By Alex Solari, Staff Writer
From March 29 to April 2, fifteen UMass Dartmouth student members of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) went to the 43rd Annual NSBE Convention in Kansas City, Mo.
These students left with job offers, business contacts, and lessons in academic and professional development.
NSBE is an organization that started more than 40 years ago, but has the same mission as it did years ago.
NSBE’s goal is to help black engineering students excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community.
This organization helps all ages, giving opportunities to young elementary school children, all the way to adults in post-graduate studies.
Vivian Odobo is a junior computer engineering student who is also the treasurer consultant for NSBE on campus. When asked about the convention, she said, “[The convention] is very important in a time like this when minorities are looked down upon. We show academic excellence, professionalism, and we’re rising above it all.”
She goes on to say, “It’s a place for people like us, we don’t feel like the minority, we’re all on the same level and we’re striving for excellence. It’s possible to be an engineer if you’re a minority.”
At the convention, fourteen UMass Dartmouth students received at least one job interview, and nine students received three or more interviews.
These students interviewed with companies like Macy’s, Apple, Amazon, Ebay, Microsoft, and many more. Some students also received job offers from companies like Delta Airlines, Amazon, IBM, and Medtronic. Nine students spoke to at least one graduate school at the convention as well.
Odobo was ecstatic about the convention, and said, “We went. We did it. It’s possible for you to do the same. We set a great example, especially this year. Our members number increase, and we have more people going to our national conference.”
NSBE received support from organizations that allowed NSBE students to travel to this convention. Semirah Dolan, a junior mechanical engineering student is the Vice President of NSBE on campus.
She told The Torch, “the UMass Dartmouth NSBE Chapter expresses gratitude to all that supported their fundraising efforts to get into nationals and hope to have a bigger and better impact for the next year to come.”
She went on to say, “Gratitude goes out to College Now, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Frederick Douglass Unity House, Student Government Association, and the ECE department.”
Though NSBE is known to help Black engineers specifically, the organization is here to help everyone succeed.
Odobo told The Torch, “Our workshops are for everyone, it has to do with resumes, interviews. We want people to come out and we want to aid in improving the school. If more people are getting interviews it’s helping everyone out.”
Dolan even hosted a workshop during the convention, called, “LinkedIn for Millennials.”