MNSU holds second Women in STEM event

Emmanuella Shokare
Staff Writer

The College of Science, Engineering, and Technology hosted the second Women in STEM networking event dinner Friday, Nov. 30. It was a free event for both post-secondary students and professionals in STEM careers. The topic for this event was “Social Media Professionalism,” featuring a keynote speaker, Tiffany Kuehl, Director of HR at Versique.

This topic and purpose of the event were to help students learn how to use social media, to connect/network and how to use it appropriately. According to Tracy Stokes-Hernandez, this event is geared on women and STEM-related fields and helping them look forward to the future towards getting careers and jobs and connecting them to meet with other women within those same industries. 

Stokes-Hernandez said, “We just want them to be aware that the things they are posting now on social media and sharing may follow them when they go to apply for their first jobs. This event would make them be more aware of what they are posting and keep their pages pretty clean and professional so that they get a better chance of getting a job.” 

This event was not only for STEM majors, but open to other students and also male students, faculty and staff members. Students were expected to learn how to network professionally in professional settings like seminars/conferences here in school or anywhere else, knowing how to start conversations with people they don’t know, be able to market their selves, have the opportunity to meet women in STEM fields and to be comfortable using social media professionally. 

Students from different years attended the event.There was an opportunity to engage in speed network activity- how to participate and what kind of questions to ask.

Zebiba, a freshman and an IT major student here at MNSU, said she heard about the event via email that was sent to all the students. She said, “As a freshman, I believe that this event would help me know about my major and make connections with faculty members present and also getting advice regarding internships.”

Toluwalope Owolabi, a senior Biomedical Sciences major, has had the opportunity to attend other events similar to this event. Owolabi stated, “As a Biomedical Sciences major, coming to Women in STEM networking event is a great opportunity. I hope to meet people who have the same journey am about to embark on and I hope to learn from them. It is also an opportunity to empower women as a board member in the Women in STEM club on campus. Great help in fulfilling my career.”

Nwando Ikeogu, a junior in Biomedical Sciences, said, “I chose to attend this event as a woman in STEM field, we have a lot of difficulties breaking through barriers that the world has set up and events like this will help you to make connections with successful STEM women and one day get there yourself.”

There were female representatives from different STEM companies present. Students could meet them one-on-one and ask questions during the speed networking activity. Students were able to get great advice from these women. When asked what she expects students to learn from this event, Kuehl said, “Walk away with one or two tips on how to network.”

Some advice was given by representatives to the students on how to build confidence as a woman working in the STEM field. 

“Try to find a mentor when you are trying to build confidence as a woman in STEM,” said Kuehl

“No matter what you are going through, know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and also know that there is someone behind you looking at you or following your footsteps or inspired by you,” said Gardyartu Freeman, Electrical Drafter at Design Ready Controls.

“Be involved. You can join an organization or a STEM club at your campus. Give yourself that confidence to be outspoken. Be able to answer the question of ‘who are you?’ in 30 seconds. Do not forget to think of yourself. Know your goals,” said Tracy Bauer, Information Services Data Administrator for Federated Insurance 

It was fun and students were satisfied with what they learned. The College of Science, Engineering, and Technology will be hosting another women in STEM networking event themed “Etiquette” April 4, 2019. 

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