WHITTIER – Four Río Hondo College Math, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) students learned about job opportunities straight from company executives, mingled with working engineers and showcased their skills by creating products to assist communities impacted by COVID-19 at the MESA 2022 Student Leadership Conference, held Oct. 28 and 29.
The conference, held at the Marriot Mission Valley in San Diego, featured attendees from more than 30 higher learning establishments. MESA and the event are meant to provide guidance to diverse students from underrepresented backgrounds as they enter science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and careers.
Beyond meeting with industry professionals, attendees also had a chance to develop a product or service aimed at addressing a problem caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which disproportionately impacted underserved communities.
Biochemistry major Donna Amaya, mathematics major Wendy Alvarez, robotics engineering major Armando Ramos and mechanical engineering major Fernando Padilla were chosen to represent Río Hondo College’s MESA program, along with Faculty Mentor Teddy Kidane.
The event differs from a job fair or speaker-only conference by giving students a chance to interact one-on-one and in small groups with high-level executives, professional engineers and company recruiters.
“MESA’s Student Leadership Conference provided a dynamic educational and professional experience for our four selected students,” Superintendent/President Dr. Marilyn Flores said. “The conference was a unique opportunity for our students to showcase their skills and network with some of the biggest companies in the world. I know these participants made our College proud and that they gained important knowledge to support their transfer and employment futures.”
MESA: Río Hondo College Faculty Mentor Teddy Kidane accompanies biochemistry major Donna Amaya, mathematics major Wendy Alvarez, robotics engineering major Armando Ramos and mechanical engineering major Fernando Padilla at the MESA 2022 Student Leadership Conference. The invite-only event in San Diego provided guests with the chance to meet with engineers, hiring coordinators and high-level executives to learn about job opportunities in STEM career fields.