Beyond the Bench: Bioengineering students attend SWE 2019

Rice bioengineering senior Brenda Venegas shares her experience at the 2019 Society of Women Engineers conference.

From left: 2020 BIOE Seniors Christie Ballew, Brenda Venegas, Joanna Wang, Kelvin Boateng, and Kevin Peng

As a senior in bioengineering I had the privilege to attend the 2019 Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Conference, an experience that had a strong impact on my professional development.

The conference provided me with extremely valuable information regarding personal development and a chance to attend an opportunity-filled career fair.

One of the most interesting sessions I attended was devoted to “burn-out”, something many of us worry about. Rice is not a “smooth ride” but the prospect of having more responsibilities, especially in my personal life, has made me contemplate my goals. I hope to serve in engineering management and the tips given made this path more feasible.

Speakers promoted prioritization, balance and support, which are especially important to me as I hope to not only be an engineer but also eventually a mother.

I had first-hand access to top employers, including medical device manufacturers, with whom I made valuable connections. I was able to network and interview in one place.

The SWE conference permitted me to try the skills and knowledge I gained from my Rice education and internships. I was able to establish my credibility as a professional to company recruiters and myself.

Brenda Venegas is a Sid Rich senior at Rice University majoring in bioengineering. She is the 2019-2020 co-president of the Hispanic Association for Cultural Enrichment at Rice (HACER).

Brenda Venegas '20