I loved getting to know professors on a personal level beyond the classroom, and left each lunch inspired by their stories of surmounting the barriers they faced as female engineers during their career. To this day, the advice and support of the faculty mentors I met through Faculty Lunches motivates me to pursue a career in academia using engineering to make a difference in medicine and patient care.
As an upperclassman, I sought to expand SWE’s mentorship platforms to provide space for upperclassmen to share advice with underclassmen who face the same challenges we tackled as freshmen. Last year, we launched our SWE Siblings Mentorship Program, where incoming freshmen are matched with sophomores and seniors based on academic and extracurricular interests. Through this program, I walk my mentees through everything from 4-year planning and approaching professors to secure undergraduate research positions. Most importantly, I encourage them to find and pursue whatever it is in engineering that they are passionate about, even if they are told it can’t be done and especially if no one has done it before.
Mentorship motivates us to get back on our feet when we feel defeated, and inspires us to follow new paths that may have previously seemed out of reach. By fostering a community around mentorship, SWE empowers its members as leaders to enact change in our own unique engineering sphere of influence, both on campus and beyond.