- Get involved with research that could change the world
- Make a friend from every continent (except perhaps Antarctica)
- Go to Reading Terminal Market
- Invent and design an innovative product
- Don a Fling tank or several for each of your Student Groups
- Take a bite of your Styrofoam hat at Hey Day
- Explore Philadelphia
- Go to a Professional Sports Game: Phillies, Flyers, Eagles, 76er's (your choice)
- Have a favorite food cart and have the owner know your name/order
- Join student organizations that you are passionate about
- Be a leader in at least one of your organizations
- Go watch a famous person speak at Penn
- Be mentored by a professor who inspires you
- Give back to the community
- Perfect your resume
- Eat a cheese-steak from Pats or Gino's or Jim's or Tony Luke's
- Run up the stairs of the Penn Museum like you're Rocky
- Get floor passes to a Fling concert
- Throw toast at a football game
- Make life-long friends
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
With graduation quickly approaching, it's time for Seniors to reflect on all the extraordinary accomplished they've made over the past four years and to use the last few weeks leading up to graduation to check those last couple things off their Penn Bucket List. While this Bucket List is surely to vary based off of the individual's interests, involvements, and goals, Advancing Women in Engineering has compiled a brief Penn Bucket List as a starting point.
Posted by Michele at 12:00 PM
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Left to Right: Panel coordinator, Hilary Grosskopf, Jeanine Gubler Heck, Janelle Johnson, Sydney Kestle, Allison Rozsits, and panel coordinator, Sophia Stylianos.
On March 27, 2013, AWE hosted an Alumni Panel for undergrads in Heilmeier Hall. Four female SEAS grads returned to campus to give advice covering topics for freshmen such as "What does it actually mean to be an engineer?" to questions for seniors like "How did Penn prepare you for your first year in the 'real world'?" or "How do you apply what you learned at Penn to your specific job?"
The panel was made up of Jeanine Gubler Heck, CIS ’99, Janelle Johnson, CBE ’08, Sydney Kestle, BE ’11, and Allison Rozsits, BE ’12. Jeanine is currently a Senior Director in the Technology + Product group at Comcast. She has been there for 6 years, and is responsible for product efforts related to content discovery. In this role, Jeanine has led the creation of a voice recognition capability that lets customers control their TV’s through voice commands. She has also launched a cloud-enabled TV search engine, and built the company’s first TV recommendations engine. At Penn, Jeanine was involved with SWE and was also captain of the cheerleading team. After graduating from Penn, Jeanine moved to New York and worked at Gemini Systems, an IT consulting company, providing solutions to financial services organizations. After six years there, she enrolled full-time at Columbia Business School, receiving her MBA in 2007.
Since graduation, Janelle has been employed at Philadelphia Gas Works. She originally worked in the Chemical Services Department as a Chemist until to 2012. Currently, she works in Gas Processing Department as a Senior Staff Engineer. She is also a part-time graduate student at Villanova University majoring in Water Resources and Environmental Engineering and will graduate in May 2013. At Penn, Janelle was involved with the National Society of Black Engineers and the Penn Band.
After graduating from Penn, Sydney returned to her hometown of Washington DC, and is currently a second year law student at American University, Washington College of Law. After her first year, she interned with Judge Jimmie V. Reyna of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. While at the Fed Circuit, she had the opportunity to work on patent specific cases, as well as cases brought under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. In a few months, Sydney will be a summer associate at the intellectual property firm, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garret & Dunner LLP. Specifically, I will be working in the mechanical practice group. While at Penn, Sydney worked in a tissue engineering and biomechanics lab, and was a member of Chi Omega and SWE.
Since graduation, Allison has been working as a Product Development Engineer Associate at DePuy Synthes (a Johnson & Johnson company) in West Chester, PA. She is currently in a rotational engineering program there and has been working in product development, but will be moving to a manufacturing role in June, and will continue on to other job functions across varying geographical sites for the next 2 to 3 years. While at Penn, she was a member of AOE engineering sorority, Club Swimming, and BMES.
The panelists all offered a unique background and perspective on the field of engineering. At the end of the panel, each woman offered a take-away piece of advice. Jeanine offered a piece of advice that Billy Joel shared when he spoke to her class during her time at Penn: follow your dreams. Even if you can’t achieve them right away, know what your dreams are and make sure you’re getting there! Janelle stressed the importance of networking. In the professional sense, be sure to always reach out to people for opportunities. Additionally, as a professional engineer, she advised everyone to support each other and reminded us that we can’t do it on our own. Sydney wanted everyone to remember that your job does not define you– be sure to keep pursuing hobbies. Make sure you have an outlet so you don’t get too caught up in your job. Allison told the women in the audience to “make yourself; don’t find yourself.” Be active, not passive in your professional pursuits.
