The Bellevue College Mentor Night was co-organized by Bellevue College (BC) and the Puget Sound Engineering Council (PSEC) and co-sponsored by PSEC and the Science and Math Institute (SAMI) program at the college and was a success.
More information about the SAMI program at BC is at this link: http://www.bellevuecollege.edu/sami/bellevue-college/
The event was hosted by BC and held on campus on Wednesday, May 6th, 2015. It started at 6:00 pm and went until 8:00 pm. All the volunteers arrived early and on time which helped us start the event on schedule, and there was free parking at the college that evening.
Dr. Jenn Pang and Jennifer Pritchard representing the college and SAMI helped greet and direct students during the event. Dr. Pang gave the introduction and thanked the engineering mentors from multiple local engineering societies to the event while the attendees brought pizza and refreshments back to their tables. I was introduced as the PSEC Mentor Coordinator and thanked SAMI, the college, and Dr. Pang for her work organizing and hosting the event at the college and for welcoming PSEC as their guests. I then gave information about PSEC as an organization, thanked the volunteers for their attendance, and encouraged students to ask questions not only about which discipline in engineering they may pursue as a major, but also to ask questions about the types of industry they may be interested in as an encouragement to talk to as many different types of disciplines and industries represented in the room that evening.
When you checked in for the event, there were printed name tags for all the volunteers with their name, discipline(s), title, and company, and PSEC had supplied table top signs by name and discipline. Dr. Pang prompted rotation every 20 minutes throughout the event. There were 19 engineering professionals who volunteered, many who were licensed Professional Engineers, representing several types of engineering disciplines and industry, and approximately 30-40 engineering students attended throughout the evening. The engineering students were Freshmen & Sophomores and were engaged in one-on-one conversations with the volunteers. A couple of the volunteers also expressed an appreciation for reconnecting and networking with a few of their colleagues during the event as well and thanked PSEC for helping to coordinate the event.
I spoke with three different students during the event, who were all very interested in pursuing a career in engineering. One student said she originally enrolled to earn a business degree because she was undecided on a major at that time, but had recently decided to pursue an engineering degree instead after several conversations with of one of her instructors at BC and was excited to attend this event. Another student who said he was in his mid-twenties had worked as a mechanic and found he was increasingly interested in engineering which is why he was a current student. I found it refreshing to hear from him about his experience originally learning about the engineering work that had gone into the Experience Music Project (EMP) building – a world class museum dedicated to music built in Seattle, as well as, how he learned about how the Empire State Building in New York was constructed and the various engineering logistics involved.
The link to download a document that gives great advice to students interested in and pursuing a civil engineering profession that was handed out by one of the mentors at the event is here: Civil Engineering Handout
At the conclusion of the event, Dr. Pang thanked PSEC and invited PSEC to participate with Bellevue College in future events.
WW-ASME Rep. to PSEC
PSEC Mentor Night Coordinator