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Below are more experiences from Dallas SWE members who attended WE14 in Los Angeles, CA October 22-25, 2014.  Enjoy!

Laura Geiger, SWE Region C Membership Chair

 I really enjoyed reconnecting with past leadership who I worked with as a Senator and seeing them now as higher ups in SWE. All the sessions I attended were very well done. I learned some interesting tidbits from these sessions such as :

1. 16%= typical engineering grad rate of females (highest was 24%)
2. After attending a SWE conference, one GUY was a better father and husband b/c he saw life thru a different lens. He also thought it helped him communicate with his son.
3. Quiet your inner self doubt by looking at yourself from the 3rd person
4. Lead with your heart!

Neha Dobhal, SWE Dallas Vice President of Membership

 I had a wonderful experience at the international SWE conference this year. My time was divided into attending a couple of immensely motivating speaker sessions and recruiting for Abbott Labs, the company I work for, at the career fair.

Session Highlights – One of the sessions I attended was for the corporate council members and was based on ‘communication at work’. My biggest takeaway from this session that most people can be divided into being action, process, idea and people oriented. As such communication styles can vary across the board. It is important, as a professional, to be aware of personality types around you and suitably adapt your communication style. Hearing this message again at the SWE conference, really embedded this concept in my brain and since I have been back, I have had fun exploring its applications. Another very informational session I attended was the advancement of STEM and women in STEM in emerging economies, such as India. This has always been a topic close to my heart and it was so inspiring to hear that this was a topic discussed at the national conference. The advancement made in this field so far is commendable and I left the session feeling very hopeful and resolved to do my bit for this cause!

Recruiting Fair – As always, recruiting at the regional and national SWE conferences, has been a fun experience and this time turned out to be even better. A few companies had exciting product exhibits out, while most others gave away fun promotional items.Before the career fair started, I took a walk around the exhibit hall, talking to fellow recruiters and looking at booths, I was amazed at the camaraderie between women from different companies who were at the SWE conference. We were all there to motivate women to embrace challenging careers and provide resources to help them along the way. As the fair started, I had the opportunity to speak to a lot of attendees about Abbott and discuss their passion for healthcare/medical devices and their motivation to work at Abbott. While it is always tough to narrow down candidates for interviews and eventual job offers, I was really pleased to see the level of motivation and talent these women possess. Through the process, I learned a lot about the different schools people were attending and the different academic/professional projects in which they were involved. Almost everyone at the Abbott Booth was a current engineer or had been an engineer at some point in his/her past life and as such set an motivating example before these women. The overall turnout at the career fair was great and it was incredibly tough choosing between so many talented women for the position we were hiring.I congratulate all the attendees who took the first step of attending the conference for various reasons, be it attending the sessions, getting motivated or furthering their career. At the same time, for those who have never attended a conference or are planning to attend the next one at Nashville, I would highly recommend it ! It is absolutely thrilling to be in the company of dynamic, motivated and hard working women who have high aspirations to change this world for the better!

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