On Saturday April 6, 2019 over 50 attendees from across the state of Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula traveled to Oshkosh, WI to attend SWE-Wisconsin’s (SWE-WI) professional development day event – Spring Forward with SWE. A multitude of professional members attended along with college students from 6 different SWE sections..
The event kicked off with two facility tours on Friday night and Saturday morning at a local engineering company Plexus, one of the corporate sponsors of the event. The main event started in the afternoon with six professional development sessions offered over three different time blocks. Topics included “Working with Global and Remote Teams,” “#BeThatEngineer Role Model through Outreach,” and a Technical to Management Transition panel. Oshkosh Corporation, another event sponsor, offered resume screening throughout the event and had one of their trucks on hand to demonstrate their finished products.
After the last session block, members networked amongst each other while viewing professional development books for sale, picked up their pre-ordered SWE Wisconsin polos, and found a seat for dinner. Attendees were then delighted by keynote speaker Angela Johnston of Kimberly-Clark, another event sponsor, as she discussed her journey and offered insights on “Engineering You”. The dinner program concluded with the annual Celebrate SWE-WI awards recognizing scholarship winners, graduating seniors, and section award winners for their contributions in FY19. To conclude the evening, a painting event at a local art studio was offered.
This event was a great way to pull members together and make professional development more accessible to professional and collegiate SWE members in the SWE-WI territory. It was made successful by harnessing the strengths of the very talented members throughout the SWE-WI professional section to both plan the event and present professional development content from their experiences. In preparing for Spring Forward with SWE, members gathered historical data about the SWE Wisconsin section. One of the key moments showcased was its founding back in 1967 as SWE- Milwaukee with only 13 members up to its growth of 296 members served today. The event would not have been possible without the generous support of our five corporate sponsors: Oshkosh Corporation, Plexus, Kimberly-Clark, Caterpillar, and Basset Mechanical.
Check out some pictures from the event:
The road to Spring Forward 2019
In 2006, our section took its first stab at a professional development event. In 2008 we began working towards creating a SWE-WI scholarship as well as getting back into formalizing some internal section awards. Throughout this time we co-hosted dinners in Madison and Milwaukee to celebrate members graduation. Then in 2011 we started having a section awards banquet again and began merging these programs. In 2018, around the time SWE dissolved regions, HQ started putting on WE Local events. But in 2019 there weren’t any WE Locals close to our members, so some of our ambitious section leaders initiated this Spring Forward event. We look forward to hosting many more events for our SWE-WI members.