The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) national convention returns to Florida for the first time since 2006, and USF students will feel their presence when they travel to Orlando to represent the university and the organization.
The convention, which will be held in person for the first time since 2019, will bring together more than 215 SHPE chapters from across the United States for a five-day event where engineering students will meet recruiters from companies such as Boeing and Wells Fargo. , and participate in workshops on essential skills specific to the field.
The convention takes place every year in a new city across the country. Previous locations have included Cleveland, Phoenix, and Seattle. This year, however, the convention will be held closer to home and will open the door for even more USF students to experience networking opportunities and workshops for themselves.
About 297 USF students will attend the convention, which will take place November 10-14. Members of their university chapter must pay an entrance fee of $ 350 while non-members pay $ 550 to attend the event.
The fee covers convention registration, transportation, and a four-night hotel stay in Orlando. Students who plan to attend the event, however, can apply for financial assistance to cover part of the costs.
The student government (SG) distributed $ 5,600 in the form of a travel grant to 93 members of SHPE, according to Jessica Flores, a chemical engineering student and director of the USF’s SHPE section for professional development.
In addition to financial support from SG, USF SHPE section chairman Axel Rivera said the organization also receives funding from alumni and Honeywell, a multinational aerospace conglomerate, the building technologies, materials and performance technologies as well as safety and productivity solutions for workers.
“We have an alumni scholarship that was funded by two alumni that was actually able to cover five enrollments,” Rivera said. “We also had a company, Honeywell, they gave us a grant to try to mitigate some of those costs.”
Even without any help, Rivera said the experience pays off because of the possibilities it presents. Students have the opportunity to network with over 276 international companies, including Amazon, Ford, Exxon, and Google, and even have the ability to bond from these interactions through a job or internship posting.
“The really big value proposition we use to tell our members it’s worth it is the fact that most of the time, the people who hire for internships, co-ops, and full-time are paid positions,” Rivera said. “So you recoup the cost of your investment many times over. “
The agreement helped Rivera land a full-time job with Verizon after graduating in May 2022. He said the relationships established at the event were key to getting him a job offer.
“I think it was in 2018, back in Cleveland, and I was able to get an internship,” Rivera said. “I went to conventions and did internships. I’m currently in my senior year and actually have a full-time offer from Verizon that I’ve received from convention and internship in the past.
Now, after a year since the convention was held online, students from across the country will be gathering in Orlando. Due to its proximity to the campus, Rivera said more USF students will be able to attend.
“I’m sure it helps a lot that it’s in Orlando,” Rivera said. “But we’ve really focused as an organization on campus to attract as many people as possible and take advantage of this great opportunity, because it sure won’t be that close for at least the next decade or so. “
The location of the convention in previous years, according to Rivera, affected their attendance. Nearly 300 USF students will travel to Orlando for this year’s convention, up from 137 in 2019 and 179 in 2018.
In preparation for the convention, the SHPE chapter at USF hosted workshops focusing on resume reviews, mock interviews and elevator practices.
“We also had speakers come to talk about the convention and panelists from people who went to the convention,” Rivera said. “So on the SHPE side, that’s a bit of what we did to prepare students professionally. “
This preparation, according to Rivera, is designed to help students make connections with businesses and improve their chances of finding employment in the future.
“When you apply online, you are just a number of thousands of people who apply,” Rivera said. “When you attend a career fair or conference and can talk to recruiters one-on-one, it becomes much easier for them to remember your name and think of you for future opportunities. “