Igniting Passion and Championing the Empowerment of Young Women with WISE U of T

WRITTEN BY: Tianyu Wang, VP Marketing at Women in Science and Engineering U of T

Photos by: WISE UofT

Throughout high school, all of my mentors and teachers advised me that the best way to make the most out of my university experience was to become involved with something outside of coursework that I was really passionate about. Now, as I finish up my final semester and head towards graduation, I often reflect upon my journey as an undergraduate and the most meaningful experiences that have influenced my current life and career path.

I joined Women in Science and Engineering U of T in the summer of my second year, and it has definitely been the most impactful in terms of both my personal and professional development.

WISE U of T aims to foster a community for students in all STEM fields through its many initiatives, such as community outreach, professional development, and mentorship. There are plenty of events throughout the year that cater to a wide range of interests and goals. This year, students could enjoy an evening dining and chatting with company reps at the WISE & Cheese event, ask their burning questions about life as a med student at the Desserts with Doctors panel, and celebrate International Women’s Day at the Women of Influence panel, among countless other events. WISE also offers many mentorship opportunities by pairing students up with a professional, as well as through regular high school and middle school events across the GTA to promote the STEM fields to younger girls.

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The WISE event that I look forward to each year is the annual national conference. It’s incredibly rewarding to finally see the culmination of 6 months of hard work and planning from the entire team resulting in a room of 250 inspired and empowered faces. This year’s conference theme was “Ignite Your Passion” and saw students from 15 different universities across Canada. As a neuroscience major, the most memorable part of the conference was being able to hear a keynote speech by Dr. Eve Tsai, a neurosurgeon and one of Canada’s Top 25 Women of Influence. Dr. Tsai spoke about overcoming obstacles as a doctor and a mother, and shared some of the lessons she has learned through her journey, such as learning from both good and bad mentors. Delegates were given the opportunity to tackle challenging real-life problems in the Deloitte Case Competition, or effectively explain their research at the 3-Minute Thesis competition. Delegates also attended thought-provoking panels, fireside chats, and workshops, such as “The Fundamentals of Storytelling” by TD and “Breaking the Glass Ceiling” by Schneider Electric which aimed to provide important insights into the professional world. The conference also featured key networking opportunities for the abundance of talented students through the Wine & Cheese networking session and Career Fair.

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Being a part of WISE has provided me with the opportunity to build life-long friendships during my undergraduate journey and also acquire the skills needed to boost my confidence as a leader.

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If you’re interested in meeting like-minded students, chatting with empowering women in STEM fields, or making meaningful connections with representatives from top STEM industries, I would highly recommend checking out some of the many opportunities WISE has to offer, or even becoming a part of the team!

Subscribe to WISE’s mailing list at http://www.wiseuoft.org/contact-us/

Tianyu Wang

VP Marketing at Women in Science and Engineering U of T

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