Enlisting the help of a mentor can be a powerful career development tool — and for those interested in exploring a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) career, WitsOn (Women in Technology Sharing Online) is an exciting new resource. The six-week mentorship program connects undergraduate STEM students with female mentors in order to get the guidance and support they need to follow a STEM-related career path.
The pilot program kicks off October 1 and offers an online community that will help students “be able to envision themselves in STEM careers, thereby creating a larger pool of talented people who are ready to handle the challenges that humanity faces in the coming decades,” according to WitsOn.
Rather than a formal class guided by exams and grades, WitsOn is a supportive online community that’s geared toward providing STEM students a place to connect with successful professionals to learn more about career possibilities and why this is such an important field.
“I think of this as a MOOC — a massive open online course — and a big mentor-fest,” said Maria Klewe, president of Harvey Mudd College and project sponsor. “Getting more women into STEM is my passion in life, and every institution that’s set up mentorship programs for young women has been successful at increasing their numbers, so I think this can make a real difference.”
A number of prominent universities including the California Institute of Technology, Cornell, Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton, Stanford and the University of California-Berkeley are participating in WitsOn. If you’re interested in the program and your school isn’t currently participating, no problem — you can still sign up.
As engineers, we’re always interested in getting more people (especially women) involved in STEM — and we’re thrilled to see programs like WitsOn offer more resources to young people who are considering a STEM-related career path.
If you participate in the program, we’d love to hear what you think of the experience. Feel free to stop back by the blog and let us know how it goes!