January marks National Mentoring Month and here at SWE we take pride in our numerous mentoring programs. Penny Wirsing, our current FY19 President, and Jessica Rannow from FY17 recently sat down at our SWE Podcast to discuss all the great options for mentoring. Check out the podcast here if you have not listened to it: Episode 58.
Having a mentor throughout your engineering career, whether you are just starting out in school or well into your career, can benefit you. It’s helpful to talk to someone and ask questions that you may not know. To start off with, it is key to think about what kind of mentor you want throughout your career whether you are in school or just starting off in your first job. Another important item to note is whether you want an informal, virtual mentor or more formal face-to-face mentor arrangement.
If you are in high school and considering a career in engineering, SWENext is a great place to get started. SWENext is a free program for students — you can find more information about how to get involved at SWENext.
For college students, you can join the SWE chapter on your campus where you can find many wonderful mentors and network with other college women in STEM. Graduate students also can seek mentors through GradSWE. Along with joining your SWE section, you can also attend our WE Local conferences that happen all around the country. These are great opportunities to network, find a mentor, reconnect with long-time friends and meet new contacts.. For more information about where these WE Local conferences will be taking place go to WE Local.
Once you become established in your career, you may want to give back and serve as a mentor for a young female engineer. There are some online resources available for this, including, Fab Fems is an excellent option. Students can go to the website to find women with a wide variety in engineering.
No matter what stage you are in in your career, having a mentor allows you to talk to someone about issues and challenges that come up. Mentors can help you navigate your way at a new college or university or assist you with a job search.
To find all the resources discussed in the podcast, visit: SWE Mentoring.