MinneWIC 2015

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Last weekend I attended the 2015 MinneWIC. MinneWIC is a regional conference for women in computing in upper Midwest which was held in University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (UMN). MinneWIC is modeled after Grace Hopper Conference though it is held only for 2 half days. It was an exciting opportunity to network with colleagues working in similar field and gain tips from top industry lead on career advancement and for me personally to meet old friends and a particular professor from my undergraduate school.

The conference was packed with speaker sessions, lightning talks, industry and student led BOFs, speaker panels, poster competition where graduate and undergraduate students from various universities of upper Midwest showcased their projects and workshops where we  discussed about increasing the number of women in computing. The conference ended with mock interview and resume review session which I skipped since I wasn’t actively looking for a job.

Overall, this was a good conference, especially for those who are just starting their career or looking for jobs.  I have been to many similar conferences (Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Grace Hopper Conference(GHC)) in the past and I have always loved it. Although there weren’t many new things to expect (for me), I always recommend these kind of conferences to anyone wanting to go.  I got to meet many folks from industry as well as from academia which is always a good thing. You learn so much from others and leave feeling positive and energized. Most of these types of conferences also have career fairs and many people leave with a job/internship offer or at least an interview. And did I mention, the  food is always good? Unlimited chocolate dipped strawberries –  YES PLEASE!

So if anyone is thinking of attending a similar conference just go! If expense is an issue, try applying for scholarships. Most schools and universities and even work places offer scholarships to attend conferences.

Have you been to similar conferences? How has your experience been?

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