Intern Insight: Alex Schussler

My name is Alex Schussler and I will be graduating with a degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Arkansas this upcoming spring. This past summer I had the opportunity to intern with L’Oeral in an operations role. I learned so much from this experience and I hope all of you find an internship as fun as mine!intern

Showing my family the facility re-design I got to implement!

I had never been inside a manufacturing plant before, and it was crazy how many different robots are used in the production of make-up. My job was specifically working in the distribution center with one other intern. My days started at 7am, where I’d make sure to walk around the facility to check on the teams I was working with. Then, I would attend daily production meetings where we would figure out which customers were the priority for the day, what shipments would make it out on time, and discuss any recent incidents. After these meetings, I spent the rest of the day working on my projects. One of the key things I learned from this experience was to always ask questions. Almost everyone you meet wherever you work will most likely be willing to help. I had the chance to work with some amazing people, and I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish a whole lot without them.

On top of all of the amazing people, I also got exposed to a new industry that I hadn’t considered working in before. Figuring out what you want to do for a career is hard, and internships are there to help you figure things out. With L’Oreal I got the chance to make some great friends, network with different types of people, and most importantly get me closer to deciding what I want to do upon graduation. I highly encourage every college student to intern for a summer or two, and if you’re given the opportunity to co-op, do it! These opportunities truly help shape you to become the best engineer you can be.

Lamar University Outstanding Member: Kimberly West

cv-picLamar University’s section outstanding member is Kimberly West. Kimberly has done an amazing job as our Social Officer! She is not only our social media guru, but she has planned several fun social events where members can spend time together relaxing and building friendships. We are so thankful for all of her hard work in facilitating the growth of our section. She not only excels in SWE, though! Kimberly is a very active student on campus. She is also an officer in Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society and a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and Lamar University College of Engineering Ambassadors. Kimberly has also had two internships – she was the Reliability Engineer Intern at Evergreen and the Power, Recovery, and Technical Sales Services Co-op at WestRock.
We are so lucky to call Kimberly one of our SWEesters!

FY17 Region C award nomination packets posted

FY17 Region C award nominations are due 12/20 at midnight. Award winners will be announced at Region C Conference! #SWERegionC2017
Click the following link for more information and for the award packets:
For quick reference I have listed the collegiate awards.
Section Awards:
1. Outstanding Section Award
2. Outstanding Section Participation Award
3. Outstanding/Innovative New SWE Program/Activity
4. Outstanding/Innovative Existing SWE Program/Activity
5. Most Creative Membership Campaign Award
Individual Member Awards:
1. Emerging Leader (Collegiate) Award
Joint Professional & Collegiate Award:
1. Joint Professional and Collegiate Activity Award (submitted jointly by Professional/MAL and Collegiate Sections)

Post WE16 To Do’s

I hope all of you collegiates were able to catch up on your schoolwork since then end of WE16 over a week ago. Even though conference is over, there are still some things you should be doing to make the most of your WE16 experience. I have compiled a list of tasks to help you take advantage of the large number of resources you gathered while at conference.

  1. Think about those goals that you brainstormed before heading to conference.

Creating an action list and a takeaway list will help ensure that all your conference goals were reached. An action list will put you on track to keep any promises you made during the conference and a takeaway list should help you put what you learned into practice.

  1. Share what you learned with others.

Share any knowledge that you took away from the conference with SWE members who were not able to attend. Whether you learned a solution to an officer problem or a piece of advice that you think would help friends grow personally or professionally, I encourage you to spread your knowledge.

  1. Compile your session notes.

This will make it easier for you to share information with others. It will also make it easier for you to find your notes useful when you look back on them at a later date.

  1. Remember all those business cards you picked up … use them.

Email the contacts you made to follow up or to simply say that it was nice to meet them. Make your message personalized by mentioning something related to the conversation you had. You never know where a connection may take you.

  1. Keep in touch with you new friends.

Did you hit it off with SWEesters from around the world? Don’t wait till the next conference to talk to them again! Connect with them on social media so you can ask them questions or share funny anecdotes from your life; I’m sure they will love to hear from you.

  1. Fill out post-conference surveys.

People work very hard to put on these huge conferences. Letting them know what you liked and what can be improved help ensure your experience next year will be even better.

  1. Send thank you notes to those who helped send you to conference.

Send a thank you letter or email to your university, company, or anyone who helped you fundraise. Including a few things that you learned will let them know that it was worth their effort and money to send you.

I hope that you all gained so much from WE16 that you are now planning to do it all over again at WE17 in Austin, TX next year!

