Published: March 13, 2024

The student chapter poses for a group photo behind a SASE sign in a hotel lobbyThe Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE) student chapter won a travel grant through the Rady Department of Mechanical Engineering. After they traveled to Atlanta for the national conference, we caught up with them about their takeaways.

What was the SASE conference like?

Attending the SASE National Conference 2023 in Atlanta was an exceptional experience! Traveling across the country with peers and engaging with individuals from across the country was truly sensational. The well-organized structure of the conference allowed for valuable connections, networking opportunities, city exploration, and meaningful interactions with different companies. Among the highlights were exploring the city with friends and trying the diverse food experiences it had to offer!

What was the most memorable session you attended?

The most memorable session we had attended was the elevator pitch session by the CIA, as it has opened our eyes on what we should say as students to these bigger companies and how we can stand out compared to our other competitors while still being professional. One of our members visited a session hosted by Wabtec. Wabtec is a company that makes trains as well as the client for one of our member’s senior design project. We were able to learn about their Kinetix inspection suite as well as how they are using the latest AI to assist in their workflow.

What opportunities did you have to connect with students from other universities?

The conference provided ample opportunities to connect with students from other universities.

Networking events, group activities, collaborative workshops, and SASE sister chapter activities help facilitate meaningful interactions with students from other universities. These interactions broadened our social and professional circles and allowed us to share experiences and gain insights into the challenges and successes faced by other students from other SASE chapters.

How will you and/or the CU SASE chapter use what you’ve learned from the conference?

The knowledge and experience gained at the conference will undoubtedly benefit the CU SASE chapter. We plan to integrate practices that we have learned from other SASE chapters into our own chapter's activities and initiatives. This includes approaches to outreach, diversity, and inclusion within our community. Also, the job fair was a very good experience. We learned a lot from interviewing with companies, talking to recruiters, and getting feedback on our resumes.

What advice do you have for a student attending a national conference for the first time?

For students attending the national conference for the first time, we recommend embracing every opportunity you get to engage with fellow attendees. Be proactive in networking, as there are many opportunities for you to connect with representatives from different companies. They will be hosting workshops, resume reviews, and mock interviews for you to develop professionally. Do not be stressed and to talk to recruiters as if they are just normal people. They talk to hundreds of students at these conferences and if you are able to hold a conversation with them like you would talk to your friends, it will take you a long way!