The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers 2019 Conference

SHPE attends national convention in Phoenix, Ariz.

On Oct. 30, 2019 began the annual Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) Conference with the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) Prescott and Daytona Beach chapters of SHPE in attendance. The convention went until the late evening of Saturday, Nov 3. Being held in Phoenix, Ariz. at the Phoenix Convention Center downtown, it was jam-packed with speakers, presentations, businesses, career fairs, sessions, workshops, and more. This year’s theme was “The Power of Transformation.” One of the ERAU Prescott students who went, SGA Prescident Joshua Limes, was available to give some insight to the conference and how it went. 

According to Limes, “it was a great conference.” The Prescott chapter of SHPE met with the Daytona Beach chapter and they all went to lunch together at Steve’s Greenhouse Grill in Phoenix, Ariz., pictured. Many people went to a few speaker series for the first two days, some on quantum computing and others on networking, says Limes. Limes, who is majoring in Cyber Security and Intelligence Studies, went to the workshops on cybersecurity, naturally. Some of the other workshops and sessions Limes went to were centered on interviewing and other parts of the job process, with titles such as “You Landed the Interview, Now What?” and others.

Networking and career fairs were also a huge aspect of the convention. Many companies were there via representatives and agents of their respective jobs. Having met a woman who works in diversity and cybersecurity, Limes was impressed with how some companies were “actively starting with diversity.” He listed some pretty big-name companies that were present, along with smaller and more unusual ones. Of course, there were the usual contenders present, like governments agencies and aeronautical companies. Limes took advantage of the space and spoke to many while he was there. As a result of the presence of these speakers and companies, interviews were to be expected. “One of my friends got a few offers,” says Limes, who wasn’t shy about sharing his successes either. 

There was a keynote speaker that included the founder of the organisation, an astronaut, and updates about SHPE, such as a new logo. Upon the conclusion of that speech, the conference split up regionally, says Limes. ERAU Prescott is in Region 2, which includes many Southwest schools. This region also coincides with the location of SHPE headquarters, which are in La Puente, Calif.

Limes mentioned that the convention was a wonderful place to see many familiar faces. Since the Prescott chapter of SHPE is in a prime location with many other schools, a lot of friends were able to catch up and much bonding ensued. This was received well, especially since the attendees making up the convention were diverse in demographics, according to Limes. The diversity aspect also extended to the companies and who represented them as well. 

Overall, the conference was felt to be quite supportive, positive, and nice. Limes mentioned that “there was not a sense of competing with each other, which was nice.” Consequently, conversations were ignited easily amongst the attendees and advice and support was freely given. The convention closed out with the career fairs and social events, leaving a lasting impression on Limes and future opportunities awaiting.

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