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CLI Experience: Saman Ataabadi

Read this blog post written by Saman “Sam” Ataabadi, a recent graduate of the University of Houston.
CLI Experience : Saman Ataabadi -

The Collegiate Leadership Institute (CLI) is a year-round program dedicated to identifying, supporting, and better preparing female collegiate engineering students to become the leaders of tomorrow in STEM. CLI hosts 150 women students in engineering from September to April for virtual speaker sessions with industry and leadership experts, offers access to exclusive curated content on Advance, and includes participation in SWE’s annual WE conference. Next year’s CLI applications will open on July 15th. SWE is grateful for the support of ARDC, Keysight, and GM to make this program possible. Read on for Saman’s experience with CLI this year!  Applications for the upcoming CLI program will open  July 15th! Check the CLI page for more info and to apply. 

The 2022 ALWE Program Recap: What is your priority? - ALWE The 2022 ALWE Program Recap: What is your priority? - ALWEThe 2022 ALWE Program Recap: What is your priority? - ALWE

I am quite fortunate to be a part of the CLI program where the biggest incentive is leadership development. As an underrepresented minority in STEM academics as well as in the Oil and Gas industry, I aspire to not only advance as an individual, however, learn the tools in order to promote the growth of other women and trailblaze for young girls. With that being said, an important aspect of leadership development is managing bias (unconscious or conscious).

I learned many tools during my time in the CLI program which I did not learn either in my academics or career on managing bias. I also appreciated the techniques I learned in supporting peers when witnessing bias they experienced. In addition to learning these techniques, having a safe space to discuss experiences  with like-minded peers is also another developmental opportunity.

Overall, I had a positive experience in the CLI program and take away many learnings such as career acceleration and networking opportunities which I know will further improve and enhance myself in my future endeavors. Lastly and most importantly, the CLI program grants the opportunity to attend the annual SWE conferences which I find invaluable. My absolute favorite aspect of being a member of SWE is participating in the annual conference to not only network, however, listen to the fantastic leaders during their keynote speeches and learning acceleration courses.  


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