Instructor shares expertise with Society of Women Engineers

Brooke snaps a quick selfie during a trip to Istanbul. Her work and personal travels have taken her to almost 40 countries across the globe.
February 17, 2016

UW-Platteville is honored to host the upcoming Society of Women Engineers Regional H Conference February 26-28, 2016. The conference is expected to bring over 700 women from throughout the greater Midwest to campus for breakout sessions and speakers focusing on keys to success in the engineering industry.

UW-Platteville Online instructor Wendy Brooke was asked to lead a continuing education workshop for the conference focused on global markets. Having worked, taught, and traveled to almost 40 countries throughout her career, Brooke has a lot of insights to share.

“When we talk about working in global markets, people often think about how things like personal space or handshakes mean different things in different cultures, but there are a million things to be aware of,” Brooke said. “This unit looked at the intellectual, social, and psychological competencies that will help a person succeed in global business. Some of these things are innate, but many of them come from self-awareness and are things we can work on and improve.”

The continuing education workshop will also feature a panel of engineers discussing their experiences working in China, Brazil, and other countries. Brooke said panel discussions can help participants think more broadly about the challenges and benefits of international business.

“One of my favorite questions for a panel like that is, ‘what struck you as really different in your travels?’ Often the answer is something you would never expect. After I returned from my first time abroad, I was thrown by just how bright the colors of our buildings and signs are. Until I had that exposure, I had never thought about it. Our perceptions are rarely correct about everything and hearing those stories from panelists can really open a lot of eyes.”

Brooke recommends that students seek out professional organizations like the Society of Women Engineers because the networking and training opportunities they provide are so valuable. “Organizations like Society of Women Engineers, Project Management Institute, and APICS are great because you get to learn from other professionals in your industry. No matter where you are on your educational journey, there is always something to be learned from different connections and different kinds of experiences,” Brooke said.

Learn more about the Society of Women Engineers and find your local or regional chapter.

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