This event recap was written by SWE local ambassador Zhu Wei from Cummins, China.
On 27th November, 2019, there was an exciting event named: “Are you ready to work?” at Jiangnan University in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, China. The event was organized by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Wuxi affiliate—the first SWE professional affiliate in China—and co-lead by three SWE Corporate Partnership Council (CPC) companies: Cummins, Caterpillar, and Honeywell. The activity was successfully promoted by SWE to the university students and by company employees’ face-to-face communication, and ultimately expanded students’ professional network and knowledge.
Since SWE is new to the community, I began the event by introducing SWE to all of the attendees, speaking to SWE’s history, programs, awards, etc., combined with personal experiences and the 2019 SWE activities summary.
After the brief introduction to SWE, a discussion panel took place. The panel was comprised of three excellent female engineers from the three companies, discussing separate experiences and advice on a united theme: preparation for the workplace. Honeywell software manager Penny Wang put emphasis on choosing the work direction correctly—encouraging the audience to look at the big, long-term picture for their future and to consider multiple factors when making choices. Cummins senior technical project leader Fan Hong then highlighted differences from campus life to a professional setting: the work environment is a society with different ages, cultures, and backgrounds and adheres to certain rules. To round out the discussion panel, Caterpillar global sales consultant Helen Yuan expressed what kind of preparation can be done by students before they are employed, and what would need to be learned or acquired after entering the workplace.
The amazing content from the well-prepared panelists really captivated the audience, especially in the Q&A session, where many useful and valuable answers and tips were provided directly to the students who raised their questions and concerns. The downside was that we all wished that there had been more time allotted for the Q&A session!
This is the first time a SWE affiliate event was held by a local team in China. It brought SWE to more people in the community and helped the companies become familiar with potential new employees. Both the students and the companies benefitted from the event, and now have more interest in SWE and more willingness to take part in future SWE activities.
A big “THANKS!” to the team that worked together to ensure the activity was held in an impactful way. And thank you to each one of you reading this article because I am sure you will share this news from China to more people around the world. Together, we can all make SWE better here in China and around the world!