  7. Diversity and Inclusion Liaison (DIL): Promotes the support of minority groups in STEM fields. Facilitates relationships between affiliate groups and graduate student members for this effort.


The Process

Applications are due by April 1, 2019 11:59 PM CDT (midnight).

The SWE Grad applications for all positions can be found at https://goo.gl/forms/Z3nsr8Mn8KPyUDYu2

The SWE HQ application (required for the GMC-E position) can be found here.

Note that all positions require the SWE Grad application and the GMC-Elect position requires both the SWE Grad and SWE HQ applications.

Applicants will be notified within two weeks of the deadline if there are additional questions and to schedule a phone interview. If you have any questions during the process, please contact Ceci Klauber at grad-coordinator-elect@swe.org

Got Questions?

We will be hosting a Google Hangout on Wednesday March 20 at 7:30PM CDT to answer any questions you have about the different roles or the application and selection process. Use this link to sign up to join us! 

Be sure to follow SWE Grad on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as we will highlight the benefits of being part of the SWE Grad Leadership Team and give tips for submitting short answer responses or creating a SWE resume.

Questions can also be directed to Ceci at grad-coordinator-elect@swe.org

Other Ways to Get Involved

Consider getting involved more with your local professional section, collegiate section or GradSWE group!

Consider joining a specific SWE Grad Team, like Diversity and Inclusion, International, or Professional! Some of our coordinators lead teams of passionate students in bringing about exciting new programming and initiatives and you can participate by reaching out to the appropriate Coordinator/Liaison.

We look forward to receiving your applications and getting to work with you!


Be a WE Local Speaker, Deadline is Approaching!

Do you want to share your insights and expertise on a bigger platform? Do you have ideas for stimulating content ready? WE Local wants to hear from you! Become a speaker at one of SWE’s WE Local Conferences in 2019. Hundreds of attendees, including other graduate students and SWE members with advanced degrees, want to hear your visions about a variety of professional and personal development topics.

Call for Participation is open for all five 2019 WE Local conferences. Mark your calendars for SWE’s 2019 WE Local conferences at:

  • WE Local Baltimore, February 8-9, 2019
  • WE Local Tampa, February 15-16, 2019
  • WE Local St. Louis, March 1-2, 2019
  • WE Local Denver, March 15-16, 2019
  • WE Local Bellevue, April 5-6, 2019

Important Note: There is only *one* Call for Participation for all 2019 conferences. During the submission process, please indicate which conference you like to present at in preference order – you may select more than one conference.

WE Local is looking for speakers to share content for all career levels on everything from salary negotiation to social issues, finance management, mentorship, diversity and inclusion, academia, re-entry, retirement and more. Review the complete list of attendee desired content here.

The deadline for submitting a breakout session summary and abstract is quickly approaching, and we want to see content from graduate students! Apply by 11 August 2018 at 11:59 EST. Join us for the 2019 WE Local Conferences!

To Know about all exciting WE Local Awards, Register for a Webinar soon!

Have you heard about SWE’s new WE Local Awards program? This program includes awards for professional and collegiate SWE members, SWE groups (including sections, affiliates, affinity groups, employee resource groups and all other groups of SWE members) and employers.

This upcoming webinar will help attendees learn about the new WE Local awards program being implemented in FY19. It will include details about what awards are included in the new program, how to apply, and give information about the application deadlines and procedures.

Awards will be presented at WE Local conferences in early 2019. The application window for FY19 opens August 1, 2018 and ends September 30, 2018. If you want to know more about the WE Local Awards program and learn how to apply, sign up for the WE Local Awards training webinar on August 9 at 7:00 p.m. CT. Register Today! Don’t hesitate to spread the word.


The SWE Leadership Competency Model, What’s Next for Leaders in SWE, and FY19 Call for Society Nominations

The SWE Leadership Competency Model, What’s Next for Leaders in SWE, and FY19 Call for Society Nominations

Hi SWE Grads!

I wanted to make my post this week something fruitful for future society leaders, as well as a bit of a personal story about SWE from me to you.    This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the SWE Region F Leadership Summit in Essex Junction, VT at Globalfoundries.

Blog 1

We discussed many of the governance changes and bylaws amendments that are coming up (See our Facebook   for links, SWE Governance Website or an All Together Article about the Bylaws Proposals for more info).  But, one of the things that was a really informative, and stuck with me was a talk given by SWE President Jonna Gerken, called “What’s Next in SWE for Me?”

