Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Penn Bucket List

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.
  1. Get involved with research that could change the world
  2. Make a friend from every continent (except perhaps Antarctica)
  3. Go to Reading Terminal Market
  4. Invent and design an innovative product
  5. Don a Fling tank or several for each of your Student Groups
  6. Take a bite of your Styrofoam hat at Hey Day
  7. Explore Philadelphia 
  8. Go to a Professional Sports Game: Phillies, Flyers, Eagles, 76er's (your choice)
  9. Have a favorite food cart and have the owner know your name/order
  10. Join student organizations that you are passionate about
  11. Be a leader in at least one of your organizations
  12. Go watch a famous person speak at Penn
  13. Be mentored by a professor who inspires you
  14. Give back to the community 
  15. Perfect your resume
  16. Eat a cheese-steak from Pats or Gino's or Jim's or Tony Luke's
  17. Run up the stairs of the Penn Museum like you're Rocky
  18. Get floor passes to a Fling concert
  19. Throw toast at a football game
  20. Make life-long friends

Thursday, April 11, 2013

AWE Alumni Panel

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!