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.

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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?”

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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.

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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.

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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!

 

Sincerely,

Genevieve

 

 

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April Webinar: Engineering Consulting 101

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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.

Objectives:

• 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

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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.

Archived Webinars

Hi SWE!

Here are some past webinars that you may find useful. Email Celine at celine.liong@gmail.com if you have any webinar topics you’d like to see!

Earn $100,000 to Fund your Engineering Education

School is expensive, but your engineering education and degree are well worth the investment! Scholarships and fellowships can be extremely helpful for a number of reasons. In this talk, I will share a handful of tips and tricks to help you earn money for school through engineering scholarships (provided by SWE and other organizations and companies) and graduate fellowships (like NSF and NDSEG). I’m here to share tips and tricks that I haven’t seen elsewhere that have worked well for me. This information can also be applied to school applications.

 

Career Planning for College Students: I Am About to Graduate – What on Earth Do I Do Now?

Whether you started career planning and job searching a year ago, a month ago or today, there are a few things you can do to get the ball rolling to land a job you enjoy. Number 1: Don’t Panic! It’s never too late to launch a thoughtful strategy designed to land you employment. Number 2: Know you are valuable in myriad industries and ecosystems. In this webinar, designed specifically for students who are still in school/early in their career, you will learn specific tasks you can do RIGHT NOW to get a job and advance in your career. You will emerge with a solid and strategic plan that you can adapt at any stage of your career, but is especially valuable for those who are about to graduate or finish their postdoc and haven’t lined up a position yet. And perhaps equally important, you will leave the webinar feeling more confident and excited about what your near (and far) future holds for you.

Conflict Management Skills for Women (3 Part Webinar Series): How to Practice Patience, Show Confidence & Get the Results You Really Want: Part 1

They Don’t Teach Corporate in College

  • This one-hour webinar will address the most critical aspects of twenty-something on-the-job behavior and communication, and will provide attendees with concrete strategies they can use immediately to succeed in a professional environment. Understand the importance of the professional persona – or the mature, competent face you project to the work world – and the first impression.
  • Learn the basics of communicating assertively and using verbal, nonverbal, and ecommunication vehicles in an effective manner.
    Master the essential steps for networking effectively and securing a mentor and/or sponsor in your organization.
  • Troubleshoot negative emotions that arise in the workplace, including anger, frustration, and hurt.

WE16 Webinars

WE16 is around the corner and there are webinars coming up to help you prepare. Whether you’re a first-timer or an experienced attendee, the following webinars offer great tips on how to navigate the conference.

WE16 Orientation Sept 14, 2016 @ 11AM CT (15-20 min)

  • Describe all the communication tools that WE16 is using to advertise conference programming and events.
  • List the special events happening at WE16 (keynotes, career fair, banquets, etc.) and the highlights for both collegiate and professional members.
  • Identify what to do before, during, and after the conference to make the most of their conference experience.

What Not to Wear – SWE Conference Edition Sept 21, 2016 @ 11AM CT (15-30 min)

  • Describe the appropriate dress code for events at WE16 and other professional events.
  • Name specific “Do’s and Don’ts” for professional attire.
  • Identify how to exude confidence in a professional setting.

Networking for Newbies Sept 28, 2016 @ 11AM CT (15-30 min)

  • Name the benefits/importance of networking.
  • Identify gaps in their network to focus on building.

Career Fair Savvy Oct 3, 2016 @ 11AM CT (30 min)

  • Improve your chances of having a successful career fair.
  • Create a plan to make the best use of your time.
  • Understand the opportunities that the career fair can offer.