Blog 3

Jonna did a great job of discussing how SWE as a whole is starting to embrace the idea of non-traditional paths to leadership, and how leaders from these paths have a lot of diverse perspective to offer the society.  This resonates with me in particular, because I (like many of you, SWE Grads) have never been a section president.  Up until the point where I became a Region Grad Rep in Region F, I had never held an official SWE position!  I did champion and lead grass roots efforts to increase membership in SWE, but I never did it in an official capacity.  Now, I have been an RGR, Graduate Member Coordinator, Region Collegiate Senator, and am part of several society and region based committees!   An unconventional path, but a lot of knowledge and insight can be gained sometimes, especially when you go down The Road Not Taken.

So – why am I bringing this up now?  I get to talk to a lot of SWE members that are looking to improve themselves, and want to become more involved with leadership opportunities in the society.   Jonna’s talk highlighted something called SWE’s Leadership Competency Model which is a model used by the society to help members develop leadership skills.  The model highlights 5 core competencies, including:

  • Communication
  • Self-Management
  • Business Acumen
  • Leadership Abilities
  • Mentoring, Coaching, and Sponsorship

SWE believes in this model, and uses it as a way to assess present, or future leaders in the society!   It is also a way to present positive feedback, and give others a way to work on their skills where they may need some help.  Two of the resources that SWE provides are things that could even be used to help you with your career/ personal path.

I’ll start by highlighting the Leadership Development Plan and Vision Statement Template.  This is a document that provides an instructive way to help you see what your leadership goals are, and how you can achieve them!    You can use this template to answer questions like, “Where do I want to take my Career?”  for professional development or “What is my ultimate objective and leadership goal within SWE?”  I have also used this resource for things like “What is the highest mountain I will climb next year?” or “What fitness level do I want to achieve?”  Each of these gives the template a little bit of a spin, but it does help you create a strategic plan to answer all of these questions!   The guide then takes you through a series of questions, and gets you to list the actions you will take, the obstacles you may face, what strengths and resources you can leverage to achieve your goal, and how to hold yourself accountable to reach it.  Overall, a great way to help you look at your goals in a new light.  For me – it also helped me realize that if I couldn’t answer some of these items, I wasn’t sure how invested in the goal I truly was.

Now that you have a goal, though, what do we actually use to assess ourselves on, and how can we do it?  SWE provides this handy Leadership Competency Model Evaluation Spreadsheet to help you with just that!  I know that many of you sit there and take quizzes to see if places like Buzzfeed can tell you, “What Type of Pizza Are You?” Although this isn’t nearly as delicious, 10 minutes out of your day may give you some perspective on which of these five categories you are a rockstar in, and which you may want some more resources to help you learn more about.


The best part is that it’s simple to use – and gives you a list of all competencies on the tab labeled “Dashboard.”  Once you self assess, and determine if you feel the need to improve in an area, you can take a look at the “PD” tab, for the Professional Development Content SWE provides to help move forward in those categories.  Remember though:  Watching a webinar from SWE’s awesome Advanced Learning Center on something like Being a Thought Leader may be a great start to your leadership development in some areas – it isn’t going to happen overnight.  You need to internalize the changes you want to make, and be proactive in utilizing the tools in every day life to truly improve.


FY19 Nominations for Society Leadership

Now that we’ve discussed some of these awesome tools, I want to highlight one way that you could use them in the future.  Recently, a call for FY19 Society Nominations may have crossed your inbox if you are a Professional Member, or a Collegiate Senator.  This does apply to some of GradSWE’s membership, as half of grad students choose to identify as professional members in the society!  Although you may not be part of that group, I’m still choosing highlighting this information as your Grad Member Coordinator because there are a few collegiates that this post may still pertain to, as they may have the leadership experience/ the passion to nominate themselves, or others, to a position in the society.  Also – this is something that you could use, if your Vision Statement and Goals point you toward future society leadership in SWE.

What is on the slate for FY19 Nomination?  

Slated positions available for nomination are:

  • President-Elect
  • Treasurer
  • Director (3 positions available)
  • Trustee (3 positions available)
  • Deputy Speaker of the Senate
  • Senate Secretary

How does this involve me now (if I am a collegiate), and in the future?:

Remember how I told you before that we are proposing Bylaws Changes?  One of these changes will allow all collegiates voting rights in SWE.   According to The Eligibility Requirements in the SWE Bylaws for Elected Positions, voting members of the society have the eligibility to run for these positions!   Although some region leadership opportunities may go away if these bylaws changes go into effect, you may one day be able to nominate for these society positions, or positions as committee chairs/ chair-elects, too!

Regardless, your vote could change the outcomes as early as this FY19 slate, which is an exciting thing for SWE if the Bylaws Changes are accepted!  The eligibility requirements do ask for specific experience for different positions, though, so you need to be aware of what leadership requirements may be before you nominate.

What do they use to evaluate leadership?

