My Very First NSBE(National Society of Black Engineers)

By pearl - April 06, 2014

So I know I am late to the party, should have been a part of NSBE since my freshman year in College, but circumstances were not very favorable. About two circumstances I can think of; First NSBE is not big in my Alma mater Georgia Tech (that needs to be fixed) and second..I was too broke to afford to go. And through out I thought it was a huge career fair, my school did a dozen of those so I did not need to fly out of state just for that. But now I wish I had. It is a lot more than a career fair. It is a network. It is like having a huge family that gets you and supports you. Not only that there are a lot of different programs that take place at this conference. Luckily for me, this year,I was sent by my Intel to be on a panel about "Mobility in Africa" ( tentative topic for my next article). So I signed up for a few other programs they sponsored; Black Girls Code and Hackathon. 

Black Girls CODE  is a program that teaches girls how to write code from very young ages. The goal is to Build a new generation of girls that can code and do so much more. They reach out to different communities through workshops and after school programs. At NSBE they taught a group of kids how to write an android app. I volunteered a few hours to help setup the computers and the phones and help answer questions. It was truly and inspiring moment. Being a coder myself, I know how much power there is in starting out early. We are moving towards a future where knowing how to program will be a requirement for most majors. I believe giving these kids a head start will go a long way in their lives and careers. This also made me realize that NSBE is not only for collegiate students but also for middle and high school.

Hackathon (also known as a hack day) is an program in which computer
programmers and developers collaborate intensively on software projects usually for 24 hours. It can also include hardware components. The goal is to start and complete a program within a day.If you love programming and are competitive, definitely look when these events are hosted in cities near you. At NSBE this event was sponsored by Intel, Google and Thoughtworks. And there was so much energy in the room. I honestly felt intimidated by all the smart kids and their hard questions. But all in all it was a great experience.

Mind you these were just two events out of many at #nsbe40, I got to be a part of.I am sure there were dozens more. The conference ended with the Golden Torch awards followed by a B.O.B concert (which I got free front row seats courtesy of Intel and was too tired to attend..Lame!!!!). So my point is, if you are in engineering, I encourage you to be part of NSBE. Go create a network, get encouraged, meet new people, and make friends. NSBE also has a lot of scholarships. There are even scholarships to sponsor your trip to these events. Check out their website
Did you attend NSBE40? Please comment on some of the programs you were a part of and enlighten us.

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  1. Great article! but I can't believe you missed B.O.B though!...tired or not! lol