"- This is just the beginning of something great."
GE Gas Power/GE Renewable Energy presented their 2nd Dare to Lead event this summer, which is a 2-day Women’s Leadership Conference designed to help underrepresented female students of color unlock their career possibilities and embrace their space as a leader. In this high-energy event, students gain access to interactive sessions, cross-functional collaboration, individual coaching, and even have an opportunity to interview for 2024 internships.
Two of the fourteen elite conference invitations were given to undergraduate students from Lehigh's Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering program, Larissa de Assis Rossini '26 and Isabella Richards '26, who both excitely found themselves accepting the invites and heading to the GE facility in Greenville, SC for the career shaping event.

The multiday conference, organized by Ja’Net Vicks, the Lead HR Specialist for Leadership Programs at GE Power, kicked off with an introductory dinner held at the Hilton guest hotel for all particpants to informally meet and greet one another before the morning workshop series began. 
The first full day consisted of workshops intended to deepen students’ knowledge of GE Vernova, as a company and of career prospects in general. Throughout the day, students engaged with GE employees and current interns. Kassy Hart, an Engineer working in GE’s development in hydrogen-based gas power, was one of the presentations. "Her enthusiasm towards her career and her honesty about the various avenues she went down in her career before finding her place at GE bridged the structured nature of formal education and what work looks like in a real-world setting" says Richards. Employee presentations were followed by an intern Q&A panel, which allowed for more informal experiential conversations with the student group. Richards and Rossini concluded their day with a personal exploration of the town - home to GE Vernova.
The last day was nothing short of invaluable knowledge and countless interactive activities. GE gave students a tour of their gas turbine operations facility and the manufacturing center for the machinery used in the gas turbines. These tours gave the group an opportunity to understand the full process - from production to operations. Rossini found herself entranced in "the company's magnitude, in both physical size and complexity, and just how large their impact is on the world." GE currently supplies over 30% of the world’s steam power and 50% of nuclear steam turbines. Day's end also brought a challenge to the students, as individual interviews were conducted on site to determine potential internship placements in 2024. For both students, "the final goodbye felt too soon, but the conversations and the learning that took place in those seemingly fast days made the whole experience worth it."
In addition to an exceptional professional experience and chance to meet a diverse group of talented women, both Rossini and Richards were each offered - and accepted - internships at GE Vernova. Both girls are "incredibly honored to receive such a prestigous offer and for the opportunity to make an impact in the world through the development of sustainable energy."
Dr. Joseph Menicucci, Associate Chair for Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, works closely with advising the students and found himself elated by their succesful outcomes. "Both Bella and Larissa have extraordinary potential; I cannot wait to see what they are able to accomplish in their careers. This is just the beginning of something great."

Undergraduate Students
Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering