By: Allison B.

         Here in Georgia, we have some of the top colleges in the country. Every college here is fantastic for girls! But one, the Georgia Institute of Technology, or as we know GA Tech, is one of the co-ed colleges that has the least amount of girls. It has an excellent education, cool campus, and students and professors of all diversities, there’s still one thing missing… the school is only made up of 35% women…a very small population considering the University of Georgia is the complete opposite, with 68% of its student body being women! But GA Tech is doing some wonderful things to get more girls interested in engineering, especially something they did in 2013: the Women in Engineering Career Conference.
         On October 10, 2013, walking into the GA Tech Student Center, it would look a little different than usual. Many of the people you’d see would be young girls, ranging from freshmen in high school to seniors. Sitting down at one of the tables in the conference room, one might think, “I wonder if I have anything in common with the girl sitting next to me?” Soon, they’d learn they have quite a bit in common! This conference was for girls interested in engineering and maybe even GA Tech. That’s what was so special about everyone in the room: They all had the same wonderful and reachable dream!

         The word conference might make some of you think “business” or “BORING!” but in reality, this was one of the most amazing events to take place for girls interested in engineering. There were no boring talks, no wrong questions to ask, and definitely no fears to be there! The engineering topics were some of the coolest ones out there: biomedical, mechanical, civil, environmental, industrial, nuclear, aerospace, electrical, computer, materials, bimolecular, and chemical engineering. That’s a lot of different types! The presentations were all unique. Some had slideshows to help you visualize the praiseworthy work the engineers could accomplish. Some  slideshows featured actual college girls talking about their experiences with internships, classes, projects, and job searches. Some even had visual demonstrations…like breaking a liquid nitrogen covered ball into a ton of pieces with a hammer! All the presentations were so interesting; they made it hard to decide which type of engineering was best!
Not only did professors talk about engineering, but also something very important for some girls to not be afraid about applying took place as well. A woman who looks over the college applicants for GA Tech talked to everyone about the process, and made it seem way less scary! She explained the importance of grades, SAT/ACT scores, but also the importance of being you and staying well rounded. A lot of applicants say they are nervous about their essays because they don’t know what to write, but in reality, they just have to write about themselves! The way she talked about the importance of extracurricular activities and confidence definitely sent a sigh of the relief throughout the room in the end!
During this conference, many girls learned that it really is possible to become an engineer at GA Tech. When I asked a girl who went about her experience she said “I think what I learned was that engineering is one of the coolest jobs out there…especially when you’re a woman! The professors were so nice and helpful, no one was afraid to ask questions! I loved the entire experience, and I think everyone should think about the engineering career field. There’s a place in it for all of us!”
By going to the conference, it helped prove that if you shoot for what you really want, you CAN get there! No dream is too big, and no girl is too small. We all have a place for us, and if you strive to be the best you can be, then you can be anything you want. That means that hopefully within the next few years, that 38% might rise as more girls get into engineering. So if you have a dream, don’t hold back, be yourself, and follow your heart!!!

For more information on The College of Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, click here.

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