WINCHESTER, Va. – Middle East District Mechanical Engineer Wilhelmina Pierce returned to North Carolina State University, her alma mater, in Raleigh, N.C., for their 7th Annual Professional Women in the Workplace Symposium, Feb. 9. The goal of the symposium was to share professional experiences and impart advice to undergraduates in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) majors.
Pierce was one of five NC State graduates who volunteered to serve on a professional panel and the only member working for the U.S. government. Other members represented major private industry corporations such as SAS Analytics, Biogen Idec, Eastman Chemical Company and Northrop Grumman.
She wanted to share her experiences with current students. "Sometimes when facing academic challenges in hard classes, students start wondering if it's really worth all that graduating will require," Pierce said. "We were there to show them that it is worth it and to encourage them to look forward to the opportunities awaiting them."
The panel told students to be honest and confident when interviewing, to not fear new work projects and career opportunities, and to exude confidence if you want to be heard.
Pierce has participated in the past three years' symposiums while working for the Corps' Savannah District. Even though she moved to Winchester last year, she did not want to miss fulfilling her commitment and participating again this year. She said she is happy she could share this year and looks forward to future panels.
The Middle East District encourages employees to support appropriate community events, professionally representing the district whenever possible without adversely affecting the mission.