ANAHEIM, CA-Like many companies represented at the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) 41st Annual Convention in Anaheim, California, TE Connectivity brought its staff to look for the best and the brightest in the rich talent pool that came looking for jobs and internship possibilities.
The NSBE convention, which kicked off March 26 at the Anaheim Convention Center, was host to a bevy of talented job seekers trying to make a beeline to employment, workshops and panel discussions formulated around black engineers.
The job fair portion of the NSBE convention was perhaps the most galvanizing as companies, large and small, such as General Mills/Cheerios, ESPN, Yahoo!, DELL, BP, Turner Construction Company, UTC Aerospace Systems, IBM, Harley-Davidson Motor company, Google and plenty of others filled their positions with staffers looking to recruit young black engineers to their respective companies.
TE Connectivity was also one of those companies in the mix trying to add talented young men and women to their employment roster. TE Connectivity Global Manager Rebecca Robinson (Inclusion & Diversity), said it was positive to see so many young African American engineers come together.
“It is absolutely positive,” Robinson said. “It’s wonderful to see the sea of all of these young African American men and women looking for opportunities. It’s wonderful. We need to highlight this more. It’s kind of a misnomer. We see so much of the bad things and the tragedies. We can talk about all of the things in recent news that’s happened with our young men being killed, so certainly this is the other side. This is the side we need to publicize more. This is wonderful to see us.”
Michael Merritt, a senior engineer in the research and development department for General Mills in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was out at the three-day convention to help leading the company’s recruiting efforts at NSBE.
“We’re here looking for top engineering talent and so NSBE has always been a source to find that talent. We need engineers to help drive value for our urban base and they do that in a lot of ways,” Merritt said. “From working in our manufacturing locations to working at our corporate event headquarters and functions like research and development or information technology. We’re excited to see so many bright young individuals committing their time to NSBE to find jobs that would be good.”
They say the first impression is a lasting impression. Well, for first-time convention attendee, Coralie Phanord, a Dartmouth University student, NSBE left a satisfying impression on her. Like everyone else attending the job fair portion of the NSBE convention, Phanord, was there looking for possible internship leads and employment opportunities.
The computer science and engineering major said she liked what she saw.
“This is my first time at a NSBE conference, but I am satisfied,” Phanord said. ” It is really nice. I definitely am coming back next year. Something about it is working. A lot of places I gave my resume to and they said they’ll contact me based on what (and how) I applied online.”
Tuskegee University chemical engineer major Brittany Denton had never been to California before she decided to go to the NSBE convention. Denton felt it was important to her to be part of a larger scale event where young black engineers could be introduced to the employment marketplace. When asked what was her purpose for being at the convention, Denton responded with a simple and emphatic reply.
“Just to network with engineers that look like myself, like black engineers, to gain opportunities and to get full-time offers from really, really good companies,” Denton said.
Besides the obvious of job hunting process, Denton added that connecting and networking with other black engineers at the NSBE convention was another essential component of why she made the trip to Anaheim.
“It is very, very important because it brings us together, so we can all cultivate and encourage each other together and uplifting each other,” Denton said. “It’s nice to see so many different people who all have one thing in common, and that is to succeed as engineers.”