AWE hopes to continue this tradition and host an alumni panel with SEAS alum from different engineering fields annually!
Posted by Michele at 10:08 AM
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Editor's Note: Today is the day students will find out if they were admitted to Penn's Class of 2017. To celebrate that accomplishment, we have a blog from one of our current Penn engineers about how she choose Penn!
When choosing a University to spend the next four years of your life, it is important to determine what factors you are looking for and how important each one is relative to one another. Some people value the size or location of school, others are looking for a specific program or dual degree opportunity, and many want to get involved with extra-curriculars and organizations. While touring schools and going to school-sponsored information sessions, admitted students can certainly learn about some of the curriculum in the school, the history of the university, and even some various programs available to students. Though, it is also important to realize that there is a vast degree of frank knowledge that can be obtained from current students as well.
Being a Regular Decision Student and having applied to 13 universities across the country, I traveled to several admitted students days, went on countless student tours, and sat through over a dozen info sessions. The questions I found most helpful to ask were posed towards current students and included the following: What do you do for fun? What are you involved in on campus? How easy is it to get the required courses you need to graduate on time? Is Undergraduate Research common? How large is Greek Life on the campus? Where do you live and how good is the food at the dining halls?
Why did I choose Penn? Simple. The philosophy of the university and student body aligned with my personal ideology towards school, life, and growing up. I wanted to go to a university with a strong Bioengineering curriculum that would allow me to pursue science and engineering in conjunction with medicine and healthcare, fields that greatly interested me. I wanted to work hard and gain an education from one of the premier educational institutions in the world. But at the same time, I wanted to get involved and have an amazing four years learning and growing from those around me in both academic and social settings. There are clubs, organizations, societies, and teams for everyone, and the ones that I have gotten involved in over my past three years have positively impacted my life and shaped who I am today. I think I chose right for me, but it is a unique and personal choice for everyone. So ask lots of questions, be knowledgeable, and go with your gut. And if you do, you'll choose right for you.
Questions for Lauren? Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Michele at 7:15 AM
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Spring semester always feels long – and it is: one week longer than fall, which may not sound like much, but somehow it is. But there is one time when spring semester feels short, and that’s when it comes to internships. The semester is now halfway done and if you don’t know what you’re doing for the summer yet, it feels like you are way behind. Even though it isn’t completely true, it always feels like everyone else knows what they are doing and you don’t.
Looking for an internship is not fun; in fact, it kind of sucks. Wharton kids have OCR all set up for them, and some engineers choose to go through that too, but not everyone wants to do finance or consulting. Sometimes though, I feel like I am in the minority among systems engineers when I say I actually want to do engineering and not go work on Wall Street or something. But on the other hand, not a lot of places have dedicated positions for systems engineers, and if you do end up getting an interview, one of the first questions always seems to be: “so, what exactly is a systems engineer?” A question that I have heard more times than I can count during my last three years at Penn, but I still don’t feel like I have a good answer to.
So where am I going with all this? Truthfully, I don’t exactly know. Maybe I’m trying to convince myself that it’s OK to have no clue about what I want to do and not be sure of how things are going to turn out. If there is one thing I have learned about looking for internships and summer jobs is that things rarely turn out the way you expect them to and that’s fine. I only recently decided what I am going to do this summer, and it was something that I applied to on a whim without much of a hope of succeeding. When I got an email to set up my first interview I actually went back to look at the job description thinking there must be some kind of mistake because why would I have ever thought it would be a good idea to apply for a position as a controls engineer? But now, I am glad I did. There have been so many times when I looked at a job description and thought it wasn’t quite right or I wasn’t fully qualified for the position, and if I had been thinking like that the day I submitted my application, I probably wouldn’t have applied. I think lots of people feel this way, in particular women. We are worried to put ourselves out there because we think we’re not actually good enough or qualified enough. But that’s silly; we are all engineers at Penn, which must count for something. And if we never put ourselves out there and take a chance we won’t get to do some of the things we most want to do.
