The National Society of Black Engineers is the largest student run organization in the country, and every year it hosts a national convention for all members. At Convention thousands of Black engineers, from elementary school students to experienced professionals, come together from around the world to network, learn, and have fun. There’s really nothing like it.
If you’re heading to Pittsburgh for this year’s convention, you might be wondering how you can get the most out of it while you’re there. I’ve attended the last few NSBE Conventions, and I’ve got some suggestions on how you can make the most of every minute:
1. Plan ahead
The NSBE Guide will answer all your questions about scheduling and events. You can see all of the events going on through the whole convention, filter them by what’s available for your classification, and make your own schedule with reminders. Planning ahead is key to getting the most out of convention! The NSBE Event Attendee Guide is available in the App Store and Google Play. Make sure you plan to get to every event early because the most popular events, like the career fair, usually have long lines.
2. Submit you resume online
On the NSBE website, go to NSBEconnect -> Career Center -> Job Seekers Register Here. This will allow companies to see your resume before the career fair, and a lot of them will reach out to you in advance to schedule interviews or invite you to events. The earlier you submit your resume the better.
3. Pack right
Check the weather for Pittsburgh before you pack, and keep the forecast in mind as you pack. You’ll need enough business professional clothing for each day of convention as well as casual clothes for sightseeing and mixers. If you plan on going to the Golden Torch Awards (which you should), also plan to bring a dressy outfit for that night. Remember to bring comfortable shoes, and save room for any free swag you pick up!
4. Come prepared
A lot of companies like Lockheed Martin do on the spot interviews and job offers, so if you’re looking for a job or internship, bring your A game. You’ll want to brush up on your technical skills, but you also need to prepare for behavioral interviews. Given the short timeframe of convention, some interviews I’ve had only consisted of behavioral questions. To secure these interviews, come up with a short elevator pitch for the career fair, and bring several copies of your resume.
5. Go to as many events as possible
There are so many different events at Convention. Using the NSBE Guide App will help you maximize your time, so you can se a little of everything. I recommend that you listen to at least one technical presentation, visit hospitality suites from the first night, and go to plenty of company mixers. Make the most of every event by learning from everyone, whether they’re students or professionals.
6. Have fun!
Don’t forget to have fun while you’re there. Talk to people everywhere you go, and make friends with people outside of your chapter. Check out the Collegiate or Professionals parties, and go explore the city!
What part of the NSBE Convention are you most excited for?