Society of Women Engineers helps students land internships

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Members of BYU’s Society of Women Engineers attend the Society of Women Engineers National Conference in 2018. (BYU Society of Women Engineers)

BYU’s Society of Women Engineers welcomes men and women to join the club to support women in the engineering field and to encourage all engineers to achieve their dreams.

According to mechanical engineer professor and club adviser Julie Crockett, the club exists to empower women to succeed and advance in the engineering field.

“SWE is the driving force that establishes engineering as a highly desirable career for women through an exciting array of training and development programs, networking opportunities, scholarships, outreach and advocacy activities,” Crockett said.

SWE was founded in 1950 and its mission has since remained the same. Crockett was a member during her undergraduate experience at the University of Denver in the early 2000s.

There are many opportunities and events for SWE members, according to Crockett. These include the Society of Women Engineers National Conference, networking opportunities, monthly meetings and service opportunities.

SWE treasurer and chemical engineering junior Hannah Robinson said SWE has helped her catch a vision of who she wants to be as a woman professional in the workforce.

“Sometimes it’s really hard to establish yourself, and it does a great job of empowering the individual to keep going,” Robinson said. “I’ve learned more about myself and what I want to be doing.”

SWE members at their opening social. (BYU Society of Women Engineers)

Robinson attended the SWE National Conference in 2018 and networked with many of the companies present at the conference.

Robinson ended up landing an internship with Halyard Health, a medical device company. According to Robinson, if it weren’t for SWE she would not have had the opportunity to intern with Halyard Health.

Computer engineering sophomore Sarah Cheng serves as SWE’s service and outreach chair. Cheng also had the opportunity to attend the SWE National Conference.

“Even though companies weren’t looking to hire sophomores, I had a better idea of how to be more marketable in the future because of SWE,” Cheng said. “I was able to figure out what I need to do right now to plan for the future.”

However, being a sophomore didn’t stop Cheng from getting an internship. Cheng received an offer to intern for Intel this summer in Portland, where she will assist in designing computer chips.

According to Cheng, SWE encourages male engineers to come to meetings and be a part of the organization too. Anyone who is interested is welcome to participate.

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