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Fundraising Underway for WE18

In less than a month, more than ten percent of the entire Olin student population will attend WE18, billed as the World’s Largest Conference for Women Engineers, which is being held this year in Minneapolis, Minnesota. WE18’s theme is Let’s Break Boundaries because women engineers of all ages “are breaking boundaries both personally and for women across the globe”.

The conference is an opportunity for Oliners to meet women engineers outside of the Olin bubble and to participate in activities and sessions that focus on specific areas of interest.

WE18 attendees from previous years have primarily been first years, but this year female students from all grades are attending. That may be because WE18 has a reputation as a resource for finding jobs and internships. It doesn’t hurt that students have an opportunity to interact with big name companies.

Attendees participate in three group activities while also attending info sessions and talks that focus on careers in STEM. Some discussions like “Landing Your Dream Internship” offer career advice, while others such as “Blockchain – from Hype to real Value” are more technical.

Registrants can submit their resumes prior to the conference, they can also attend the conference career fair where they can scope out internships and jobs. Often, students have interviews lined up after the first day of the conference. Students are encouraged to network with their peers, young professionals and people who are established in the STEM field.

Olin’s Allison Bassore is looking forward to WE18 because she wants to connect with other female engineers. Bassore is hoping to find a company that supports women in engineering and believes that career and technical advice accompanied with the chance to hear real stories from women who have been where she is in her career is invaluable. “More than just finding an internship, I also benefited from the conference talks and information sessions when I attended previously,” said Bassore. “It is not every day that you get the chance to hear real stories and advice from the women who have been where I am in my career right now. I believe the career advice and technical information from the talks are priceless.”

While the WE18 experience may be priceless, the event itself comes at a cost. There are registration, travel and rooming fees that can be barriers for many who would like to attend. Unsurprisingly, true to the “Let’s Break Barriers” theme of this year’s event, Oliners are breaking down those barriers with a fundraising plan which includes applying for a grant to cover some of the rooming and registration costs.

The group is also hosting a SWE Krispy Kreme fundraiser on Saturday, October 6.

If you would like to help out with fundraising for this event, please go to WE18 GoFundMe and make a donation.

If all goes well, 43 Oliners will be on their way to Minnesota in October.