Your collegiate section is your SWE niche: it’s a great on-campus resource and a perfect way to begin building your network among peers and friends. However, if you’re looking for more, to reach above and beyond, consider getting involved in SWE outside of your collegiate section!

1) Region and Annual Conferences
Many of you already discovered the world of SWE outside your college in Orlando, during this year’s WE10 conference! From a huge career fair, to networking with professionals all over the world, to fantastic leadership workshops, these conferences are a great way to get exposure to SWE at a higher level.

If the Society Conference is daunting–or perhaps outside of your budget–be sure to make it out to your region conference! The 2011 Region C Conference will be held from January 28th-30th in Austin, TX. This is your chance to mingle with SWE collegiates all over Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana, along with getting to know the professionals from this Gulf Coast region. Register now!

2) Leadership Beyond Your Collegiate Section
If you’ve got what it takes–and as an active SWEer, you definitely do!–take on a leadership position within your region! The Region Collegiate Team includes the RCR (Region Collegiate Representative), RCCE (Region Collegiate Communications Editor), the RCS (Region Collegiate Senator), and the SWEFL (SWE Future Leader). As a regional officer, you not only learn more about SWE at a higher level, but you also have the opportunity to improve SWE, help sections all over your region become more active, network with collegiates and professionals beyond your region, and you gain great leadership experience! Keep in mind that all candidates interesting in running for these positions have the opportunity to speak at the region conference–so, if you want to apply and run for any of these positions, be sure to make it out to Austin for the conference!

3) Network with Professional Sections
SWE goes beyond the collegiate level. Get to know the professionals in your section, or even your region! Organize a lunch meetup for your collegiate section and your local professional section. This is a great networking opportunity, and a chance to learn more about what SWE members can do once out in the ‘real world’!