On February 17, the University’s chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) connected 65 students with 11 companies through its annual Evening with Industry (EWI) event. As a result of the virtual delivery of this year’s event and the outreach efforts of the Society of Women Engineers, for the first time ever, students from Truckee Meadows Community College, Western Nevada College, and the University of Nevada Las Vegas were also able to participate. SWE President Victoria Defilippi and EWI Coordinators Lily Raymond and Mackenzie Santor-Vaz organized the event.
“This event is important to me because it is a tradition that the Society of Women Engineers have continued for 27 years and it is amazing to be a part of a legacy like that,” Santor-Vaz said. “For students I think this event is an important way to network for potential jobs and internships in a more personal capacity than at a career fair. It is also a great way to learn about people who are practicing the discipline you are learning about in school.”
After participants came back from separate zoom rooms with industry representatives, Natalie Little provided a keynote address. Currently the Intermountain Regional Sustainability and Climate Coordinator for the USDA Forest Service, Little received her M.S. in Land Use Planning from the University and is a licensed civil engineer in both Utah and Nevada. Little was the charter president of the professional Sierra Nevada Section of the Society of Women Engineers in 2000-2001.
Little spoke about the importance of crafting a mission statement that is focused on both personal and professional goals, employing sound decision-making when weighing life decisions, and having a professional online presence.
When asked about the importance of the kind of mentoring SWE promotes, Little said, “I had great mentors when I was starting out in my career, and I feel I have a responsibility to reach out to the up and coming generations and help where I can. Plus, students have great ideas and are fun to meet!”
“UNR SWE did a fantastic job of pulling together their members and hosting this amazing networking event.”
And as for the event itself, Little added, “UNR SWE did a fantastic job of pulling together their members and hosting this amazing networking event. It was easy to get in and out of the break-out groups and meet company representatives and students.”
Among the employers present was Facebook. Natalie King—program manager, hardware engineering for Facebook—spoke of the importance of events like Evening with Industry.
“We love supporting future engineers as they look to start their own career journeys and are especially passionate about supporting communities such as the Society of Women Engineers,” she said. “It’s important that we extend the hands of mentorship and allyship to these young professionals, just as others before did for us; it’s how we continue to grow future innovators, leaders, and the change makers in our industry.”
Mentoring workshop: March 24
If you missed Evening with Industry but would still like to receive career guidance, not to worry. On March 24, SWE will host a Mentoring Workshop over Zoom. The interactive workshop is open to University student as well as local community college students. It is designed to help students understand the importance of receiving mentorship and how to approach potential mentors to ask for their help.