Are you interested in joining an association, but are unsure of which to join? The University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez (UPRM) has several associations to choose from. They promote different activities that students can be a part of while completing their academic studies. These activities range from the topics of art and literature to science and engineering. They help bring awareness to certain issues and develop leadership and teamwork skills while promoting future career development.
The Industrial Engineering(ININ) department has an association that combines all these factors: it is called Women Students in Industrial Engineering (WSIE). It was created in 2020 by students from the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico that focuses on women in industrial engineering and helps “empower Industrial Engineering students for personal and professional growth that will follow them throughout their careers and lives”. The association was brought to UPRM in 2021 by three industrial engineering students Gabriela A. Renta López, Yeaniled E. Muñoz López, Johana Mercado Colón.
The academic advisor for WSIE is Lourdes Medina; she is a professor in the university’s Industrial Engineering department. She is also the founder of IDDEAS Research Group and RealTimePC Summer Camp. The IDDEAS Research Group is precisely that, a research group that innovates the development of products and systems in the domains of medical devices and process automation. The RealTimePC Summer Camp is a program that offers activities that combine Process Automation and Industrial Engineering.
WSIE has a variety of programs that provide guidance for its members with their future career plans. Their most prominent program is the Mentoring Program. It focuses on uniting students with different companies that match their interests and career goals. To accomplish this, the association interviews prospective students to align them to the company that best matches their plans and goals. This helps them get the best possible exposure to the area of work that interests them and helps future professionals prepare for the workforce that awaits them once they graduate.
WSIE-UPRM has organized many workshops and activities to develop the students’ professional skills. They organized mock interviews with professionals from the company AMGEN in preparation for the job fair. They also host numerous workshops on how to maximize the use of websites and programs like Minitab, LinkedIn, and Python. On the last week of February 2022, the association created week-long activities for Engineering Week; these included conferences, concluding with an Industrial Engineering job fair.
The great thing about WSIE is that everyone can join, regardless of your gender because, at the end of the day, you are all engineers. Men can serve as allies that help promote the association’s mission. Anyone interested in joining this organization would have to fill out a form and pay a fee of $15 through the website ATH Movil.
Currently, WSIE UPRM is composed with more than 50 members, which is significantly more than last year. This makes it one of the top three associations in the Industrial Engineering department with the most active membership. For this reason, they want to create partnerships with more companies to offer more mentorship opportunities for the participants of this program. The members also aim to create partnerships with other organizations both in and outside the university. The association hopes to expand to other universities in the future.
The members of the WSIE directive (L-R) Yeaniled Muñoz- Vice-President, Joyce Santiago- Treasurer, Claudia López- Activities Coordinator, Arianna Corujo (Secretary), Gabriela Renta President, Johana Mercado- Webmaster.