Indianapolis hosted this year’s National Society of Black Engineers Region 4 Fall Regional Conference. I was on the Conference Planning Committee as the Transportation Coordinator! A few years ago, I was on the CPC as the Hospitality and Volunteer Coordinator. I decided to become involved in the planning this year because it is in my “home” city. I also knew this would be a great opportunity for my employer to directly participate.
There was some talk about planning tours for the conference, but never any set person to coordinate them. When I first contacted HR, they were excited about it. I went back to the CPC and told them the good news. There was also thought of having a tour to the Children’s Museum, the Crispus Attucks Museum, and one on the campus of IUPUI. At that point, I was in charge of organizing the transportation. I handled my part and decided to go with Ms. Mickey at Cavello Bus Lines (they were great).
However, funding for the buses was a different story. I was then put in charge of obtaining funding for the buses. Since I was the direct point of contact between the tours and the payment, I was then appointed to being the Tour Coordinator! After my roles were clearly defined, and buses were funded, the tours (company and IUPUI) were handled. I still maintained direct contact with my company because there was also planning of a facility tour and a hospitality suite. Those went very smoothly and I learned more about my job while hosting the tours and it was a lot of fun talking with the students.
The best part to me is helping others succeed. The first night of the conference, I noticed a high school student standing alone in the hallway and I walked her into one of the PCI workshops on colleges. She was a senior in high school and had still not applied to college. She was really excited about an HBCU out of state, and showed no emotion about attending any of the colleges in-state, and so I did my best to encourage her. There was another young lady that I met at the Career Fair that was getting really frustrated about not receiving an interview offer. I took her aside and did a mock career fair with her and highlighted some items that she should talk about on her resume like her 3.8 GPA! She ran up to me later that night and told me she had her interview and did well!
I just keep doing what I can to help others become successful and try to make it my personal mission to “Increase the number of culturally responsible Black Engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community.”