Intern Insight: Jennifer Watters

My name is Jennifer Watters and I am a sophomore in chemical engineering at Lamar University.  This fall I am interning with ExxonMobil Chemical Company in Beaumont.  Even though I have only been working for a month, I have learned more acronyms, software systems, and concepts than I expected to in my entire term.  Going into an internship with thermodynamics as the only engineering course under your belt is intimidating to say the least.  Thankfully, no one expects you to know all of the answers.  One of my favorite things about my co-op is the freedom I have to ask questions.  My big piece of advice: don’t be afraid to ask questions.  As a co-op, you are essentially being paid to learn, so take advantage of it!  My coworkers have been so incredibly helpful and willing to spend the time necessary to ensure I understand what I’m doing and why I’m doing it.

A typical day for me consists of working on my projects, updating my projects sponsors, and attending safety meetings.  But without a doubt, field walks are the highlight of my week.  While it looks like a jumble of pipes and towers at first glance, once you understand what goes on inside, it’s hard not to get excited about the beauty of engineering  (I’m geeking out just typing about it).  The most surprising aspect of my co-op so far has been the safety culture and recognizing how it has affected me outside the work environment.  Industrial facilities place a huge emphasis on safety, and Exxon is certainly no exception.  I find myself using handrails to walk up two steps or honking before I back-up at the dorms.  It gives you a new perspective on your day-to-day activities.
My last piece of advice: enjoy your time as a co-op.  It goes by more quickly than you realize.  At some point, you have to go back and actually finish your degree (homework, ugh).  But have fun, make great friends, and learn a lot.  Best of luck to you all!watters

Getting the most out of WE16

WE16 starts in THREE days! Hopefully you were already aware of this, but if you are like me, you may have let conference sneak up on you! Don’t worry if you haven’t done much prepping for the event yet, I’ve got some tips to help you make the most of your time during your two or three days in Philadelphia.

  1. Define your personal and professional goals for conference.

Knowing what you want to get out of the conference helps you know who to network with and what questions to

  1. Download the WE16 app, “Explore WE16”.

Use the app, as well as the website, to find events and companies that interest you. Trust me, its handy.

  1. Attend as many events as you can!

My favorite conference activity is the Hospitality Suites on Thursday evening. They are a great way to network and learn, eat some awesome food, and get some cool freebies. Actually, these reasons to attend can be applied to almost any event at WE16.

  1. Map out what you want to do while at conference.

Decide which sessions you want to attend, companies or people you want to talk to, tours you want to take, or anything else you plan on doing in Philadelphia. This will help you prioritize the events you want to attend during these busy few days.

  1. Help a friend out and split up the work.

Go to a different session than a friend so that you can share notes and learn from each other’s sessions. It’s almost like being in two places at once!

  1. Wear business clothes that are professional, but most importantly comfortable.

Business casual clothes are suitable for most events at WE16, but if you are in search for a job I would suggest dressing more business. The most important recommendation I have for you though, is to wear comfortable shoes! You will be walking a lot while at conference.

  1. Attend both technical and non-technical sessions.

Depending on what skills you are trying to develop, you may want to attend more of one type of session.

  1. Upload your resume to and research companies that will be at the career fair.

If you are on the hunt for an internship or a full-time job, this is a must. I have already had some companies contact me just because they have seen my resume on SWEs career website. Also, I recommend going to booths of companies you are most interested in first so that you have a chance of getting an interview with them before their slots fill up.

This list above is definitely not exhaustive. You can listen to four, free webinars in the Advanced Learning Center on the SWE website for more information. Go to Webinar Recordings and then Career Management & Life Transitions. There will be four WE16 webinars under this tab:we16_tagline

  1. WE16 Orientation
  2. WE16 Career Fair Savvy
  3. WE16 Networking for Newbies
  4. WE16 What not to wear – SWE Conference Edition

I hope that my list gave you somewhere to start when preparing and thinking about WE16. In addition to being a great networking and career building opportunity, conference is also a lot of fun, so get excited!

University of Houston Outstanding Member: Mariana De Freitas

Mariana De Freitas is an active member in the Society of Women Engineers. She’s a junior getting her Bachelor’s Degree in Petroleum Engineering. Mariana is part of the Society of Petroleum Engineers as well as the Outreach Committee for SWE. Mariana got involved with SWE during her first year as a transfer student in Fall 2014.Outside of school Mariana enjoys dancing, traveling, watching movies, and spending time with her family and friends.thumbnail_mariana