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Villanova’s NSBE Chapter Sees Success at 45th Annual National Convention

Opeyemi Matthew Oladunjoye, Camille Kathleen Smith, Karol Pierre, Menduyarka Dennis, Cornelius Moseti Mayaka Back row: Christopher Alan Thompson, Vincent Huang, Aaron Sykes, Ayodele Emmanuel Awotunde, Joseph Thomas Anderson, Austin Hunt  (not pictured: Gibel Sowe)
Opeyemi Matthew Oladunjoye, Camille Kathleen Smith, Karol Pierre, Menduyarka Dennis, Cornelius Moseti Mayaka Back row: Christopher Alan Thompson, Vincent Huang, Aaron Sykes, Ayodele Emmanuel Awotunde, Joseph Thomas Anderson, Austin Hunt (not pictured: Gibel Sowe)

From March 27-31, 2019, Villanova’s Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers attended NSBE’s 45th Annual National Convention in Detroit, Michigan. The convention featured career and college fairs and workshops tailored towards making the community feel more comfortable and helping them stand out during employment opportunities. Elite universities and organizations such as Amazon, the CIA, Goldman Sachs, Google, MIT, Johns Hopkins University and more were in attendance looking for STEM majors.

In recognition of the events they have hosted and their dedication to the NSBE mission, Villanova’s NSBE Chapter won “Small-sized Chapter of the Year” for 2018–19. Other highlights of the event included incoming chapter president Ayodele Awotunde ’20 ChE receiving a scholarship from NSBE, others landing internships and full-time positions, and all enjoying new and empowering experiences.

Students provided brief reflections on the event:

Ayodele Emmanuel Awotunde ’20 ChE, NSBE President 2019/20:
I attended the NSBE convention in hopes of getting an internship and developing meaningful connections with professionals in industry. It was a very good experience for me and my chapter.

Joseph Thomas Anderson ’19 ChE:
I had a good experience as I was able to network and learned about a lot of options I can take as I choose a career path in research and development. I also learned a lot about how to transition from a school environment to a work environment.

Austin Hunt ’20 EE:
I truly enjoyed the experience and opportunity to speak to people of my likeness and to make connections with companies leading the engineering world. Through this convention, I was able to land an internship with DENSO where I will be working this summer!

Vincent Huang ’19 EE:
I attended the convention for the various professional workshops, networking opportunities and large career fairs. I met many professionals from industries and learned a lot from their workshops.

Christopher Alan Thompson ’20 CpE:
I was looking for internship opportunities and networking with companies that deal with field programmable gate arrays, which is what I want to do with my career. The workshops I attended helped me learn how to stand out more among my peers and work on how I talk to employers at career fairs.

Menduyarka Dennis ’22 ChE:
Being together with other minorities in the field was so eye opening and encouraging. I was expecting only a small amount of us at this conference with a good number of speakers telling us to keep powering through, but the number of engineers in the room was beyond amazing.

Aaron Sykes ’19 ChE:
This was an eye opening and inspirational experience for me. The career fair was the largest I have ever seen. There were so many organizations that I would have never guessed would hire STEM majors like the CIA, Twitter, Deloitte, Amazon, Fox and Nike. The graduate expo was great as well. I'm considering graduate school, and this was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the schools that I will apply to. But the best part of Convention was being in an environment where people who look like me are highly represented. It brought another level of motivation and inspiration as I seek to become more involved in NSBE.

Camille Kathleen Smith ’20 ChE:
Being a black woman in engineering, it is not very often that I am able to be surrounded by other people of color with similar interests. NSBE's convention was such an amazing experience for me professionally and personally. I was able to attend career fairs, college fairs and workshops that were customized to make me feel comfortable.

Gibel Sowe ’19 CpE:
I came to the 45th National Convention for job searching, workshops and graduating senior events. It was a very rewarding experience as I got to interview with a company, and I went to workshops that helped me think about my future. I was able to secure a full-time offer with Northrop Grumman.

Karol Pierre ’19 CpE:
I attended the convention to network with recent graduates, graduate schools and companies. It was very inspiring to be in a place where different students are making tangible differences in their communities. Seeing their accomplishments fueled me to continue in my path.

Cornelius Moseti Mayaka ’22 MSEE:
The convention was an opportunity to learn from professionals, make new friends and new connections and search for job opportunities.

Opeyemi Matthew Oladunjoye ’19 ME:
I attended the convention because of the presence of so many large companies and graduate schools. Also, the atmosphere, workshops and sessions are worthwhile. It was an awesome experience, and I got an internship interview.

Finally, Villanova’s NSBE Chapter would like to thank everyone who made their trip possible, including the College of Engineering for their financial support and guidance, the Chemical Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering Departments for covering the cost of registration and transportation for seven students, the alumni that donated to their fundraiser and matched their target funds, Boeing for their financial support, and all other donors. Such widespread support covered the cost of registration, transportation, and fees for all attendees.

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