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A Hybrid Event That Combines the Best of Both Worlds

A Hybrid Event That Combines the Best of Both Worlds

Noteworthy things are happening during WE21, so I encourage you to participate in as many conference activities as you can and connect with one another, online or in person.

Rachel.Morford_headshot
Rachel.Morford
FY21 SWE President

We’re taking the best parts of our virtual conference from 2020 and integrating them with some of the most exciting traditions from our in-person events, creating a hybrid event that promises to be the best SWE conference ever!

Fall has always been one of my favorite seasons. When I was younger, it meant the excitement of starting the brand-new school year, complete with a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils. After I attended my first annual SWE conference in 2004, the annual tradition of meeting up with thousands of other women engineers made me eagerly anticipate the fall for different reasons. This year, my excitement as we approached Oct. 20 was greater than ever, because once again, we’ll be able to meet in person to learn, grow, celebrate, inspire, and be inspired. We’re taking the best parts of our virtual conference from 2020 and integrating them with some of the most exciting traditions from our in-person events, creating a hybrid event that promises to be the best SWE conference ever!

I had the privilege to speak with each of our keynote speakers on episodes of SWE’s Diverse Podcast earlier this year, and I’m looking forward to learning more from their experiences. I know each of these remarkable leaders has an inspirational message for us! It’s always hard to choose which session to go to during conference because so many fantastic topics are offered at the same time. It’s exciting that you don’t have to choose this year — the virtual sessions will be available to watch and re-watch for the next three months.

It’s always fun to run into SWE friends in the hallways of the conference centers as we are heading to sessions, but the career fair is where I’ve always connected with the most people. It’s a central hub of activity during conference, with tangible excitement in the air as each person talks with their dream company. We’re back to packing our most comfortable dress shoes this year (I recommend nice flats!), but be sure to also pick out your best virtual background because the career fair is going hybrid as well. In-person recruiting and interviewing will take place in Indianapolis on Thursday and Friday this week, and I look forward to meeting you at the career fair and hearing about how you impressed the recruiters or rocked an interview; hopefully, you’ll share the good news that you found an internship or full-time job! Don’t forget to log in to the virtual career fair on Oct 26 so you can connect with companies online.

There are so many other noteworthy things happening this week at WE21 — from the networking sessions with each affinity group to our “Invent It. Build It.” event and Outreach Expo. I encourage you to participate in as many conference activities as you can and to connect with one another — both this week and over the course of the year. As you #AspiretoInspire during #WE21 — whether online or in person — be sure to connect with @SWETalk and @SWEPresident on social media. I want to hear about the women you meet or whom you aspire to be like! And I know that you’ll inspire those around you, whether you realize it or not.

Rachel Morford
FY22 SWE President

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