Patricia is a junior in Systems Engineering, Questions for Patricia? Contact her at email@example.com
Posted by Michele at 7:59 AM
Thursday, February 21, 2013
It is well known that at Penn we have 4 undergraduate schools (and if you didn't, here they are: College of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering, Nursing School, and Wharton School of Business). "Which school is the best?" you might ask. Well, it depends on who you ask, but I think the school of Engineering is the clear winner, and here are some reasons why:
· Tight community: Engineers make up 16-20% of Penn undergrad. This strikes a perfect balance between being big enough to have a lot of fellow engineering friends, and not being so large that classes are annoyingly large. The size also lends itself to creating such a tight knit community among engineers
· Free shirt every year: Every year during Engineering Day (E-Day), on top of the endless activities that different clubs hold (fondue night, E-ssassins, professor luncheons, scavenger hunts, food, and more food), engineers receive a free engineering tshirt. There are four different colors to choose from each year, with chances of winning additional shirts after the fact. By your senior year, you could literally have a engineering shirt for each color of the rainbow
· (Dress) shirt and (dress) shoes optional: While some engineers decide to pursue more business and consulting jobs, most engineers get to intern and work for cool companies that have awesome engineering cultures, competitive pay, and lax dress codes. If you should so choose, engineering allows you to let that suit collect dust in the closet
· Coolest toys: If you take a stroll in any of the engineering buildings, you'll encounter labs around every corner -- whether it be computer science labs with the most high tech computers and latest software, mechanical engineering labs with robots constantly being built and tested, or electrical engineering labs filled with electrical circuits and other fun gizmos
· Avoid the cold: Philly gets its fair share of cold winters and snow storms. The interconnected engineering buildings allow you to avoid the at times bone chilling cold, while your Wharton/ College/ Nursing counterparts meticulously layer up.
These are just a few of the things that make Penn Engineering such a great community to be a part of. For me personally, it's been a home away from home.
Sandy is a senior in Computer Science @ Penn.
Posted by Michele at 12:57 PM
Friday, February 15, 2013
Being an engineer at the University of Pennsylvania is hard. No one, inside or outside of the school will deny that. People spend countless hours in the lab, in the library, an at home doing problem sets, finishing projects, and running experiments. It is a very difficult yet rewarding major. Seems like a lot on your plate right? It is, but as students at Penn, being involved in extracurricular activities is a must. Clubs, societies, and groups are full of engineering students who want to get more out of their college experience than a degree and a bunch of graded tests, but few take on the giant commitment of being a varsity athlete.
I am currently a junior in CBE and a member of the varsity gymnastics team at Penn. I practice 4 hours a day, 4 days a week, 3:00-7:00 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. As many varsity athletes will tell you, being involved with Penn athletics is a commitment like no other. For one, practice is not optional. You cannot skip it for class, you cannot get someone to go for you, and you cannot put it off until later. That chunk of time in my schedule would be labeled on my Google calendar as “I’m busy, no exceptions.” During the season, my weekends are filled with gymnastics as well. Traveling to Ithaca New York to compete against Cornell, or busing to Yale to take on the Bulldogs. School work still must remain a priority, but the time you have is much more precious.
Right now everyone reading this is probably thinking “Wow, this girl is nuts! Who would do this to themselves?” I cannot lie, I have asked myself the same question multiple times before. Yet through the stress, I am here to tell you it is possible! And here is how :
- Set your priorities. With your time spread so thin, you have to decide what is important to you. Whether it be friends, grades, athletics, sleep, or fun, you must decide what is most important to you. I promise that there are not enough hours in the day to have it all, but you can have a little bit of everything.
- Do not compare yourself to others. You are unique. Being a varsity athlete and engineer is tough, so if you start comparing your grades or number of hours spent studying to others in your classes, you won’t feel great. You must learn to have pride in all you have accomplished and all you can successfully balance. Take pride in your work!
- Use athletics to your advantage. I cannot say that professors will let you miss a test or turn in a homework late if you are traveling to a match or game, but I can say that the amount of teamwork, self-discipline, and leadership skills you learn through athletics in college will help you in the future. It is impressive to employers to see that you are a student at an Ivy League school and are involved in athletics. Yes maybe you don’t have that 3.95 GPA, but you are able to learn more valuable lessons than you can in the classroom.
- Talk to your professors. Are all their office hours during practice? Are you behind and do not have the time to catch up? Does it look like you aren’t trying when really you are working your tail off? Go and talk to them. I find that at the beginning of each semester I make an appointment with all of my professors just to introduce myself and throw in the fact that I’m an athlete and willing to work hard in the class, then slip in that I may need some extra help and ask when they are available. Most professors are impressed that you are able to handle everything at once and they will help you out.
- Embrace the community. There is an instant bond you create when you meet someone who is a varsity athlete, especially if they are an engineer. This connection makes you instant friends, because only you understand what it is like. Form study groups with these people, because most often you are available at the same hours. Athletics also provides a lot of resources. Don’t be afraid to ask for things such as study hours, free tutoring, and help. It is helpful, I promise.
Questions for Diana about being an athlete? Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Michele at 12:53 PM