Since SWENext was established, SWENexters all over the world have been making huge impacts on the engineering community. But what are they up to once they graduate high school? One SWENext alum, Emily Richard, has been continuing to use her engineering superpowers as a collegiate SWE member. Emily is now a junior electrical engineering student at the University of Pittsburgh, and she works as a co-op at a power analysis start-up. Before all of this, her engineering journey really began when she founded the SWENext Club at Fort Cherry High School near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
If you are interested in starting a SWENext Club or just want to learn more, email firstname.lastname@example.org!
Emily first learned of SWENext after volunteering at the SWE Design Lab at WELocal Pittsburgh in 2017. At the event, she felt surprised by the strong enthusiasm for engineering in the room. Because Emily attended a small high school, she had few opportunities to learn more about STEM in her day to day life. After that day, she decided that she wanted to be included in more conversations about STEM, so she signed up for SWENext! Soon after, she also decided to start a SWENext club at her school. Emily was able to recruit 15 junior and senior girls to join her club, and she led bi-weekly meetings. In these meetings, she talked about her experiences at STEM events and encouraged her members to pursue their interest in engineering. In addition to their meetings, her club regularly used the school’s Makerspace to complete engineering-related activities, like using lasers to carve pumpkins for Halloween.
Emily’s involvement in SWENext has heavily impacted her engineering career today! When she went off to college, she decided to join the University of Pittsburgh SWE section. She has held several leadership positions in her section; she served as the historian and elementary outreach chair, and she is currently the Vice President of Outreach. In this role, she works to promote SWENext and foster the next generation of SWENexters. She feels very proud of the work she’s accomplished, and she loves using her voice to guide the direction of Pitt SWE’s outreach, especially during the current digital climate. According to Emily, “I think I will always identify with being a SWENexter, so it is still very much a part of my identity today! SWENext launched not only my SWE career but my engineering career, too.”
“SWENext launched not only my SWE career but my engineering career, too.”