Ah, here’s the tie in – SWE uses the leadership competencies that they resourcefully teach us about to help pick the slate for nomination!  Beyond meeting eligibility requirements, candidates are vetted by the Society Nominating Committee to understand where they stand with each of the competencies and pick the best group of nominees that they can.  It’s important to understand though, that SWE doesn’t want leaders that are necessarily strong in all competencies.   The power of diversity is important, and having a diverse body can happen when you have different strengths and weaknesses.


I want to nominate myself, another leader, or be nominated in the future.  What do I do?

If you are ready to nominate now, you need to fill out the Candidate Consent Form and Nomination Form.  Do it soon!  It’s due September 28th.

For those of you that are striving for leadership in SWE in the future – reach out to people who are currently serving.  Reach out to GradSWE and let us know that you are interested in understanding the SWE Career Paths available to you!  Reach out to the Senate and Committee leaders and ask them what it’s like to be involved, and how you can be involved in the future.  We exist and thrive because many SWE leaders take time to build relationships with future leaders and help preserve the leadership pipeline by educating them in SWE, and in professional pursuits.

Blog 2

I leave you with this photo – RPI Alumni at all different stages of their personal, professional and SWE lives!  I became more involved in SWE because some of the women in this photo invested their time and attention in helping me develop as a SWE leader.  “What’s Next in SWE for Me?”  I don’t know yet, Jonna – but I know now that I have the tools, the resources, and the mentorship to figure it out!






April Webinar: Engineering Consulting 101

Date: April 19th

Time: 7 pm EST

Engineering Consulting combines engineering, business, and client management skills, making it a dynamic and exciting career path. The skills required for Engineering Consulting evolve over one’s career, and include a balance between technical, business development, financial management, client management, project management, team work, and communication. We will discuss how to shape your cover letter, resume, and considerations for your interview. We will identify the skills you need to develop and how to navigate a career in Engineering Consulting to be successful. We will also review the principles of business management associated with Engineering Consulting.


• Shape your cover letter, resume, and be successful during the interview

• Identify and develop skills you need to navigate a career and be successful

• Understand the principles of business management associated with engineering consulting

Click here to register for the webinar!

Webinar next week: Challenges for women talking in meetings


Webinar date and time: March 14th at 9 PM EST

This experience may be familiar to many women: After witnessing men speaking their minds all day, you offer one firm opinion and it immediately gets perceived as angry, rude, or hostile. As a result, women have often learned to preface their ideas with “I’m sorry, but..” and “Don’t you also think…” The language of women speaking in meetings is a delicate balance: being direct without being offensive, being accommodating yet strong, being passionate while not seeming emotional.  In this session, we will all share experiences and address the biases that have created this language and ways to overcome them.

Click here to sign up for the webinar!


Work-Life Balance Webinar NEXT WEEK

Hello SWE! Check out our upcoming webinar on Monday!

The Great Balancing Act: Reviewing Goals and Achieving Work Life Balance on Jan 23 at 7PM EST
This workshop on Work Life Balance is meant to help analyze how you currently distribute your time and determine if you use it effectively to work toward your main goals. We want to enable you to identify the imbalances in your life, and learn some techniques to reorganize and maximize your time to achieve your goals. The session will begin by having the participants write down their 3 main goals such as family, career, fitness, travel etc. Then we will ask them to quickly map out their current time expenditures to determine if where they spend their time truly matches their goals. The session will then discuss some tactics for building a more balanced life and ways to help achieve goals. The tactics that will be covered are: 1) Set specific goals with reminders to stay focused. 2) Organize your work and personal life in one place: plan ahead, keep important notes in a visible place.  3) Build in downtime and personal time. 4) Learn how to say no and establish boundaries for yourself: Most women in SWE tend to be the “Superwoman” type and even we need to be able to say no. 5) Communication is key: be upfront with your boss on your needs. 6) Don’t overwork and overstress yourself, sometimes the overtime isn’t worth it.

“Moving from perfection to action” Webinar

Check out this upcoming webinar tomorrow

Moving from perfection to action: learn to be “good enough”

12/15 webinar at 1pm ET/12pm CT

Do you spend too much time fine-tuning your work?  Do you feel guilty when you submit something that isn’t quite “good enough”? Do you hold yourself back from taking on the next role because you aren’t quite ready yet?  Our research shows that ambitious women are their worst enemies when it comes to promotions. Seeking perfection in everything we do is a key obstacle. Too often we are so focused on perfecting every tactical move and detail that we lose sight of what’s really important (and frankly, don’t have the time for it!). Although perfection is a noble goal, it typically does not help land a bigger office or a fatter paycheck. In this webinar, you will learn: 1) how to prioritize and set expectations to showcase your impact; and 2) how to recognize the trappings of perfectionism and choose how to add value strategically.