Photo by Jason Salazar, ASME Rep. to PSEC

Photo by Jason Salazar, ASME Rep. to PSEC

Event Summary by Steve Snelling, IIE Rep. to PSEC:

The Everett Community College – Mentor Night (called “Dinner with Industry”) that was organized and sponsored by their Student Chapter of SWE (Society of Women Engineers) was a huge success.

The event was held on campus at their Henry M. Jackson Conference Center on April 9th (a Thurs.), 2015.  It started at 6 pm and went until 8 – 8:30 pm.  They had arranged for free parking for all the Mentors (using pre-printed Visitor windshield signs, in order to park in the unmarked student lots).  They had outdoor signs, directing us to the event’s building.

They had 40 professionals from several types of engineering, representing local industry (many from Boeing), and around 50 engineering students.  PSEC (Puget Sound Engineering Council) reps. helped get several of the professional engineer volunteers.  The engineering students were mainly Freshmen & Sophomores that will transfer to another University to finish their engineering degrees, and a few WSU engineering students that are Juniors and Seniors, taking all of their WSU course work at Everett C.C.

When you checked in for the event, they had pre-printed name badges for all the Mentors, with very small, color, electric light-bulbs (LEDs?) that were part of the name badge (with a small embedded battery).  The 4 different brightly colored lights, represented the main types of engineering disciplines in attendance.

They had floating balloons tied about 4 ft. above the center piece of each table, with the type of engineering the Mentors represented, written on the clear balloon.  Since there was no “Industrial” labeled balloon, I sat at a “Mechanical” Engineering table.

The SWE Chapter officers welcomed everyone, and talked briefly about the agenda for the evening, and the guidelines for the session rotations, etc.  Someone from the engineering school spoke briefly, but I didn’t hear much of it – since I had some students sitting at my table, already asking me some questions, before the meal started.

The Mentors sat at large round tables, and stayed there while the students rotated (following dinner), for two to three separate sessions (similar to our regular PSEC Mentor Nights).  There were usually 2-3 Mentors seated at each large round table, with about 6-7 students each session.  I ended up being the only mentor at my table, so I usually had a large group of seated students for each session.  I brought my airplane model & car model and a handout about engineering – and I mainly answered questions about what Mechanical Engineers do (at Boeing and at car manufacturing companies).  Some of the Freshmen had not had many engineering classes yet, but had a lot of interest in various types of work that engineers do.  A couple of students were even interested in Industrial Engineering – and planning to transfer to the U.W.’s Industrial Engineering department.

They had a fun trivia quiz (printed out copies for each table) about a variety of engineering related topics, just before dinner.  The quiz served as an ice breaker, since each table worked the quiz as a team.

They had a nice buffet of several types of Chinese food (rice, noodles, dumplings, etc.) and 2 types of cake for dessert.  They also served coffee, cans of cold soda, and ice water to drink.

At the end of the event, they had a raffle using the tickets everyone was given when we signed in.  Several nice prizes had been donated locally for the event (2 very nice telescopes and some other prizes).  I won one of the raffle drawings, but I gave my winning ticket to one of the students – who got one of the 2 telescopes.  They drew for about 8 separate prizes.

Several of the Mentors and students stayed after the event to talk one-on-one.  The SWE Student Chapter did a terrific job organizing and executing their “Dinner with Industry” event.