In our monthly post highlighting SWE Scholarships, we learn about the SWE members who received them, and how they benefitted from the program. This month’s SWE Scholar is Tess Gauthier.
- What scholarship were you awarded?
GE Women’s Network Scholarship
- What were your goals in pursuing this scholarship?
My goal was to receive an award to help fund my junior year of college at Boston University. I learned about the Society of Women Engineer’s scholarship program my senior year of high school, and had applied each year since then.
- What did the scholarship allow you to do/how did you use the scholarship?
I used the scholarship to pay a portion of my tuition. I spent the Spring semester of my sophomore year studying abroad in Dresden, Germany, and when I found out I received the scholarship, in early May, it definitely lessened some of my financial concerns about the paying for the upcoming year.
- Did the scholarship impact you beyond the financial?
Yes, I had the opportunity to learn more about the GE Women’s Network. They were very supportive in talking to me about starting my career, and connecting me with people within GE to learn more about what they do, as well.
- What if you hadn’t received the SWE scholarship?
If I had not received the scholarship, I would have needed to take out more loans, or relied on my parents to cover some of the financial costs, for the upcoming year. I also would not have had the opportunity to connect with members of the GE Women’s Network.
- What is one piece of advice you’d give to a current applicant?
My main piece of advice for a current applicant is to have confidence, not only in applying for scholarships, but in other aspects of academics, and life, in general. I did not expect to receive a scholarship, but I figured it would not hurt to apply, and it happened to work out pretty well, I’d say! Sometimes we compare ourselves to others and feel like we’re just not good enough, but that’s not true. I think it’s something that definitely takes time to develop, but confidence is important.
- Where were your photos snapped?
– One is just a headshot from a recent career fair.
– In the bright rain jacket, I am in Cologne, Germany last summer. Behind me you can see part of the Cologne Cathedral.
– The picture with the robot on screen is from a presentation I gave at my old high school over winter break about engineering and the grand challenges facing society. I’m a member of the Technology Innovation Scholars Program (TISP) at BU, and this is part of what we do. Sorry it’s so dark!
- How long have you been a SWE member?
I’ve been a member of Boston University’s chapter of SWE since my freshmen year, so for the past two and a half years. I became a National Member during my second semester of freshman year.
- How has being a SWE member impacted you, professionally and personally?
Through SWE, I’ve had the opportunity to meet fellow students, alumni, and other professionals, which provided me with insight on engineering coursework and careers. At Boston University, SWE has a mentorship program between freshmen and upperclassmen. Through SWE events and coffee dates, I received a lot of guidance about recommended classes and professors, as well as other ways to get involved on campus, which helped enormously my first year at BU. This past semester, we also held a networking night, which was a great opportunity to speak with alumni, and other professionals, about their experiences working in industry. Overall, being of member of SWE definitely helped me acclimate to my studies during my first year of college, and has allowed me to meet and connect with others students, who are facing the same struggles.