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WCS and DICE host summer workshop series on building soft skills for a career in STEM

The Women in Chemical Sciences and Diversity in Clean Energy groups at UW are teaming up to start a career soft-skills workshop series. We are planning three workshops for the summer and plan to continue the series throughout the academic year.

The summer workshops will be focused on “LinkedIn profiles/online presence” (June 28th), “Resume building” (July 26th), and “How to network” (August 23rd). Our planned format is a 15-20 minute Q&A with one or more industry experts, followed by an hour for the attendees to practice what they’ve just learned.

FAQs: So you want to be a WCSUW officer?

• Are there any requirements to become an officer? Yes – you have to be a UW student and want to promote women in the chemical sciences!

• What if I’m worried about the time commitment? The various officer positions have a range of commitment levels (see the descriptions at the end of the post) and all of the officers act as a team to help if things get overwhelming for someone.

• I’m a first year, can I run for a position? Of course! We’ve had many first years as officers in the past. In fact, some of our founders were first years when they helped start WCSUW.

• I want to plan an event, but am not sure about being an officer. What can I do? We encourage members to plan events! We have significant infrastructure in place to assist with planning and implementing events to help things run smoothly.

• I don’t know how much time I’ll have to devote to WCSUW, is there an easy way to be involved? Be a member! We have lots of opportunities to help plan events, volunteer at outreach activities, and volunteer during on campus events.

Officer positions:

Secretary – We sometimes call the Secretary position the “Treasurer of Words,” which is a surprisingly accurate title. The Secretary takes meeting notes, sends reminder emails, and publishes meeting recaps. Also in the Secretary’s wheelhouse is maintaining the WCS Facebook page, other social media presences, and writing small publicity statements for the Bagley Bulletin. Being Secretary is an excellent way to learn to treasure words and develop communication skills.

Outreach Coordinator – If you like talking to kids and organizing mini-field trips for graduate students, this is the job for you! As it stands, this position focuses on managing supplies and organizing groups to participate in K-12 outreach around the Seattle area. Primarily, this is done by bringing short, chemistry-based demos to school science nights in the area, and through a number of annual events such as Seattle Expanding Your Horizons. This job can be low maintenance/ low stress, although there are many opportunities for a new outreach coordinator to expand into different types of science outreach.

Webmaster – Being the WCS webmaster is a great position for an incoming first year; it has a very manageable amount of work, and is easily accessible for any level of computer literacy. If you like social media, this is the position for you. Duties involve maintaining the website, moderating social media, updating the calendar, and ensuring that the blog is up to date. Optional duties involve more in-depth tech knowledge, which our current webmaster is willing to assist with or teach you!

Treasurer – The primary duty of the treasurer is to manage the WCS budget. That involves generating the annual budget, keeping track of expenditures, submitting reimbursement requests, and communicating with the department finance office.

Undergraduate Liaisons – This position has an additional requirement – you have to be an undergrad! This position is responsible for communicating our events to undergraduates and giving them a voice within the organization.

Vice President – The vice president primarily serves to assist the other officers, particularly the president. Duties mainly involve helping plan events, volunteering at various activities, and providing additional support whenever needed.

President – The president is generally responsible for managing WCS and making sure stuff happens. While all officers and many members plan, lead, and help run events, the president checks that individual events are on track, helps coordinate event-planning teams, and manages more long-term planning. The president also calls and facilitates member meetings and is often the first contact person for the group.