Especially during tough economic times, students hoping to land an internship or that first job after college cannot have too many contacts. The fourth annual Networking Dinner, held on November 3 in the Connelly Center and organized by the Villanova chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), provided a relaxed setting in which students could connect with working engineers from leading companies.
"It was great to be able talk to young professionals who had been in our position only a few years ago," said Alyssa Lau CE '10. "Getting their input on the networking process and on finding internships and full-time employment was helpful."
Approximately 115 students, faculty, and professionals from companies such as GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., PECO, The Conti Group, and Turner Construction Company attended this year’s event. To enhance the network-building process, SWE’s executive board provided the industry guests with a bound volume of the resumes submitted by students attending the dinner.
After dinner, Kimberly (Rafalski) Palladino BSChE '97, MSChE '01, a Process Improvement Leader at GSK, delivered the keynote address. Drawing upon her experiences and the writings of Dr. W. Edwards Deming, Palladino urged students to think about what Deming called "constancy of purpose" and to make decisions with that concept in mind. "Once you know your purpose, be sure to reflect on it before you choose your next class, or your next roommate, or the next job interview."
The officers of Villanova's SWE chapter are Stefanie McDermott ChE '10, President; Jamie Schwartz ChE '10, Vice President (and lead organizer of the dinner); Emily Wakelin ME '10, Treasurer; Dina Ferraiuolo CE '10, Secretary; Kaitlin Worden ChE '10, Social Chair; and Christy Rosati ChE '11, Webmaster. Dr. Dorothy Skaf, Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, is SWE’s faculty advisor. The College of Engineering and the Engineering Alumni Society provide financial support.