Carnegie Mellon University
December 08, 2016

Honing Networking Skills at SHPE Conference

Honing Networking Skills at SHPE Conference Honing Networking Skills at SHPE Conference Julissa Cruz (CEE ’18) and five other CEE students attended a three-day conference in Seattle Washington for the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). Thousands of students from universities across the country gathered at the conference to participate in competitions, career fairs and professional development workshops. Cruz, the Internal Vice President of CMU’s SHPE chapter, was proud to accompany the 29 total CMU students.

“It was really amazing to see so many students gathered in one room all with the same purpose,” Cruz says. “However, it was even more impressive that a school as small as Carnegie Mellon was able to bring 29 of its students across the country to take advantage of this amazing opportunity.”

Throughout the conference, Cruz attended a leadership workshop, an empowering Latinas workshop, and a breakfast for presidents with CMU SHPE chapter president Gabriela Cach. She also attended the STAR Awards Ceremony, a black-tie event which honors key contributors in the Hispanic community to the STEM fields.

“I got to learn about different industries” Cruz says, “but I also got to build our chapter's connections and interact with some of the companies we already have relationships with.”

Though Cruz already knew she would return to Accenture as a Technology Analyst Intern, she views the conference as a valuable chance to network, catch up with alumni, and support her fellow students.

 “I got the opportunity to help my peers prepare for interviews, do last minute edits to their resumes, and most importantly I was there to celebrate their success when students got interviews and offers,” says Cruz.

Many students participated in as many as five separate interviews throughout the three-day conference, and in the end, five CMU students had received job offers from largely recognized companies like Turner Construction, Goldman Sachs, Boeing and Procter & Gamble.

“I got to meet so many recruiters, and I really enjoyed learning about their work and the path that they took to get there,” says Cruz.  “The most valuable thing that I took away from the experience is the importance of networking, even when you're not looking for a job.”