The past week, I was fortunate enough to attend SHPE’s national conference in Baltimore, MD along with 11 other Lehigh undergraduate members. SHPE (The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers) is a national organization that helps promote the growth and success of its members by planning and focusing programs and events on 5 pillars: Academics, Community Outreach, Leadership Development, Chapter Development, and Professional Development. As a female Hispanic engineer at Lehigh, it was important for me to attend this conference as I saw this as a time to expand my network and also gain motivation from other Hispanics in engineering disciplines.
At the conference, one thing SHPE did tthis year was organize a track for female Hispanic engineers. This track was filled with workshops and luncheons for girls to attend and there was also a panel hosted by Boeing. Being present at this panel of Boeing female executives and managers was amazing. We got to hear about their personal experiences and also about how they dealt with both struggles and accomplishments as they made their way up the career path. And since females in general are few in numbers in engineering disciples, I felt more motivated to come back to Lehigh and plan events to increase the number of females.
This conference was very informational as well: from resume workshops, hospitality suites, and a career fair to research symposiums based on the work of some of the student attendees, there was a lot going on and the organization made sure it touched upon a lot of aspects that would help the growth of a lot of its members. Although the planning for this event was stressful, I felt fortunate that a lot of Lehigh faculty helped make this possible for all 12 of us attendees since this is something that not all schools are able to afford for their students. I am definitely looking forward to next year’s national conference in Seattle, OR!