In 1978, the annual NSBE/SHPE Career Fair had its humble beginnings with only 10 companies attending, and the event was hosted by a group of minority students. Today, celebrating its 30th anniversary, the event has attracted more than 230 companies and counting seeking management, humanities, arts, and social sciences, information technology majors, as well as engineers of all kinds. More than 2,000 students are expected to attend the event that will be held Oct. 3-4 in the Alumni Sports and Recreation Center (Armory).
The fair is a joint venture between two student groups the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). Radhameris Gomez (SHPE)a senior majoring in civil engineering, and Denisha McPherson, (NSBE), a junior majoring in industrial engineering, serve as co-chairs.
“This is a special day for us,” said Gomez. “There are at least 25 NSBE/SHPE members in charge of this year’s career fair. This event is among one of the largest student-run career fairs in the country. Given the current economic situation, this event gives students an opportunity to network with corporate representatives. Most importantly, it gives all of us a chance to get a head start on planning for future careers.”
Each year, a reception is held to honor corporate representatives, students, and faculty who are involved in the career fair. This year’s keynote speaker will be Alan Mingo ’85, director/business partner of commercial e-business solutions, Global Web Solutions, with IBM Global Services. During the reception, attendees will enjoy a 30-year retrospective overview of the fair’s history, along with entertainment from Rensselaer’s a cappella group, the Rusty Pipes.
“The planning for this fair is a year-long process and the feedback that we get from the students helps us in choosing the right companies,” Gomez noted. “Most of the recruiters are returning companies that attend on a regular basis. For example, Lou Bellardo ’67, director of manufacturing with Cisco Systems Inc., has attended the event for nearly 28 years.”
“As a student, just being able to have an opportunity to coordinate this event is rewarding,” said McPherson. “This year, we are extremely honored to celebrate our efforts and let students know that there are opportunities out there.”
NSBE was officially founded on the Rensselaer campus in 1979 by a group of students. The organization now has 115 members. SHPE, founded in 1982 by a small group of Latino students, became an officially recognized chapter in 1983. The organization has more than 200 members. Today, both organizations are involved in a number of activities that include hosting pre-college student programs, academic workshops, and community service, among others.
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