Student Organization Spotlight: The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers

November is Career Development Month and the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development would like to highlight the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.

1. What does professional development look like for you? How may have this changed over time?

Professional development has been painted as being well dressed, well spoken, and well mannered in order to represent your organization and/or yourself in the best way possible. For the longest, SHPE has approached professional development with the classic resume workshops, elevator pitches, dress for success photoshoots, and karaoke presentations to better ourselves for interviews, conferences, networking events and even job fairs. However, over time, SHPE has evolved to include personal touches to professional development. With everyone having the perfect resume and elevator pitch, it almost seems robotic to many recruiters looking for new hires; therefore, SHPE has encouraged the use of conversations about interests, hobbies, and general interest in the recruiter or peer you are networking with. 

2. What resources have been most beneficial in advancing your own professional development as a Person Of Color?

SHPE has been blessed with the opportunity of being both a Watson organization and a multicultural organization; this being said, the resources of Watson Career and Alumni Connections have been a big help when preparing for our member’s profiles and career readiness tasks. However, when it comes to practicing our professional conversational skills, SHPE has been able to collaborate with both Watson and multicultural organizations all throughout campus as we give and receive peer feedback while expanding our organization’s network throughout campus.

3. What is the best advice you have received related to professional development?

Career centers are always a great support for how to communicate and brand yourself, however, career centers can not provide you with everything. Being confident in presenting yourself as an individual rather than just a candidate is crucial in professional development. Adding personal touch such as hobbies and interests in your professional conversations, aids your character in becoming more approachable, more relatable, and brands yourself into a more qualified future-employee.

4. How can your organization support students in their career development?

SHPE provides multiple different events throughout the year that focus on professional development. In every SHPE event, whether it is social, cultural, technical, academic, or professional, SHPE strives for an inclusive community where all members are encouraged to be themselves and project their interests. Therefore, when preparing for or practicing professional development, our members are already comfortable in that situation and can take control over that interaction and mold it into the best opportunity for them.

By Alexandria Mavila
Alexandria Mavila Senior Peer Consultant