By Marta Wicke, Senior Strategic Project Manager at the Clorox Company. She is currently serving as a SWE Senator, Mt. Diablo Section President and WE Local Advisory Board member.
How you can give back Locally at WE Local
One thing I love about SWE is the support from other women and the opportunity to give back, regardless of your experience level. And WE Local is no exception with many opportunities to volunteer your time and talents to help make a difference in the lives of women in STEM. In addition to good vibes, if you volunteer for at least 2 hours, you will get 20% off your Premier or Career Fair registration.
Here are some tips for various volunteering opportunities:
- Local Conductor or Navigator (General Assistance/Directional)
No experience needed, just a friendly smile! You will be trained to check-in attendees and hand-out badges, or direct participants to the right rooms. Added bonus, you will learn where everything is as you get asked lots of questions, and you get to wear a fun purple lei.
- Local Connector (Room monitor)
This is one of my personal favorite roles because you get to listen to a session *and* help the speaker at the same time. Be sure to arrive early to help with any prep like finding AV support. Don’t forget to add a personal note to the Thank You card about what you enjoyed from their presentation.
- SWENext DesignLab and Collegiate Competition
Who doesn’t love Outreach? At some locations (Baltimore, St. Louis and Denver), there will be a Saturday event called DesignLab focused on Middle school girls and parents from the local area. Volunteer positions range from activity helpers to field specific ambassadors. The Collegiate competitions are always looking for judges to evaluate technical posters and interview the Undergrad and Graduate students. It is always gratifying to reach out and support the next generation in their pursuit of STEM.
And if you get so inspired that you want to get more involved in WE Local next year, consider serving on a Local Host Committee (LHC) or the Local Advisory Board (LAB). Each group provides a different perspective to the program and conference. Learn more about the roles and positions at the 2019 WE Local conferences by attending the "WE Local-101" session. View the agenda for details. 2020 WE Local host cities will be announced and the call for LAB positions will open in the Spring.
As you plan and prepare for your WE Local experience, don’t forget to set goals for yourself.
I usually target three things:
- Professional development topics to bring back to my work team
- Ideas to share with my SWE Section for future events
- Meet new, interesting people to add to my network
Remember, connections and opportunities to learn are guaranteed when you include volunteer experience in your schedule.
To see more volunteer opportunities, see the site-specific city WE local pages at welocal.swe.org: