Lynn Pratte, ECEE’s manager of graduate academic advising, represented the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering last month at the Society of Women Engineers 2021 national conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The first-ever hybrid conference, “Aspire to Inspire,” was developed to unite members and empower attendees as engineers and leaders.

Attendees of the conference visited the exhibitor hall in search of after-undergraduate opportunities. Anchored in booth 2323 in the Academic Pavilion, Pratte spoke to prospective students about the benefits of an advanced engineering degree from Arizona State University.

Armed with handouts and FSE swag, Pratte connected with potential graduate students from all over the country, including many students who sought out ASU directly.

“I was encouraged by the quality of students who came to my table,” says Pratte. “Many were qualified for immediate enrollment, yet so many candidates I spoke to were concerned they wouldn’t get in.”

Pratte met with close to 35 conference attendees, 20 of those becoming solid leads for the Fulton Schools graduate programs.

This was Pratte’s first-time tabling at a conference, and although other exhibitors commented the event was smaller than usual, the interactions she had during the quick trip to the Midwest were worth it.

“Obviously, the demographic was primarily female,” she says, “which is a segment we’d like to see grow at the Fulton Schools.”

Pandemic travel

Pratte is one of the first ECEE staff members to travel for ASU business since the pandemic began in March 2020.

“The process was fairly smooth. Once you get pre-approved to travel, it comes together easily,” she says.

The SWE ’21 conference required proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test and participant health was verified each day through the conference app. This is just one of the ways that helped Pratte feel safe as she maneuvered through her first recruiting trip.

“I really didn’t have to worry too much,” she says. “A lot of precautions were taken by the organizers to make the face-to-face interactions, we’ve all missed, a possibility.”

Future recruiter

Pratte, who is not usually an offsite recruiter, is known around FSE as someone always ready and willing to take on new challenges.

“I was honored to represent the Fulton Schools of Engineering at this year’s conference,” she says. “Promoting our programs to these bright and energetic engineers was a great way to get my recruiting feet wet.”