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Last Wednesday through Saturday, I attended the National Society of Black Engineers’ (NSBE) annual convention in Anaheim, CA. This is the first time since 2019 that they have had an in-person convention. NSBE is a student-run organization whose mission is to “to increase the number of culturally responsible Black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community.”

The NSBE National Convention is an opportunity for all members of NSBE, including those from colleges, K-12 schools, and professionals around the country to meet in one place. This was my first in-person Convention, and I was super excited to go, especially since my transportation and lodging were paid for.  It’s truly inspiring and encouraging to see thousands of Black engineers and aspiring engineers in one place, and it’s an amazing opportunity to network!

One of the main events at the Convention is the career fair, which was from Wednesday-Friday. There are well over 100 companies that attend, and many do interviews and give out job offers during the Convention. Companies also hold hospitality suites in the evening, which are more casual ways to connect (and get free food). Throughout the Convention, companies also host workshops with different themes. I went to a workshop by American Express about inclusive product design and a “Tech Talk” hosted by Walt Disney Imagineering. These recruiters are very eager to hire and meet students, because many of them were a part of NSBE during their college years, so it’s a great opportunity to take advantage of.

Including professional opportunities, there are a lot of fun activities at the conference as well! Every night they had some kind of social activity from a silent disco, painting, or a carnival. On Friday night, we had a NSBE Versus event, where members from the different regions of the U.S. played music by artists from their region and the audience voted on which region had the best music. These events were a great way to meet other college students. Additionally, the USC NSBE chapter hung out at Downtown Disney since we were across the street.

I am also a part of the Regional Executive Board (REB) for NSBE, so I had a lot of duties related to that. I helped organize and lead Regional Meetings every morning and volunteer at events. However, I was still able to enjoy myself!

NSBE has been one of my favorite things I have become involved in during college. Being a part of the REB has truly allowed me to grow as a person and a leader and is a super rewarding experience. During the convention, I ran to be Region VI Chair, who represents all the collegiate and pre-collegiate members in the West part of the United States. I was elected and am so excited to serve my Region!

Timothy Harrington